I recently spent the day with Museum of London Archaeology photographer Andy Chopping. On arriving at the photography studio I was greeted by a large white backdrop screen and an array of camera and lighting equipment adjusted to my height. I had brought with me one of the well preserved human skeletons from our archaeological collections and began to set out the bones onto a large, six foot long light box. I laid out the skeleton in standard anatomical position as I would during full osteological analysis: the body extended on the back with the feet together and palms facing […]
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The story of London Tweed
So this is how the story goes. In 1826 a London merchant decides to buy some cloth from a weaver in Hawick, a town in the Scottish borders famous for its cloth production. Very happy with his order, he decides to get some more but – crucially – misreads the weaver’s dashed handwriting. Instead of ‘twill’ this Londoner reads ‘tweed’, and assumes this new cloth must take after the River Tweed which runs fast and clear through the textile areas of lower Scotland. ‘Tweed’ and not ’twill’ has been the term used ever since.
A starring role for the Suffragette collection
As curator of the museum’s wonderful Suffragette collection I often welcome ‘important’ visitors to the archive, captivated by the story of the women who endured imprisonment, hunger-strike and even force-feeding in their battle to win the vote.
A few weeks ago I found myself surrounded by fascists. I was on my way to the West End when at Tower Hill station a large group of French-speaking men with assorted girlfriends and wives (I presume) entered my tube carriage.