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Exhibition Review : The Fabric of India at the Victoria and Albert Museum – 3rd October 2015 to 10th January 2016

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One of the main highlights of the V&A’s India Festival, The Fabric of India will be the first major exhibition to explore the wide-ranging world of handmade textiles from India, spanning from the 3rd century to the present day. Some of the treasures of the V&A’s world-renowned collection together with masterpieces from international partners and leading designers will be in the exhibition which features over 200 objects, many on display for the first time.

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The exhibition explores the rich history of India’s handmade textiles which date back at least 6000 years and how the nation’s rich natural resources for making and decorating textiles has produced a range of plant fibres and natural dyes for the cultivators, weavers, dyers, printers and embroiderers of the subcontinent. It is this innovation that led to local specialities like the golden silks of Assam, the fine cottons of Bengal, or the red dyes of south-east India being highly valued in India and abroad.

Part of the exhibition is a series of short films that illustrate the skills of craftspeople to produce attractive and distinctive weaves, prints and embroideries.

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The production of high quality textiles within India was initially centred around the many royal courts and amongst the many religions. The section called Sacred provide evidence of the way that Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Buddhists and Christians have made widespread use of textiles in their worship. Often a particular dress is worn for rituals or textiles are used as hangings to decorate sacred places.

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Some of the textiles produced for India’s royal courts were amongst some of the finest textiles ever made. The enormous wealth of the rulers and the incredible skills of craftsmen produced masterpieces that reflected status and position. The section entitled Splendid showcases a variety of these royal masterpieces, especially the dramatic Tipu Sultan’s massive 18th century chintz tent in the gallery.

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Although there is evidence that Indian textile-makers exported a vast range of fabrics to the Middle East, Mediterranean, Africa and Asia for centuries before European merchants arrived. By the 18th century, Indian merchants were responding to demands from as far away as Japan and the Americas. Indian textiles became a product with global appeal and an advanced export market developed.

However, the Industrial Revolution in Britain dramatically altered the nature of the world textile market. In the late 19th century, British factories were producing  cheaply manufactured large quantities of yarn and cloth. India, now under British rule were powerless to protect its handmade textile market and millions were made destitute. The resulting social unrest led to increased political movements to liberate India from British control, indeed Indian textiles themselves were used as symbols of protest and national identity.

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After winning independence from British rule in 1947, India’s new government prioritized modernisation, and textile-makers had to respond to increasingly urban environments. Over the following years, they adapted their skills to ensure their continued cultural, and economic  survival.

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The 21st century has seen India’s economic power creating a thriving urban culture and a new generation of cosmopolitan designers, artists, consumers and patrons. New designers and artists are producing fashion and art, often experimenting with hand-made textiles. There has been a movement to integrate the old and the new in ways that reflect modern India.

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This exhibition shows the  astonishing skills and variety in India’s rich textile tradition, in many ways it challenges some of the myths that India generally produces cheap textiles for the global markets. One of the great strengths of the Indian textile tradition is the ability to diversify to meet the taste and demands of the overseas consumers.

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However, the exhibition illustrates that craftspeople past and present have created luxury items for the top end of the market and new developments in Indian fashion and art are finding a way to incorporate the textile tradition into new and exciting designs.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

If you would like further information or buy tickets, visit the V&A website here

The Fabric of India 

Prices

£15.50 Full, including donation
£13.50 Senior citizens, including donation
£14 Full
£12 Senior citizens
£9 Full-time students, 12 – 17 year olds, ES40 holders, disabled people
£23 /£37 Family tickets (one adult & two 12 – 17 year olds/ two adults and two 12 – 17 year olds)

Exhibition opening times

3 October 2015 – 10 January 2016
Daily 10.00 – 17.30
(last ticket sold 16.15, last entry 16.30)
Friday 10.00 – 21.30
(last ticket sold 20.15, last entry 20.30)
Exhibition closes 15 minutes prior to the Museum closing

Closed 24, 25 and 26 December 2015

Late night opening

The V&A is open late every Friday

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Rugby World Cup 2015: Ireland v Italy at the Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – October 4th 2015

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Sun Oct 4 2015
Rugby World Cup 2015,  Pool D,  Match 28
Ireland v  Italy
The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, Kick off: 16:45

Ireland have been one of the form teams of the tournament so far, but have yet to play the top teams in their pool, Italy always provide a stern test but their lack of potential try scorers always seem to let them down.  A crucial match for both teams if they want to progress further in the tournament.

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Rugby World Cup website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Rugby World Cup 2015 : South Africa v USA at the Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – October 7th 2015

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Wed Oct 7 2015
Rugby World Cup 2015,  Pool B,  Match 31
South Africa v USA
The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, Kick off: 16:45

South Africa’s shock defeat to Japan was one of the major shocks in World Rugby, the springbok’s have recovered their composure with victories in the other pool games and they should be too strong for a USA team that have had a mixed tournament.

South Africa were one of the tournament favourites but that loss has led many to dismiss their chances, it will be interesting which South Africa turn up for this game.

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Rugby World Cup website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Rugby World Cup 2015 : England v Australia at Twickenham – October 3rd 2015

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England’s shock defeat to Wales has given this match added significance. If Wales beat Fiji and Australia beat England, the host nations World Cup could be over.

The pressure is really on Stuart Lancaster and his team to produce the goods against one of the tournament favourites.

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Rugby World Cup website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Rugby World Cup 2015 : Australia v Wales at Twickenham – October 10th 2015

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Sat Oct 10 2015
Rugby World Cup 2015,  Pool A,  Match 35
Australia v Wales
Twickenham, London, Kick off: 16:45

This is a match that could decide the group if the both teams win their previous matches. However it could also be a knock out match, either way this will be one of the biggest clashes of the Pool Stage. Wales victory over England will give them lots of confidence, but injury worries may mean that they are understrength to take on a Australian team that is one of the tournament favourites.

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Rugby World Cup website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Cycling : Six Day Racing at Lee Valley VeloPark – 18th to 23rd October 2015

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Come and witness the world’s best riders competing in the Velodrome against a backdrop of electric entertainment as Six Day returns to London for the first time since 1980!
Six day London offers an elite track cycling competition with a modern twist as spectators can enjoy a unique, party-like atmosphere, providing great music and entertainment as a backdrop to the drama on the track!
With 6 consecutive evenings of racing at the Lee Valley Velopark, Six Day London is Track Cycling as you’ve never seen it before.

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The best riders in the world testing their speed, stamina and skill as they compete in teams of two across multiple disciplines on the track regarded as the fastest on the planet. Each night has more than 10 individual races, including disciplines such as the madison, elimination races and a variety of sprint formats. The action comes thick and fast and is framed by music, lights and electric entertainment, creating an incredible party atmosphere that you will not want to miss.

London was the city that invented Six Day Racing,in 1878, English cycling champion David Stanton  claimed he could ride 1,000 miles over the course of 6 successive days. The Sporting Life newspaper offered purse of £100 and at London’s Agricultural Hall in Islington, Stanton easily won the bet, covering the distance in less than 5 days. The publicity surrounding Stanton’s feat and size of the purse led to a six day race being organized at the same venue for a mass field. This time £150 was offered in total prize money with £100 going to the victor. 12 men entered and after 6 days and nights of riding the Yorkshireman, Bill Cann walked away the winner of the world’s very first Six Day Race.

Six Day racing may have began in England but became very popular in America in the 1890’s with adaption of the two-man format.The most celebrated venue battles was New York’s Madison Square Garden where the Madison event was born.

In pre-war Europe the success of American Six Day Racing led to races on the continent especially in Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy and France. After the Second World War, Six Day events reappeared attracting the top cyclists who competed for large amounts of prize money. Although the sport declined in the 1980s and 1990s,many Six Day races being relaunched at the start of the 21st century. Britain’s recent love of cycling has seen the spectacular relaunch of the Six Day London in 2015 which will mark 137 years of the sport in this country.

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The best riders in the world testing their speed, stamina and skill as they compete in teams of two across multiple disciplines on the track regarded as the fastest on the planet. Each night has more than 10 individual races, including disciplines such as the madison, elimination races and a variety of sprint formats. The action comes thick and fast and is framed by music, lights and electric entertainment, creating an incredible party atmosphere that you will not want to miss.
A Six Day race is an elite track cycling competition featuring some of the world’s best professional riders. Six Day events also offer a unique, party like atmosphere, providing great music and entertainment as a backdrop to the drama on the track.

The Competition

Teams of two riders fight tooth and nail over six consecutive evenings.
Each evening, there are multiple races across a variety of sprint and endurance disciplines.
In some disciplines it is possible for teams to lap the field. This is known as ‘taking a lap’. Taking laps lifts a team up the overall standings.
As well as trying to take laps, teams also race to accumulate points in each discipline. These are vital to establish the overall lead, known as the ‘general classification’.
The team that has taken the most laps on the rest of the field will lead the general classification, but should teams find themselves on the same number of laps then the number of points will decide who wins.

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Types of Races

Madison
The Madison is the backbone of Six Day Racing and can feature twice during each evening session. Riding in pairs, each team member takes turns to race at high speed until he brings his teammate into the action by means of a ‘hand-sling,’ a skill originally developed in the early days of Six Day racing.

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Elimination Race

Unlike every other discipline in Six Day, in the Elimination race the action is all at the back of the race. After a short warm-up, every two laps the last rider over the line is eliminated until only two teams remain. Once the final two teams remain, an exciting cat and mouse sprint ensues to take maximum points.

Derny Race

In the Derny race, a single rider from the top eight teams lines up behind a motor-pacer piloting a specially designed moped or ‘derny’ for a straight race to the line.

Team Time Trial

For the Team Time Trial, all out speed and the perfect hand-sling are the ingredients necessary for success against the clock over two-laps. Each team takes to the track alone.

Super Sprint

The Super Sprint resembles the Elimination Race. Teams have to be smart to stay close to the front as the last riders are removed from the race on Elimination laps. Unlike the Elimination Race though, six teams remain to fight it out in the ‘Super Sprint’ to the line for full points.

The Stayer

This event is similar to the Derny but is even faster, using specialized track bikes and far larger capacity pacing motorcycles. The pacers stand up to block more of the wind, and the riders bikes have a smaller front wheel to allow them to bend down more to improve their slipstream effect.

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Six Day website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Football : England v Estonia at Wembley – 9th October 2015

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Undefeated England next match of their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign features Estonia who visit Wembley.

After Wayne Rooney made history by breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time England goalscoring record in the Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland at Wembley,  the spotlight will turn on those who are likely to feature in the tournament.

England may have the perfect record of eight wins out of eight, to secure top spot in Group E, but there will be those who question whether they are strong enough to mount a realistic challenge at  Euro 2016

Ticket Prices

£65, £55 & £45

For more information or buy tickets, visit the Wembley website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here