Showing posts from March, 2008

Temple Church 360 degree Panoramic Tour -

This is a tour of the Temple Church in London - also note that there is an upcoming exhibition and conference on the history of the Temple. Temple Church VR Tour - JAVA

Museum of the Order of St John

the Museum of the Order of St John has got a project of £3.4m to renovate museum crypt and gatehouse.

Donatello and Michangelo's Davids

Salon IFA 185 reports of the 2 David's ~(copies of which can be seen in the V&A cast court) 'David’s dodgy legs and golden hair Two further science stories from this week’s press concern two of the best-known works of the Florentine Renaissance, both of them statues of David. In the case of Michelangelo’s monumental statue, stress-scanning techniques have born out Vasari’s account of its carving: such was Michelangelo’s skill that he took on the challenge of creating a figure from a block of Carrara marble so flawed that no other sculptor would touch it. Using new techniques that help medical scientists detect bone weaknesses in living humans, Professor Vadim Shapiro, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has found weaknesses in Michelangelo’s David in his left thigh, right shin and ankles which could eventually lead to the sculpture’s collapse without pre-emptive repairs. The findings match the position of cracks found recently during cleaning of the sculpture. At the ot

Decapitated body of Edward II's 'lover' Hugh Despenser found

The remains, buried at Hulton Abbey, Staffs, were discovered in the the 1970s. Mary Lewis, in Antiquity Magazine has revealed there is strong evidence that they belong to the Hanged, Drawn and Quartered Hugh Dispenser.

Barbary Lions skulls found at Tower

Analyis of 3 lion's skulls found in the Moat at the Tower of London in he 1930's shows that they were from the Barbary Coast. The Tower was the home of the Royal Menagerie set up by Richard the Lionheart to house gifts given by European princes,and also to provide animals to be given as royal gifts. It became London Zoo. BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Tower's royal lions 'from Africa'

Excavation starts at Stonehenge

Profs Darvill and Wainwright are starting a BBC funded excavation at Stonehenge - the objectives are to find dating evidence for the Bluestones, to look at the surface levels of the bluestone period, and thereby to investigate how significant the Bluestones were. Darvill believes Stonehenge was a health care centre somewhat like Lourdes in France. The BBC report has two interesting stonehenge films, one an animation of the history of Stonehenge and the other an interview with Prof Wainwright. To see click here: BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Excavation starts at Stonehenge

Zoho - online database

I stumbled across a system called Zoho which has am online database amongst other features - seems really easy to use. Wondering if I can use it for online address book - for Museum and me or for Elderhostel tour itineraries. not sure it has the print out report facilities. The site is or have a look at my test of it Try out an entry your address

Evering Road DIY Street Consultation

Evering Road and Brooke Road in Hackney have been choosen for a grant scheme to test methods of providing cheap Home Zone type traffic calming arrangements. Funded by Hackney Council and the Essmee Fairbain Trust, and organised by Sustrans. Good to meet the neighbours although I guess I was disappointed that the consultancy was really about the Junction not about the neighbourhood. However, first step - I suggested a high tech community notice board. Evering Road has an interesting set of front gardens showing signs of 19th Century through to 21st Century fashion. If you look at the pictures you will see that the front gardens in Evering Roads have features in them that date back to all periods since the road was built in the 1850's. Attractive tiles from the Victorian period; Concrete from the twentieth Century, bricks, stone and all sorts of variety including complete dumps from the late 20th - early 21st. Another point of interest is to discover what the original walls wou

New Information Sheet for Old Operating Theatre Museum

I have expanded the free 2 page photocopied handout on the Museum in to a 4 page information sheet with a view to getting it published in colour, and then sold to visitors for a small fee. To have a look at the first draft and to help proof read it and test it go to our wiki where you will be able to edit the document

foresight feed - clear blog design

This is the link to the blog that Jef suggests might be a model for mine. foresight feed It is a very lucid design, linking several blogs together using colour coding. Gave me a feeling of dispair when I came back to my blog because despite, or because of, all my tinkering, my design, by comparison looks cluttered! However, I do say I believe in 'Content, Content, Content' as being more important than design. Maybe I need to find a new template that is clear?

Currently, I'm writing a piece on Roman London

I've been asked to write a chapter in a history of London book, my section is on Roman London - 2,000 words. I think I'm going to write about changing views of Roman London rather that a narrative history.

I get asked to be a lecturer on a Mediterrean Cruise

So, it is now official, I'm a Cruise Lecturer - on a cruise from Venice via Dubrovnik, Santorini, Cephalonia, Ithica to Istanbul. Adriatic and Aegean Treasures no less For details here: I now have to put together 6 or so very interesting lectures and I'm sure need to update my wardrobe! I wondering about Denholm Elliot as harrassed colonial officer as my role model?

Livesey Museum to close

Southwark council has shamed itself by closing one of the most successful children's museums in London. The Livesey has been run on a shoestring yet despite this it has put together some very imaginative and children friendly exhibitions. Following the closure of Wandsworth Museums, you have to wonder if Councils run by Conservatives (in conjunction with Lib Dems in Southwark) can be trusted with Culture. Livesey Museum News

Hoardings are decorated at the Old Operating Theatre Museum

The Cathedral Group have decorated the hoardings currently surrounding St Thomas Church. I'm not entirely sure I would have chosen Pearly Kings and Butterflies but they are better than most hoardings in Central London, so all credit to CG who commissioned them. Being a passive part of a Building project is always stressful but the workers have been good and so far the project management is so much better than that achieved by our previous landlord's contractors. Cathedral Group seem to be fulfilling their promise to be good landlords. However, we are still in the midst of negotiations which will determine the future of the Museum for maybe the next 20 years or more - so fingers crossed. I am working on budgets and staffing issues at present, and despite everything that has been thrown at us over the last couple of years am optimistic that we can continue to make progress.

Great Fire of London Lecture

The Great Fire of London (Shoe Lane Library) The Great Fire of London by Meriel Jeater, Curator of "London's Burning:the Great Fire of London 1666" exhibition at the Museum of London on Tuesday, 15 April at 24:30:00 For more details:

MuseumLab Blog

Jef pointed me to this blog with interesting Museum content. Looking at it made me realise that a good blog should be like a magazine - a series of interesting articles with a thread joining them together. It confirms what I have long thought which is that my blog is too diverse - a bit like my working life. Not connected enough. I have been wondering about splitting the blog into 3 one on London, one on Museums, and on on archaeology. But there again each would be too thin? MuseumLab

Video The Bayeux Tapestry

This is a really excellent video of the Bayeau Tapestry. Video The Bayeux Tapestry - history, animation - Dailymotion Share Yourjavascript:void(0) Publish Post Videos

Free Chocolate at the Old Operating Theatre this Easter!

Free Chocolate Therapy at the Old Operating Theatre this Easter! On Good Friday 21st March at 2pm, kids can learn all about medicinal uses of chocolate, and make a yummy Easter goody box. For those with stronger stomachs, Victorian Surgery runs on Easter Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday at 2pm. Event included in Museum admission (£5.45 adult, £3 child) Operation Cocoa! Friday 21st March at 2pm Children's discovery workshop exploring the medicinal properties of chocolate. Discover ancient and modern chocolate therapies and make your own Easter goody box, with free chocolate to take away! Victorian Surgery Saturday 22nd, Sunday 23 and Monday 24th March at 2pm "A patient preparing for an operation was like a condemned criminal preparing for execution." A demonstration of an operation without anaesthetics or antiseptics, in Britain's only remaining wooden 19th century Operating Theatre. How will you survive...? Chocolate supplied courtesy of Divine Fairtrade

Medieval Justice

The Strange Story of Thomas of Elderfield - this is really well worth reading - shows how a man is falsely accused of a crime, is given to trial by combat, loses, is castrated and blinded, and what happens thereafter is miraculous. Medieval Sourcebook: THE STRANGE STORY OF THOMAS OF ELDERFIELD

Genetics of viking origins

A summary of the recent project looking at genetic evidence for viking settlements in the north is available here. It suggests 50% of people in the Wirral were descended from Vikings (this is using people who have surnames that date back to tudor times),fewer Vikings in the present population: survey_summary.pdf (application/pdf Object) The paper is available here:

Most Popular Museums in the World

The Art Newspaper has published a list of the most popular museums. Britain has the most in the list and so can claim to be the top country for Museums having 7 in the top 20. The Louvre was top. Art News Blog: Most Popular Art Museums in the World

Euston Arch may be rebuilt

There are plans to rebuild the original Arch that lead to Euston Station - it was pulled down on the order of MacMillan. Landmark of the railway age may be resurrected - Times Online

House of Augustus opens to public in Rome

Augustus' palaces, discovered 60 years ago opened to the public on 10 March 08 BBC NEWS | World | Europe | House of Augustus opens to public

Children’s story projected onto Shell Centre this Easter

SE1 reports on plans to project Mimi Thebo's story onto the side of the Shell Centre. Children’s story projected onto Shell Centre this Easter [12 March 2008]

Wine is worse for the brain than beer, research finds

But does not say which is better for health! Wine is worse for the brain than beer, research finds - Science, News -

Monkeys communicate in sentences -

Interesting article in the Daily Telegraph shows that some monkeys combine sounds to make different meanings - may provide new insight into the evolution of human language. Monkeys communicate in sentences - Telegraph

Siberian University guided walks and visit to CSM

Strange to see my photo on a Russian web site - but there is a good write up of the Siberian University visit (for whom I gave some guided walks around London and arranged a visit to CSM) Siberian University Visit They say of me: according to Babelfish translation: But especially emotional became the mobile lectures, the architectural surveys in London (in the historical blocks and ultramodern To siti), by authors of which appeared well-known specialists in the region of contemporary architectural practice in London (in the new territories and under reconstruction conditions). This Kevin Flude - the professor of the London central institute- college of skills and design of holy Martin, Thomas Nugent - important specialist- practitioner, the active member of the royal institute of British architects (RIBA). the full text is translated as follows: Mutual interest should be supported continuously Occurs the mutual idea of curricula in the London cen

Cuts in Museums, Libraries, Archives Council

I think the cuts of MLA are very disturbing. MLA has done a fantastic job allaying the fears of small museums that the demise of the old area museum councils would withdraw from museums the vital support the councils gave in support and in grants. They have provided continuity and support for London Museums I think MLA London did a great job getting together a museums strategy and played their part in trying to get the Hub to understand the needs of smaller museums. This resulted in the London MDOS, but with a weakened MLA I fear that the Hub will not be forced to look wider than their own interests. Also MLA London has become a really professional body in producing reports, implementing strategies etc and was becoming a useful body in London politics. Cutting back shows that the powers that be do not understand what a good job the MLA's have done. To my mind they should have cut Renaissance and expanded the regional role of the MLA's. Renaissance is bloated, bureaucrat

Upcoming lectures and Walks of interest

Lecture 'Stop the City!' The Anarchists in London (Bishopsgate Institute) A look at London anarchism and its colourful history of opposition to both the state and capitalism. on Tuesday, 8 April at 19:00:00 More details: This Saturday free blue badge guided walks to celebrate British Tourism Week Also this Sat and Sunday 3pm theatrical tours of Deptford 'The Tales of John Evelyn ring 020 8314 3674 for details -

Re talk on alternative medicine

Are the Quacks Ducking the Issues?    Science bloggers Andy Lewis (The Quackometer) and Prof David Colquhoun (Improbable Science) discuss alternative medicine regulation    On Tuesday, 18 March at 19:00:00 The Penderels Oak 283 High Holborn London WC1V 7HP 020 7242 5669 More details:  

The Wayback Machine - the web archived

Suzanne Keene showed me a great site today - called the wayback machine it is an attempt to keep copies of the entire internet - type in your url and find out what it looked like in 2001. Very interesting Internet Archive: Wayback Machine

Great Fire of London Walk & St Paul's Cathedral

I organised a guided walk of the Great Fire of London for a local Islington Primary School (for details of the Great Fire Walk click here ). Kids were great - it was quite a long walk getting to St Pauls. Sadly, the monument is closed so we could not climb it. We went into St Magnus and they were very interested in the model of London Bridge, and quite amazed by the interior of St Pauls but curiously were most fascinated by the grills which you could look through to see into the Crypt. The education department St Pauls Cathedral were very helpful - happy for me to show the children round, and let us in free. Their education web site is also really excellent with lots of focussed downloadable resources. Welcome to St Paul's Cathedral - Self-guided visits Photos - monument covered in scaffolding St Stephens revealed by building demolition revealing Wren's method of only cladding those part of the building visible from main roads

Cruise Lecturer

I have been asked to be one of the lecturers on a Mediterranean cruise! I have to decide on the lectures I am to give. I have never previously contemplated going on a cruise so am quite looking forward to it! Elderhostel : Adriatic & Aegean Treasures - Greece/Turkey - Adventure Afloat Study Cruise