Puddles are littered all over the floor and feathers float through the air. One toddler is cautiously playing with the toy boats in the paddling pool in front of him while a slightly younger child is trying to immerse herself in the water, head first. Small groups of toddlers are testing out the trays of water which are scattered around the room, each with an array of materials which can be experimented with in the water. It is Monday at the Museum of London Docklands, and one of our weekly ‘Little Mudlarks’ sessions for under 5s and their carers is in full swing. Read the full post
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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.
Christina Broom: A pioneering photographer
It is almost a year now since I first laid eyes on an extraordinary private collection of photographs by Christina Broom.
Miss Levy’s Wedding Dress
This whole thing started a few years ago when a wedding dress came up at auction. Not being a wedding dress swooner I could nevertheless think of quite a few (entirely rational) reasons why the museum should acquire this particular example. For one thing it was made by Victor Stiebel, one of my favourite London couturiers. Secondly, we do not have enough of his creations (one never does) and they do not come up at auction very often. The dress also had an intriguing mystery inscription. We will get to that in a moment.