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The Museum of London Frost Fair from 19 November 2018 – 6 January 2019

The Museum of London will celebrate a unique London tradition that last took place over 200 years ago. The museum will become an immense frost fair as it begins a whole season of special events celebrating a traditional Christmas in the capital.

Between 1309 and 1814, the Thames would freeze on a regular basis; in that time at least seven frost fairs assembled on the ice. As the Thames froze, river traders and nearby businesses would take to the ice to sell their wares, creating a festival that would last until the ice thawed. Thames Watermen converted their boats into temporary stages and the frozen Thames played host to pubs, food stalls, coffee shops, souvenir stands and puppet shows. Printing presses produced souvenir publications and there were even rumours of an elephant being brought on to the frozen river near Blackfriars Bridge.

The water of the Thames was able to freeze as temperatures were much lower, but this was also due to the fact that the river flowed much more slowly than it does today. Since 1831, when the old London Bridge resting on nineteen solid piers was demolished and replaced with a new bridge with just five arches, the river has flowed too quickly to freeze. The Thames frost fair is a spectacle that will probably never happen again.

Visitors will create Christmas crafts and enjoy free performances of traditional festive tales, and the museum’s beloved Victorian Santa’s grotto will return, with children meeting Father Christmas and receiving a traditional toy, amidst a Victorian Street scene. The Museum of London frost fair runs from 19 November 2018 – 6 January 2019.

Museum of London Christmas Events

All events are free unless stated

Santa’s Victorian Grotto Dates: Sat 1–Sun 23 December 2018 Take a stroll through a twinkling Victorian Walk, transformed with festive decorations and the sound of carols, and discover Santa in his secret grotto. Tell Santa your Christmas wishes and receive a special gift. You can even have a photo taken to capture the moment. Book in advance, £10 (includes gift). Photographs available at additional cost.

The Thames frost fair Dates: Sat 1 & Sat 8 December 2018 at 1–1.30pm, 2–2.30pm & 3-3.30pm Imagine a winter so cold the Thames freezes over completely. It last happened over two hundred years ago during London’s final frost fair. Join us to create a frost fair scene that recaptures the magic of these special celebrations on the Thames.

Freezing frost fairs Dates: Sun 2 & Sun 9 December 2018 at 12.30–2pm & 2.30–4pm Join us for a Christmas craft session and create your very own frost fair scene that recaptures the magic of these special celebrations on the Thames.

Christmas Paper Crafts: a Frost Fair Workshop Dates: Sat 8 December 2018 from 1.30–4.30pm Get crafty for Christmas in this fun and festive workshop. Learn all the skills you need to make charming paper decorations and cards, inspired by the great frost fairs of Victorian London. You don’t need any experience, and all materials will be provided to create your beautiful crafts.

Season’s Greetings Dates: Sun 16 December 2018 from 12.30–2pm & 2.30–4pm Design a beautiful sparkly card to send to friends and family this festive season. Whether it’s a thank you card after the Festival of Lights, or a card in advance of Christmas, get creative and inspired by seasonal cards in our collection.

The Legend of Babushka Dates: Sat 15 & Sun 22 December 2018 from 1–1.30pm, 2–2.30pm & 3-3.30pm Take part in this interactive retelling of the traditional Russian story in which a little old lady heads off to see the baby Jesus. Along the way, she ends up giving away her gifts to people in need. After the story, discover different wrapping paper designs and create your own.

Cops & Robbers Dates: Thu 27 & Fri 28 December 2018 from 1–1.30pm, 2–2.30pm & 3-3.30pm Can you help a brave police officer catch the robbers of London town when they try to steal all the toys one Christmas Eve? Watch out for Granny Swagg and make sure she doesn’t get away in this fun re-imagining of Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s bestselling book, ‘Cops and Robbers’ with some traditional pantomime action!

Get Your Party Hats On! Dates: Sat 29–Mon 31 December 2018 from 12.30–2pm & 2.30–4pm Decorate a special hat and go hunting in the galleries for more at this art drop-in. From a worker’s cap or an office clerk’s bowler, to an aristocratic top hat, or the Queen’s crown, which hat will you choose to wear? Pick a hat from our silhouettes and decorate it with lots of glitter and festive sparkle to wear at your celebrations. Then try to spot them in the galleries!

If you would like further information, visit the Museum of London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and 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

Disease X : London’s next epidemic? at the Museum of London from 16 November 2018 to February 2019

One hundred years after the outbreak of the deadliest wave of ‘Spanish Flu’, an epidemic that killed 5% of the world’s population, the Museum of London in a new display will look to the future for the next unknown lethal disease that might hit us and explore the deadly epidemics of past centuries.

This year, the World Health Organisation declared an unknown pathogen (micro-organism causing disease), they have named ‘Disease X’, one of the great potential risks to life and a top priority for research. The next international health crisis may be caused by something unknown to doctors and with no known cure.

The new display uses the museum’s collections to show the effect of historic epidemics on London and how we might learn from the past should we be visited by ‘Disease X’.

In the early 1890s, the ‘Russian Flu’ epidemic killed a million people across Europe. Among the victims was a man whose demise changed the course of history, threw Britain into a state of shocked mourning and created major public awareness of the danger that had been visited upon the country. Prince Albert Victor known as Prince Eddy, brother of the future King George V and grandson of the reigning monarch, Queen Victoria, was second in line to the throne. In January 1892, shortly after his 28th birthday, Prince Eddy was hit by influenza, developed pneumonia and died at Sandringham. His sudden death, when apparently fit and healthy, shocked the nation. It became brutally clear that nobody was immune to the threat of Russian Flu. The fact that Russian Flu would strike down people across society, caused widespread alarm.

Among the key exhibits in the new display will be the outfit worn by Queen Victoria in the very earliest period of mourning for her grandson. Never previously displayed in public, the outfit features a thick band of black crepe, designed to display the depth of the Queen’s sadness.

The display also features previously untold stories of Londoners struck down by disease. Among these is that of William Leefe Robinson of the Royal Flying Corps. Awarded the Victoria Cross for shooting down a Zeppelin airship on its way to bomb London, Robinson was an acknowledged hero, who later survived being shot down, captured and imprisoned in France. After making three attempts to escape, he eventually made it home to Middlesex in December 1918, just in time to celebrate Christmas with his family, only to be killed by influenza on New Year’s Eve.

It also includes the skeleton of a 9 month old infant who died from smallpox. While epidemics rarely leave any trace in the human skeleton, smallpox did affect the bones of growing children and this can be seen in the elbow joints of this baby, who was buried in the early 1800s at the Crossbones Cemetery in Southwark.

If you would like further information, visit the Museum of London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and 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

Smithfield 150 on 25th and 26th August 2018


Culture Mile will celebrate August Bank Holiday with two day festival thanks to St Bartholomew. Smithfield 150 will revive the spirit of medieval festival, a forerunner for the annual public holiday

The free festival will be curated by the Museum of London and inspired by the medieval extravaganza Bartholomew’s Fair, the festival will take over the markets and surrounding Smithfield streets to celebrate the market’s 150th anniversary. The original fair, which took place over three days and celebrated St Bartholomew’s Feast Day on 24th August each year, became one of London’s most famous holidays, and is considered a forerunner for the August Bank Holiday we know today.

Smithfield 150 invites the whole of London to celebrate the history and people that make Smithfield such a special area with a jam-packed programme of music, food, performance and entertainment for all the family. On Saturday 25 August, visitors will enjoy London’s Biggest Birthday Party which will include a special area for families with under 5s, massive party games, party food galore, fun fairs and lots of surprises along the way.

Sunday 26 August will celebrate the great tradition of the Sunday Lunch, with the best of the surrounding market’s produce sharing food from around the world. Take part in a giant communal feast, listen to live music, bring the kids to a pop-up roller skating disco, or join in with the choir for a mass sing-a-long.

One hundred and fifty years ago the newly redesigned Smithfield meat market, which is owned and managed by the City of London Corporation, was officially opened after years of redevelopment. Designed by acclaimed architect Sir Horace Jones, the new market was the talk of London, and restored the market’s position in the heart of the bustling City.

 Culture Mile, which was launched last July, is an ambitious and transformational initiative that will create a vibrant cultural area in the north-west corner of the City over the next 10 to 15 years. Stretching just under a mile from Farringdon to Moorgate, Culture Mile will have creative exchange, cultural collaboration and learning at its core in an area where 2,000 years of history collide with the world’s best in culture.

For more information, visit the Smithfield 150 website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and 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

The Museum of London acquires a large panorama of London by Pierre Prévost

A panoramic view of London, from the tower of St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster, by Pierre Prevost, Courtesy of Sotheby’s

The Museum of London has acquired a remarkable 20 feet wide panorama of London, painted around 1815 by the French artist Pierre Prévost (1764-1823). It is the preparatory watercolour for a lost, full-scale 30m diameter panorama which was exhibited in Paris in 1817.

A panoramic view of London, from the tower of St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster, by Pierre Prevost, Courtesy of Sotheby’s

The panorama was acquired at auction at Sotheby’s for £200,000. There is only one other work by this artist of a similar size and quality still in existence, a view of Constantinople, which is in the Louvre.

A panoramic view of London, from the tower of St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster, by Pierre Prevost, Courtesy of Sotheby’s

The panorama was painted as the Napoleonic Wars drew to a close, and gives an immersive 360° view of London as the Duke of Wellington would have known it. Looking from the tower of St Margaret’s, the church situated within the shadow of Westminster Abbey, we are presented with a sweeping view over a sunlit city. Dominating the foreground is the Abbey and the old Palace of Westminster (the Houses of Parliament), which burnt down in 1834, and includes the medieval House of Lords chamber, target of the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

A panoramic view of London, from the tower of St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster, by Pierre Prevost, Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Prévost made panoramas of many European cities, but this particular example is thought to have been created at the height of his career. His first panorama of London, now lost, was made when he visited the city during the Peace of Amiens in 1802. He is thought to have returned to London in 1815, shortly after the Battle of Waterloo, to create this amazing image of London.

A panoramic view of London, from the tower of St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster, by Pierre Prevost, Courtesy of Sotheby’s

The panorama provides a snapshot of London just after Waterloo and provides incredible detail of the Westminster area that would be transformed within 30 years of the painting. Unlike today, the panorama shows it was Westminster Abbey that dominated the skyline rather than the Houses of Parliament and the surrounding area is quite spacious with wide open spaces.

The panorama was acquired with the help of Art Fund, the Aldama Foundation and a group of individual donors, with additional support from Michael Spencer, the Leche Trust and other donors who wish to remain anonymous.

If you would like further information, visit the Museum of London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and 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

 

 

Bluecoats in the City: 350 Years of Christ’s Hospital at the Museum of London – 12 July to 7 October 2018


The Museum of London presents a new display, Bluecoats in the City, which explores the story behind The City of London’s first orphanage and school, Christ’s Hospital.

In 1546, the former buildings and church of Greyfriars monastery in Newgate Street were given to the City of London for the benefit of the poor, elderly and sick. The buildings were used to establish Christ’s Hospital; founded in 1552 for the education of poor children. The School became known as the ‘Bluecoat School’ because of its distinctive uniform of navy coats and yellow stockings.

Since opening, Christ’s Hospital has now educated, lodged, fed and clothed more than 45,000 children, thanks to donations from the City of London and charitable benefactors. In 1902 the School moved from the City to the market town of Horsham. However its strong bonds to The City of London remain.

The Museum of London’s new free display, Bluecoats in the City, allows visitors a chance to discover more about the school and delves into the history behind the School’s creation, its iconic uniform, historic practices, charitable benefactors, and some of its famous pupils including Charles Lamb and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

If you would like further information, visit the Museum of London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and 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

 

Display Review: Whitechapel’s fatberg at the Museum of London – 9th February to 1st July 2018

The Museum of London treads new ground with a display that includes the only remaining pieces of the enormous fatberg discovered under London’s streets. The display at the Museum of London is part of their year-long season, City Now City Future.

The fatberg was sucked from the Victorian sewers of Whitechapel and pieces of the now infamous fatberg had to undergo scientific analysis and is sealed in special units before being allowed to be shown in the museum.

The Whitechapel monster fatberg became something of a celebrity and made headlines in more than 115 countries.. The Whitechapel fatberg was one of the largest ever found in London, weighing a colossal 130 tonnes, the equivalent of 11 double-decker buses and stretching over 250 metres – six metres longer than Tower Bridge. The foul blockage was a congealed mass of fat, oil, grease, wet wipes and sanitary products. The existence of this fatberg highlights the pressures that fat and modern rubbish are putting on London’s historic infrastructures and is a comment on our increasingly disposable society.

The small display features a film that shows the monster fatberg in the sewer and how it was eventually cleaned out. A Hazmat suit and equipment from Thames Water shows some of the processes needed to breakdown and clear the obstruction.

The Museum of London’s year long season City Now City Future discusses similar issues around modern-day living. By the year 2050, over 70% of the world’s population will be living in urban environments. This rapid increase in population places even more pressure on infrastructures. Coined in London, the vivid term ‘fatberg’ is now used by cities throughout the world to draw attention to an increasing urban menace.

It is not all bad news, Thames Water has now converted most of the Whitechapel fatberg into biodiesel, turning a waste problem into a cleaner-burning, greenhouse gas reducing fuel which will benefit the environment. Some samples of the biodiesel are on display at the museum.

This small but important free display highlights some of the changing problems caused by fat and modern rubbish on some of London’s historic infrastructures. The Whitechapel fatberg may have caught global attention as a monster in the Whitechapel sewers but its use as a biodiesel illustrates that these kind of problems can have a positive outcome.

Video Review available here

If you would like further information, visit the Museum of London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and 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

London Nights at the Museum of London – 11th May 2018 to 11th November 2018

Photograph by Nick Turpin, from Through a Glass Darkly © Nick Turpin

The Museum of London explores nocturnal London in a major new photography exhibition, London Nights which opens on the 11th May 2018.

London Nights will present the ambience, activities and emotions one might encounter after dark through contemporary and historic photographs, ranging from 19th century to the present day. The exhibition will focus on both the buzzing centre of the capital and the quieter corners of suburbia and will explore the familiar and unknown of London after dark.

Leicester Square 1900-1909 from series ‘London’ © Estate of Alvin Langdon Coburn

The exhibition will highlight three themes. The first section, London Illuminated, focuses on the aesthetic of the city at night, portraying London awash with artificial light. Looking at floodlit landmarks, neon-lit venues and vistas of the skyline, this section depicts themes of night-walking and tourism and presents alternative viewpoints.

East End Underground Station Shelter, 1940. Bill Brandt Digital Image © Museum of London

The second section, Dark Matters, deals with the more sinister side to evenings. It examines how the night can evoke feelings of fear, threat and vulnerability, both perceived and real. Ranging from documentary to conceptual and depicting images from bombing during the Blitz to scenes of crime, this section deals with the emotions of the night and offers both actual and imagined scenarios. 

A group of male and female skinhead ‘Mods’ 1969. Photographer Terry Spencer © Cara Spencer

The final section, Switch On Switch Off, looks at what happens at the end of daylight. Whether that be commuting home from work, just starting work or seeking out night life, the images in this section will explore nocturnal pursuits, whether they be work, rest or play. 

From the series ‘Dark City’ by William Eckersley © William Eckersley 2011

The exhibition presents work from almost 60 photographers and lens based artists, with at least 200 photographs and some film on show. It will draw upon the Museum of London’s own extensive photography collection as well as many significant loans from other collections and active photographers. It will be an atmospheric space giving a real sense of the transition of night time in one of the biggest metropolises in the world.

Glass lantern slide of the Embankment at Chelsea, photographed at night, made by Mercie Lack © Museum of London

Some of the photographs featured in the exhibition include: Through a Glass Darkly, Nick Turpin, A group of male and female skinhead ‘Mods’, Terry Spencer, 1969, East End Underground Shelter, Bill Brandt, 1940, Dark City, William Eckersley, 2011, Glass lantern slide of the Embankment at Chelsea, Mercie Lack and Leicester Square 1900-1909 from series ‘London’, Alvin Langdon Coburn.

There will be a range of events happening in conjunction with the exhibition. The museum will be open late every Friday of the exhibition’s run, to allow visitors to engage with the photography after hours. There will be two major, curated Lates exploring themes from within the exhibition and a wide range of evening, week day and weekend workshops and events.

If you would like further information, visit the Museum of London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and 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