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Showing posts from May, 2007

V&A opens new Cafe

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The V&A seems to have finished the worst of its recent restoration - it no longer looks like a building site and one can now get around it without doubling back. The new Cafe incorporating the original Henry Cole rooms - the Morris, Gamble and Poynter Rooms, is pretty good - but now takes up the entire back corridor which used to house the Donatellos. The European Cast court is closed but can still be seen from above.

We meet the new owners (?)of St Thomas Church

Thursday showed the Cathedral Group around the Old Operating Theatre and took them to Tito's for a cup of coffee and discussion of the implications of their forthcoming purchase of St Thomas Church from the Chapter Group. Meeting went very well although there is still a lot of uncertainty as to what will happen in the future. The Cathedral Group

Disabled consultant

J une Bretherton - a consultant re disabled access - she gave recent seminar on disabled access for MLA, London. She seems very willing to advise using her experience and is a good sounding board to run ideas by. She also has contacts of people who can act as testers and advisors. Since writing this - I have sent her our various web sites and she has got her team to go through them and offer advice as to how they work for the blind. Very helpful people. JBC - London T: 020 8521 4325

Clapton Cinema - campaign to reopen it

A local group has been set up to 'save' the old Clapton Cinema in East London which has been a club associated with a lot of gun crime over recent years. Taking back to a cinema would be a good move forward. For more information Clapton Cinema Friends Group

Institute of Historical Research (IHR) home page

I hired a room in the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) home page for Elderhostel lecture on Dark Age and Medieval London. Seems like a great place - really fusty and old style academia - even the man on the door looked like a professor circa 1951. I'd love to spend some time in the Library. Its in Senate House

Saint Lawrence Patron Saint of Accountants, archivists, cooks and comedians

Before taking my Elderhostel group into the Guildhall I went into St Lawrence Jewry for the first time in a few years. I read the guidebook and was amazed I have not used some of the information on St Lawrence in my guided tours before. I think this is because I began taking guided walks around here when I was deeply imbued with the current archeaology of the City - attributes of Saints was not very interesting. But, what I had not realised was that St Lawrence was the Treasurer for the Church in Rome and when, during the third century reign of Valerian he was asked to collect together the treasure of the Church in Rome- he brought before the authorities a group of paupers and cripples and said ' here is the treasure of Rome'. He was, according to tradition, burnt on a gridiron, and is said to have said: 'I'm done on this side - turn me over'. In fact the normal form of execution was beheading. However, it is a good story and so he became the patron saint of

The Old Operating Theatre Museum wins Museum and Heritage Awards for Excellence Prize

Found out yesterday that we had won a 2007 Museums and Heritage Award for Excellence, coming first place in the category for Projects on a Limited Budget ! This is amazing. In 1994 we won the Gulbenkian Award for the Best Museum won on a limited budget, and it is really excellent that the staff's work during the difficult days when the Museum was closed has been recognised. http://www.museumsandheritage.com/a_home.asp "Tales from the Crypt" was an extramural project comprising the programme of activities and exhibition during the temporary relocation of the Museum's services and collection from the Garret to the Crypt of St Thomas' Church, necessitated by the repair and restoration of the roof space in 2005/06. The full story is detailed below in an article published by Museums & Heritage Magazine. On the 50th anniversary of the rediscovery of the UK's only surviving 19th century operating theatre, we would like to take this opportunity

London Cultural Economy Briefling

MLA, London has produced a short briefing on the cultural economy as related to Museums,Libraries and archives. MLA London Section

Museum Practice

The museums association have made Museum Practice part of the subscription. Great idea as I have always kept for reference my Museum Practice but have never felt the need to keep the Museum Journal. Museum Practice

Who Do Think You Are show in Olympia.

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I attended the 'Who Do Think You Are show' in Olympia representing the Old Operating Theatre museum on the London Museums of Health and Medicine stand. The show was very busy - amazing the number of people interested in family history - the show very targeted to family history rather than history.

Kings Cross Regeneration CSM project

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The Creative Practice for Narrative Environments student project on the Kings Cross regeneration scheme had its final crit yesterday at Regeneration House (site HQ of the developers - Argent ). The project was to come up with ideas for Granary Square which is the central space in the project. The new Central St Martin's building and then residential to the north and Office and retail to the South of the Regents Canal. The square is therefore an important probably crucial component of the entire scheme. As usual the first year did some first rate research and came up with some really excellent ideas. The main ideas seemed to make the space into a smart space - either by use of WiFi or multimedia/installations to turn the square into a playful arena of dreams, role playing, game playing and storytelling, or by providing the square with an infrastructure of elements that would enable it to be a flexible space that could be used for events, exhibitions, cat walk shows, and major e

Collections management contribution to Museums

Here is a thought provoking thought. 'Good collections management can no more make a museum excellent than good bookkeeping can make a business flourish (Weil 1990, 46). Quoted in Creating our Futures Ann Baillie, Coordinator Training and Professional Development Program, Museums Australia Qld/ Regional Galleries Association of Queensland Creating our Futures.pdf (application/pdf Object)