Showing posts from 2009

Call this a recession? At least it isn’t the Dark Ages

Bryan Ward Perkins wrote this piece in the financial times comparing the Dark Ages to our current recession. / Comment / Opinion - Call this a recession? At least it isn’t the Dark Ages

A social networking site for volunteers

This is a new social networking site for volunteers. Welcome :

Charity Builder UK - free health and safety and HR advice

This is a web site that provides free advice on HR and H&S for charities. I've not tried it but it has been recoomended by MLA. Charity Builder UK

Narrative space conference at Leicester

The home page gives outline details of a conference on narrative space at Leicester University. Narrative Space Leicester, 20-22 April 2010 Narrative Space is a 3-day international interdisciplinary conference exploring the creation of narrative environments in museums, galleries, historic sites, buildings and landscapes. Proposals are sought from museum practitioners, architects, designers, artists, filmmakers and others actively involved in the imaginative reshaping of museums, galleries and visitor experiences as well as academics researching in the areas of museum and gallery architecture, exhibition and display, both historical and contemporary. School of Museum Studies - University of Leicester

Collections Trust has moved to SE1

Just heard that the Collections Trust has moved to just around the corner to No 1 London Bridge - maybe we can get some help from them with Museum storage? Collections Trust - Collections Trust Homepage

To stop marketing Phonecalls

Just visit this site to stop annoying marketing calls: TPS Registration

Britain Loves Wikipedia

I have written to join in the 'Britain loves Wikipedia' campaign - hopefully the Old Operating Theatre Museum will be chosen as one of the Museums alongside the V&A. Initiatives/Britain Loves Wikipedia - Wikimedia UK : ""

Need Legal Help from an Online Lawyer ASAP? Ask Attorneys for advice with employer termination, discrimination, harassment, liability, overtime, severance packages & more! - Just Answer!

I got really useful advice from this online service when the local Housing Association knocked our wall down. Need Legal Help from an Online Lawyer ASAP? Ask Attorneys for advice with employer termination, discrimination, harassment, liability, overtime, severance packages & more! - Just Answer!

Medicine & dickens

This is a recommended book on Dickens and Medicine - apparently he wrote over 200 articles on the subject PETER LANG PUBLISHING GROUP

Email This! :: Add-ons for Firefox

This is a really useful add-on to firefox which allows you to email the web page your are looking at - it works well with Googlemail Email This! :: Add-ons for Firefox

William the Conqueror's London Walk

I gave a walk around William the Conqueror's London on Saturday for London Walks - part of my series of walks on English Kings, following the publication of my book on the Kings and Queens of England. The walk was essentially about Late Saxon and Norman London. I began with a brief introduction to Saxon London, and then we went to see the London Wall and the Tower of London. The route was: Tower Hill City Wall Postern Gate Tower Moat White Tower Tower Hill All Hallows by the Tower saxon Arch Customs House Billingsgate London Bridge Dowgate St Michael's College Hill Cannon St Cheapside Old Jewry St Lawrence Guildhall You'll find an image of Will the Conq on the following page: English and Its Historical Development, Part 18 (Norman Invasion and Conquest by William the Conqueror).

Tudor Walk for 90 Hounslow Children

I organised a walk for 90 children from a Hounslow Primary School. It went really, really well. We had 4 guides and stopped half way round in St Bartholemew#s. Kids were really enthusiastic and the route well planned and with the stop at st Barts, their attention span was increased so that all 3 parts of the walk worked. Part 1 Charterhouse, Smithfield Part 2 - Drawing in St Barts Part 3 - Smithfield to St Pauls Walk Lunch Part 4 short walk around St Pauls John Rogers (Bible editor and martyr) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Local History Library in Southwark reopens

At last the Local History Library has reopened in Borough High Street - great place and sadly missed over the last year or so. Hundreds flock to reopened John Harvard Library [25 November 2009]

Bright Star - Keats and the Old Operating Theatre

Culture 24 article which mentions the Old Operating Theatre Museum. Bright Star - on the trail of John Keats | Culture24 Sadly, it gets it wrong as Keats died justb before the Old Operating Theatre was built. Ofcourse, as an Apothecary apprentice he may have visited the Herb Garret ......

A 20-step starter’s guide to using Twitter efficiently | Blog | Econsultancy

If you should want such a thing this looks ok. A 20-step starter’s guide to using Twitter efficiently | Blog | Econsultancy

Peterborough Museum has an old operating theatre

An old operating theatre is being used as the conservation room at Peterborough Museum - we hear that they are considering a grant application. Clearly, it would be sad if we were to lose our unique status - but I'm not sure there is anything we can do about it! Peterborough Museum & Art Gallery | Culture24

Guys Power Station

I've been looking for more information on the Guys Power Station which was built in the early 20th Century for light, heat and to run an efficient Laundry. The introduction of electricity has fascinated me since watching the Prestige which refers to the work of the great scientist, Nikola Tesla. London's first power station was in Holborn, and in Shoreditch there was a power station powered by rubbish. The following page was found by Colin. page256-volume34-1stapril1905.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Archaeology Walks in London

This is a listing of the archaeology walks I am doing for London walks over the next year. Archaeology Walks in London conducted by London Walks

Tudor Walk for Children

I did a Tudor walk for a parents group from a West London School - entirely organised by the parents - led by Fay - one parent per child on average. The Walk went very well and was very enjoyable - only problem is to stop it becoming a gore fest - sites of executions! The route was: Barbican - view of the City from the Bridge above the Road Charterhouse - execution of the Cathusian Monks Smithfield - Market and Jousting Arena St Barts - Hospital and Monastery Clothfair - Trading, Market and Fair Protestant memorial - Burnings at the Stake and Boiling in Oil Wallace - Plaque to William Wallace - hanging, drawing and quatering Statue of Henry VIII Cock Lane - end of the Fire of London and Body Snatching and William Harvey Holy Sepulchre Church Old Bailey - trials and executions Bell Savage - Pocahontas on Display Ludgate - City Gate Stationers Hall - Printing and Shakespeare Temple Bar - Entry into the City St Pauls - Cathedral and Market St Pauls Churchyard - Catholic burning of the

Pure Finder

This is a ridiculous song about Pure Finders - Pure was essentially dog pooh - which was collected by the Leather industry for processing skins. To see it click here:

Interview with Hans-Ulrich Obrist

This is an interview with the famous curator who is now at the Serpentine. Thanks to Evi for the link. News: Artfacts.Net Interview with Hans-Ulrich Obrist

Centenary of Bermondsey suffragette protest

This is a report of a piece of direct action by a Suffragette who attacked ballot papers in the local elections. She accidently poured acid over one of the tellers harming his sight. Centenary of Bermondsey suffragette protest [28 October 2009]

Dickens 2012 Bicentenary

2012 is the 200th anniversary of Dickens' Birthday in Portsmouth. There is going to be a big celebration which I guess will encompass London, Chatham, Broadstairs, Portsmouth and all other Dickensenian places. I hope I'm going to be doing a Dickens tour for Elderhostel/exploratas. Facebook | Dickens 2012 Bicentenary

love letters Project by Asia Wong

300 loveletters written to strangers - lovely project by Asia Wong pointed out by Nicole : love letters

Interiors - Valeria Hedman - rising star

Design week has nominated an ex-student - Valeria Hedman as a 'rising star' of the design industry. She and her partner Falko designed my book 'In their Own Words' Interiors - Valeria Hedman | Features | Design Week

Green spaces 'improve health'

A report suggests that a green oasis forms around a green space with improved health for those who live in the immediate area. BBC NEWS | Health | Green spaces 'improve health'

London Festival of Architecture

Next project - London Festival of Architecture - this is the brief for the Student festival. IASF_2010_Brief.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Open Museum at Glasgow

Glasgow has a reputation of excellent engagement with its community - see their open Museum site: Thanks for the link, nicole Open Museum

Phisick - Medical Antique web site

We had a visit to the Museum from an amazing group of octogenerians who used to work for Downs Bros - the medical instrument makers that was originally in St Thomas St, SE1. They described the positively Victorian apprenticeship system and gave an insight into medical instrument makers. Two were still making bespoke medical instruments. They reported that the brand Downe Bros was still in use. The following site was discovered by Colin and has interesting images of antique medical instruments Stitch Holder by Down Brothers - Medical Antique

Letter to Press about the Old Operating Theatre Museum

' The Old Operating Theatre Museum in Southwark is a cut above the Portland Anaesthesia Museum' Julian Futter, London - I think in the Guardian? Also I think in the context of puns about names rather than being taken literately! Colin pointed this out to me.


This is the facebook page of art Curator HANS ULRICH OBRIST He seems to have a lot of fans! HANS ULRICH OBRIST | Facebook

PostSecret web site

The Post Secrets site is a place you can anonomously post your secrets to the internet. Interesting blog. PostSecret

In Their Own Words: now on Amazon.

At last my other book is available on Amazon - although I am still awaiting official notice from the publisher. There is no picture or any keywords so I can't imagine anyone will find it! But at least it is theree - they also have the price wrong as we agreed £5.99 not £6.99 In Their Own Words: Kevin Flude: Books

Book sales

I got a nice letter from the publisher saying they are selling 300 a week which is apparently good - and they expect sales to go up as Christmas approaches. People have been kind enough to tell me they have seen in various shops and even that they have enjoyed reading it. I see Amazon is retailing it at 6.99 and associates at 3.99 which is cheaper than I can get it at!

Do Stamford Hill's Jews need integration?

This is a thoughtful Observer article about intergration Rafael Behr: Do Stamford Hill's Jews need integration? | Comment is free | The Observer

Predictioneer: How to predict the future with game-theory

This sounds very interesting. Predictioneer: How to predict the future with game-theory

bookleteer by proboscis

Provoscis are launching their new paperbook publishing system. bookleteer

10 Product Designs That are Inspired by Nature | Scienceray

Interesting web site on bio-mimetics - design inspired by nature. 10 Product Designs That are Inspired by Nature | Scienceray

History Cookbook - Cookit!

Want to enjoy a Prehistoric Feast? A Saxon nibble? a Victorian Blow Out. Try this site -just remember to invite me! History Cookbook - Cookit!

Mixed messages from new technology

I have had about 4 people following me on twitter in the last week from Shropshire - this must represent people who heard my radio interview on BBC Radio Shropshire. On the other hand I received an abusive comment to this blog from someone claiming to be one of my students.

Staffordshire Hoard on show to 13th October at Birmingham

To see the staffordshire hoard go here: Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, West Midlands - Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery

Open Archive for Archaeological documents

This is a new attempt to give access to documents from archaeological excavations - sometimes know as 'grey' publications. looks ok but not much in it yet. Open Archive > Home

Bluehenge - new stone circle found near stonehenge

The small henge of 30 bluestones was found where the Avenue from Stonehenge meets the River Avon. Another triumph from the Stonehenge Riverside project Henge with no stones: Unearthed, the site that could be monument's little sister | Mail Online The following press release was put out by the CBA Marcus Smith 5 October 2009 16:53 Reply-To: British archaeology discussion list To: This on behalf of Mike Parker-Pearson and the Stonehenge Riverside Project team. (More details - plus photos from Aerial-Cam - on the Britarch website: '') ------------------------------------------------------------ BLUESTONEHENGE: TECHNICAL DETAILS The circle is just under 10m in diameter and was surrounded by a henge – a ditch with an external bank – with an entrance to the east. The henge ditch is 25m in diameter and sits at the end of the 1¾-mile avenue that leads from Stonehenge to the river. Excavation

Museum Blogs - Museum News and Blog Directory

This is a list of Museum based Blogs. Museum Blogs - Museum News and Blog Directory

Navigating the Amazon Sales Ranking | WebProNews

This is an article which analyses what the sales ranking system is on Amazon book sales. The system is very archane so this helps. Navigating the Amazon Sales Ranking | WebProNews

The Staffordshire Hoard

Archaeologists think this amazing find will be as important as Sutton Hoo in redefining our Anglo-saxon past. This is the web site. The Staffordshire Hoard Salon IFA 221 reports on the significance of the hoard: As for the significance of the hoard, our Fellow and Council member Leslie Webster summed it up best when she said that the hoard is ‘the metalwork equivalent of finding a new Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells; archaeologists and art-historians are going to have to rethink the chronology of metalwork, and think again about rising and failing kingdoms, the expression of regional identities in this period, the complicated transition from paganism to Christianity, the conduct of battle and the nature of fine metalwork production — to name only a few of the many huge issues it raises.’ The bare fact is that this hoard represents a massive increase in pure numerical terms in the quantity of material available to study from this period: substantial books have been written o

Hamptead - Walk for the Blind

I gave a walk around Hampstead for a group of visually impaired people, lead by June Bretherton. There were 2 guide dogs as well as two sighed people acted as guides. Its quite different doing a walk for the visually impaired - a slower more interactive pace is required as we stop to feel street furniture etc, and to read out text in full from plaques and monuments. But it is also fun trying to provide a verbal description of the visual.

Elderhostel is renamed Exploritas: Welcome to the Exploritas Connection

Elderhostel, who I work as Course Director, have renamed themselves, Exploritas and lowered the age limit from 55 plus to 21! Exploritas: Welcome to the Exploritas Connection

New book: 2,000 years of history at Southwark Cathedral

The archaeological story of St Mary Overie, St Saviours, Southwark Cathedral New book: 2,000 years of history at Southwark Cathedral [11 September 2009]

New Charles Darwin film is 'too controversial' for American audiences | Mail Online

New Charles Darwin film is 'too controversial' for American audiences | Mail Online

The Butcher's Shop Live at the Old Operating Theatre Museum

Interesting event at the Old Operating Theatre, curated by Bad Idea a group of young journalists. They were discussing the idea of Future Human or Transhuman - the idea that human capacities will be improved in the future by biological or digital means, and exploring its consequences. We had to turn people away and it was very successful with some interesting discussion. Next day I gave a talk to 49 10 - 15 year old Liverpudlian girls - quite interesting that they all accept medical care is a human right. Later I gave an after dinner speech to an American Elderhostel group using these ideas and my experience of the NHS to give them a British perspective for their debate on Obama's health reforms. It makes me aware what a battle we have in front of us to keep health care as a human right - because as technologies evolve they are going to get more expensive and the struggle to stop medical advance from becoming a preserve of the Elite is going to be difficult. Labour has sp

Divorced, Beheaded, Died...: The History of Britain's Kings and Queens in Bite-Sized Chunks: Kevin Flude: Books

Amazingly quickly the book I have been working on all year is now on sale on Amazon although officially published on 17th Sept 2009. Price is £9.99 but is being sold at just over £5 by Amazon. It looks good (I like the little images they have added), reads better than I feared, and the fact that it deals with the legendary Kings, and early Kings as well as the ones from William the Conqueror onwards has something of a usp. It will be interesting to see a review. Divorced, Beheaded, Died...: The History of Britain's Kings and Queens in Bite-Sized Chunks: Kevin Flude: Books

White Skin evolved in the Neolithic

Research has been published suggesting white skin evolved as recently as the neolithic. Society of Antiquaries of London - Salon

Amazing Neolithic Stone Structure on Orkney

A huge stone building incorporating standing stones and decorative stone work has been discovered on Orkney. Evidence is also accumulating that farmer was first introduced to the West of the British Isles - Wales, Scotland Ireland before reaching the South and East Orkneyjar - The Ness of Brodgar Excavations 2009

Fairy tales have ancient origin

Fairy tales have ancient origin - Telegraph

George III: A New Diagnosis : Recent research by medical scientists and historians suggests that George III had manic depression rather than porphyria.

George III was not suffering from porphyria as previously believed but from bi-polar syndrome and dementia says Timothy Peters, in History Today PG 4 Sept 0. History Today - George III: A New Diagnosis : Recent research by medical scientists and historians suggests that George III had manic depression rather than porphyria. Scholars will need to take a fresh look at his reign, writes Timothy Peters.

Ancient predessors of Venice discovered.

Aerial photographs have revealed details of the ancient Roman town of Altinum, which was abandoned in favour of Venice in the early 5th Century as barbarians attacks impacted the inhabitants. Excavate!: Ancient Roman City Rises Again via Aerial Photography

Google Mail - slow skype extension causes it

AFter a few days of agonisingly slow google mail. I found this forum discussion which identified the skype extension as the culprit! Although it does show the problems of relying for something as crucial as email on a web based system. Firefox 3.5 & Gmail slow - Gmail Help

Next Walk - Great Fire of London Anniversary 3rd September

Thursday 6.30 3rd September 2009 Great Fire of London Anniversary Walk Start at Monument Underground Station The walk traces the route of the Great Fire of London, from Pudding Lane to Cock Lane, via St Pauls and deals with the Plague, the Great Fire and the Rebuilding of London Lead by Kevin Flude

In Their Own Words

Proof copy of 'In their Own Words' has arrived from the publishers. Falko and Valerie of Transfer Studios have done a great job designing it. It looks great! I reread it and its ok - when you see it finished it still has a little bit of a meandering feel to it - which reflects the fact that it began as a multi-media Literary tour of London for the BBC Interactive TV Unit many years ago. Then I expanded it and used it as a course companion for my Archaeology and History of London courses, so it is a bit of a hybrid. But, actually, it has quite an up-to-date, if brief, history of London. I think it reads quite well and it does make a good introduction for someone who wants to know without reading a longer book. I think I priced it wrong though - I was persuaded to up the price from my original thoughts of around £5, we agreed on £6.99 and I now wish I'd made it £5.99, I am now thinking of all those other half finished articles and books and walks I have that I can now pu

Text Retrieval Software

I'm searching for a good text retrieval package - my ideal requirements a. can search word, html, email and filemaker databases b. highlights hits c. has full boolean and proximity searching d. allows launch of documents found in their application e. ideally would allow open the document and finding first occurence of search string. so far DTsearch is the nearest but it does not support filemaker or option e DTsearch text retrieval tags : Technology AFSearch in Action text retrieval tags : no_tag Posted from Diigo . The rest of my favorite links are here.

Burghley Archives visit

I went to Burghley House to give some advice on documentation systems. Always lovely to go to Stamford, and then into Burghley Park. What a wonderful archive! I was able to look at the 9th Earl's Commonplace Book which contained his handwritten Cure for the Plague! And many other interesting and rare documents. The archivist, Rosemary, is doing a marvellous job working through them. It takes a specially organised mind not to be overwhelmed with the immensity of the task! Burghley has developed since my last visit - it now has a nice new introductory suite with an audio visual in which past Earls, Marquis's and Lady's discuss their contribution to Burghley. Jon took me for a walk through the amazing Garden of Surprises - inspired by Burghley's trick garden. The trick here is to see how easy it is to use water to let kids have a lot of fun! Sculpture park is good too - all added value to one of the most amazing houses. Burghley : Gardens & Deer Park : The Ga

Silchester Preroman town

Salon 219 reports: Silchester: the oldest town in Britain? The Iron Age people of Britain tended not to go in for large town-like settlements on the whole, but our Fellow Mike Fulford has reached a point in his long-running excavations at Silchester where he thinks he has found evidence for something that looks like a thriving town laid out almost a century before the Romans occupied Britain in AD 43. In an interview with our Fellow Maev Kennedy published in the Guardian ( ), Mike says that Calleva Atrebatum (the Roman name for Silchester, meaning ‘the place of the Atrebates in the woods') had all the characteristics of a town whose arrival in Britain is usually credited to the Roman invaders: a regular grid of streets and narrow alleys dividing plots, supplied with water from wells and springs. The town was a wealthy place, minting its own coins and trading in luxury goods with continental Europe. Of course, the town was not exactly ‘British’. Professor Fulford believes it was f

One of the oldest Map in Europe discovered?

Stone carvings in Spain have been interpreted as an early map. Found: A pocket guide to prehistoric Spain - science-in-society - 05 August 2009 - New Scientist

graffiti archaeology

Great site which shows graffiti walls as they change over the years. graffiti archaeology

Roman Circus for Sale in Colchester:

Colchester: Circus gates site for sale (From Essex County Standard)

26 Places to Find Free Multimedia for Your Blog

26 Places to Find Free Multimedia for Your Blog 26 Places to Find Free Multimedia for Your Blog tags : ICT , multimedia Posted from Diigo . The rest of my favorite links are here.

Testing Diigo interaction with blogspot

I'm trying out Diigo, replacing Furl, as a social bookmarking site which I am trying to integrate and make sense of blog, twitter, facebook, website. Diigo can export easily lists of bookmarked sites to twitter, blogspot and facebook. This is an example of the output. Vortigern Studies Index Page tags : Dark , Ages , History , archaeology Posted from Diigo . The rest of my favorite links are here.

Kew Gardens

Visit to Kew Gardens - one an amazing place - one of the world's precious places. I was pondering the interpretation - this is mostly done by labels and plaques - its very difficult to have any outdoor plaques that look good and Kew is no exception. The plaques are big and coloured as if for a trade exhibition. But some of them have interactives on them. They also had a sound intervention as you approach the Palace. The sound was of a carriage arriving but as it issued from the drains it really did nothing for the imagination and was just rather perplexing. Kew Palace had a simple introductory display and video which was quite effective but really unbelievably Royalist. GIII what a good guy! Lovely kids! The rest of the house was interpreted mostly by room restored into period costume, although several empty rooms had ghostly images projected on the walls. Lifts were cunningly built into the old guarde robe meaning they did not have to knock holes in a listed building.


Ian Nairn defined subtopia as 'the annihilation of the site, the steamrollering of all individuallity of place to one uniform and mediocre pattern' Quoted in ' A Journey through Ruins - the Last Days of London by Patrick Wright Oxford Univeristy Press 2009 - an interesting book about Dalston and Mrs Thatcher.

The Old Operating Theatre gets support from Guys and St Thomas Charity

Really good news - the Old Operating Theatre Museum is to be supported by the Charity of Guys and St Thomas to purchase a long term lease!

Museum future is virtual says BM

Salon IFA reported the following: The virtual museum One Fellow has already suggested that the simple answer to the British Museum’s need for more exhibition space is to ‘move most of the museum to the Olympic site in 2013 — good access and all the rest, and just leave the favourites well spaced out in Bloomsbury’. But the BM’s own Director has come up with an even less space-hungry suggestion: in a debate on the museum of the future held at the London School of Economics to celebrate sixty years of the publisher Thames & Hudson, our Fellow Neil MacGregor said that the relationship between institutions and their audiences would be transformed by the internet and that museums would become more like multimedia organisations. ‘The future has to be, without question, the museum as a publisher and broadcaster’, said Neil MacGregor, a view that was shared by the Tate’s Director, Nicholas Serota, who said: ‘I am certain that in the next ten to fifteen years, there will be a limited num

Changes to The Wallace Collection

Took my University of Westminster Group to the Wallace Collection today - they are rehanging the collection to make way for a Damien Hurst Exhibition. Ouch! I had a really good route worked out, avoiding the 'dirty dutch' paintings which gave a good narrative of the Collection but now ruined as they have closed one whole wing down and you have to go through the Dutch paintings. It means the French paintings are now so well displayed and could not see any of the minatures. I guess the ruination of my tour is a small price to pay for innovation but change is painful! Tea is still outrageously expensive here - more expensive than coffee - now why is that? The Wallace Collection

London Architecture Walks | Home

Web site for those who want to take an architectural walk around London. London Architecture Walks | Home

Medical Cupids at Guys

Colin at work discovered a database of sculpture which gave the following details re the Cupids on the Front of Guys. Strange how I had not noticed! 'The bas-relief panels are as follows: that on the left depicts a cherub holding a leech, the one in the middle, one with a tourniquet and that on the right, a cherub with a lancet in one hand and in the other a multi-bladed scarificator. The whole sculptural programme, including the two niche statues (see entry below) was intended to symbolise the art of healing.'

London BridgeCelebrates 800th Anniversary

London Bridge Anniversary Fayre celebrates 800 years of stone river crossing [12 July 2009]

The pledge

The Old Operating Theatre Museum signed The pledge The pledge To support our strategy, we want to encourage a range of public, private and voluntary sector organisations to actively promote informal adult learning and its benefits. To do this, we invite organisations to demonstrate their commitment by signing a ‘pledge’ to help improve the quality and quantity of informal adult learning. Definition of the pledge The pledge is a commitment by organisations signaling their intent to play a role in bringing the vision for informal learning to life. They will be important ambassadors and advocates for learning and a key driver for change and innovation on the ground. Why have a pledge? informal adult learning helps to build communities of confident, curious, critical and creative people in pledging, your organisation becomes part of a wider movement and an ambassador for informal adult learning

Darwin Week

I spent last week running a course on Darwin to celebrate his 200th anniversay. It was really very enjoyable - I took three groups around Downe House It was here that he did most of his work - they are applying for World Heritage Status as this area is essentially his outdoor laboratory. Its amazing that it is but 16 miles from London and yet so utterly rural. This is the reason Darwin stayed there. The house is well interpreted - using a pda system which is useful for the garden in particular. But I also organised a guided walk around the fields - really enjoyed it although would have been better if my natural history were up to my history. I managed a one point to mention newton, darwin and dickens in one sentence and it made sense! I feel if my own education has been finished off as I can now include darwin in my world view while before he was in a separate scientific sphere. I organised a tour to Oxford University Museum where we were given special ent

Bank of England Museum

I took my Westminster Uni students to the Bank of England Museum today. I think they enjoyed it - they spent some time on an interactive which asked questions about the treasury committee. They had no interest in the answer except that the answer enabled them to open a safe via a proper safe lock of the type seen in heist movies. So it seems rewards are important part of interactives. Very disappointed to see that the Museum has put a crash exhibition in the Hall - so an elegant reconstruction of Soane's Banking Hall is now obscured by tacky exhibition design. Its amazing how an exhibition designer can have such a lack of taste!

Archaeology in the City of London walk - western half

Yesterday I gave a guided walk for London Walks looking at the archaeology of the City of London - the western half. I did this because my archaeology walks starting at tower hill never get far enough. So I started the walk at St Paul's - very excellent walk it was too - I learnt a lot from the research. Image Noble Street Roman Fort Remains Route St Pauls Newgate Street New Change St Pauls Watling Street Bow Lane Temple of Mithras Walbrook Bucklesbury Poultry King's Street Guildhall Gresham Street Wood Street Noble Street.

Darwin at Downe Walk

I spent a very humid day preparing a Walk for Elderhostel around Downe House. Its a great walk mostly following the audio guide you can find at the url in the link below. It was the day of the Biggin Hill Airshow so quite weird thinking about Darwin and being buzzed by World War 2 aeroplanes! Image - the Thinking Path

The Smalls - Creative and Filmmaking Forums

The Smalls - Creative and Filmmaking Forums

Science Museum unveils its 10 most important items

the Science Museum's top 10 objects choosen for their impact. Newcomen's steam engine, V2 rocket engine, 1837 electric telegraph device, Stephenson's Rocket, X-ray machine, Model T Ford, penicillin, 1950 Pilot ACE computer, DNA double helix, Apollo 10 capsule. Science Museum unveils its 10 most important items - Telegraph

Gang culture may be due to 'warrior gene'

This is a Telegraph article suggesting a particular gene which effects boys only may lead to a propensity to violence: did the Vikings have it? Gang culture may be due to 'warrior gene' - Telegraph

Death of MLA, London 2

This is my report to LMHM email list and the press release from MLa, London Those of you were were at the LMHM meeting yesterday will probably have been confused by my report on the MLA, London situation. I enclose the MLA press release to clarify the situation. The point I was trying to make was that the absorption of MLA. London into MLA was the final end 'the death' of the vestiges of the old bottomup membership based Area Museum services replaced by a top-down strategic body. London Museums Group had set up a very good working relationship with the Hub and MLA, London and that we would now have to try do the same with the changed structure. MLA, London had done a wonderful job for the London Museum community and it is a shame to see it go. In the circumstances it was probably inevitable that it went and the LMG representative on the board agreed that there was really no viable alternative. Negotiatons are continuing as to how the 18 or so MLA, London staff are to be de

Death of MLA London

MLA London is to be merged into the greater beast the MLA. This is the end of years of interference with local area museum councils. These were bottom up membership driven organisations which provided much needed support for Museums. Over the last 10 years these have been attacked, transformed, shackled and changed into 'strategic bodies' and finally wound up. So AMSSEE, SEMS, LMA, ALM, London, MLA, London are now no more. Replaced by the top down structure that is the MLA. MLA. London's work is being subsumed into a team of the MLA organisation, and other parts of the role are being hived off to the London Hub. This means that the successful MLA,London, London Mub, London Museums Group combination is now replaced by a structure in which the Hub holds all the cards. Although the Hub is a benign beast, it does leave the body of Museums in London represented by the LMG in a weaker position. NEWS Section


An interesting blog - with an innovative structure quite imaginative, though not entirely sure what it is for. It has a page on the Museum. Ann’s OPERATING THEATRE blog

Another Tall building for St Thomas' Street southwark

A plan for another big building near to the Shard of Glass in St Thomas Street. 28-storey ‘Quill’ student tower planned for St Thomas' Street [4 June 2009]

Help wanted to write book of life

A giant collaborative scheme to create the book of life on planet earth is being set up. It is the latest example in user-generated science. BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Help wanted to write book of life

Film day at the Old Operating Theatre Museum

We showed old film of the Old Operating Theatre Museum today. Alison, a volunteer transferred all our old VHS tapes to DVD and my daughter and I edited them into a couple of DVD's worth. They were projected using a new Optoma projecter which has a built in DVD player and speaker. We set up a small corner of the Museum, with a few stalls and happily sat there watching films from about 1990 - 2002. Weird looking at the fashions - particularly old film of me. I gave the occasional comment to the audience to tell them who was in the shot and so on. It was an interesting afternoon. I think I could now re-edit the film and make a pretty good introduction to the Museum - would it be too weird to have an introduction to a museum made up of excepts from a motley crew of documentaries or should I just get a new video shot? At the same time a visiting lecturer gave 3 lectures on the history of Surgery - really heroic of him to do the same talk 3 times. But the Museum seemed really b

Peasants Revolt Walk

The Peasants Revolt Walk for London Walks went very well - not a huge turn out but enough to make it enjoyable. We managed to get all the way from Aldgate East to Smithfield - quite an exhausting route but it had to be done! I love doing John Ball's speech!

Elephant & Castle and Southwark Bridge to be linked by Cycle Superhighway

SE1 reports a superhighway for cycles from Elephant and Castle to Southwark Bridge. It is certainly about time that a safe route over the Thames was created and the Elephant is very scary for the bike. But they need to do much more much quicker if they are serious about it. Elephant & Castle and Southwark Bridge to be linked by Cycle Superhighway [5 June 2009]

Dal Riata - excellent bbc web site

This is a really excellent summary of the history of Dal Riata - compare it to Wikipedia page which is,in comparison, a mess. BBC - History - Scottish History

Map of Prince Phillip Gaffes by Aardvark Map

Here is a hilarious map of the gaffes of Prince Philip. Map of Prince Phillip Gaffes by Aardvark Map

Archaeology in the City of London walk

Yesterday I did a walk for London Walk on the archaeology of the City - the Easter Half. Not a good title but a good walk. The route was: Tower of London, Cooper's Row Wall Crutched Friars Rangoon Street Fenchurch St Lime St Lime St Passage Whittington Avenue Leadenhall Street Gracechurch Street St Peter Church St Michaels Church Lombard Street East Cheap fish Street Hill Pudding Lane I found various things out I had not realised - Customs House excavation were in the lot to the East of the Customs House. I found the site of the ankle-breaker ditches in Northumberland St and Fenchurch St. I worked out exactly where the edges of the Forums were and how the Churches fit onto the site. I found Plantation House - which I have read about but never quite pinned down - although exactly where the Boudicca compound was I'm not so sure. Great Walk - about 20 people and the alleyways around St Peters are really quite lovely - had they been in any other 2000 year old Capital City th

Copyright of images of works of art out of copyright

The copyright situation on wikipedia is quite interesting. They use images from artists represented in National Museums and Galleries and they claim them as public domain on the basis that the artist has been dead for over 70 years. I'm guessing the Galleries would probably counter claim they are copyrighting not the original painting, but the photograph of it. The photographer is still alive and therefore copyright is valid. But these images are still up on wikipedia. Is this because they turning a blind eye? Or is it that they accept wikipedia's claim that copyright of a faithful reproduction of the original 2d image is not valid. This is the page that explains it Of course some of the images on wikipedia use reproductions which were made long enough ago to be out of copyright. However, reading on - reusing these images in the UK is risky as our courts will probably accept that copyright of a copy

Sarah Brown at Florence Nightingale Museum as �1.3 million revamp plans revealed

Sarah Brown attended the Florence Nightingale Museum to launch their £1,3 redevelopment programme. Sarah Brown at Florence Nightingale Museum as �1.3 million revamp plans revealed [13 May 2009]

Great Success of Surgery by gaslight at the Old Operating Theatre

We had an amazing night on the Museum at night evening. Here is a review on Culture24 Surgery by gaslight at the Old Operating Theatre: Culture24 on the road for Museums at Night | Culture24

Facebook | Twitter Grand Unification

This application allows your twitters to be exported to Facebook status and vice versa! Makes life simplier now that I have been forced by work to join twitter. Next is to discover how to integrate myspace and then will get the Museum set up accordingly. Facebook | Twitter

WAVE - check your web page accessibility

Here is a free web app which will check accessibility of your site: Go to wave

Rawiri Paratene - the Friar and the Herb Garret

We got a nice mention in the Globe by an actor who is performing as the Friar in Romeo and Juliet: 'I was also able to follow up an appointment with a herb-expert too. I went to the operating museum in London where they have herb gardens that would have been used in medicine, which was a huge help! I met this woman who was a herbal expert; I was at the stage of wanting to get some information about what it is that I give to Juliet, what this amazing drug is, and she was able to steer me towards suitable books. So I feel very happy about that.' He is referring to the Museum's Curator, Karen Howell GlobeLink :: Rawiri Paratene

Rare Roman glass bowl found in London

A very beautiful and very rare millefiori dish has been excavated in a East London cemetary site in Prescot Street. Rare Roman glass bowl found 1,700 years after it's buried next to merchant in East London | Mail Online

Friend reunited - strangely prescient

Someone sent me a email from friends reunited today so I went to look at it - someone I was at the same primary school with but I have no recollection. But what was strange was the fact that Friend Reunited gave me a list of friends I might know and I have no idea how they made the guess as the person has no institutions in common with me and I did not think that many friends so how did they spot a possible friend? I guess it must be something to do with mutual friends but as I don't have any friends listed on Friends reunited I can only guess that the way they do it is to compare the two lists of people at various institutions and if several overlap off the person as a possible friend. Quite big brotherish

Museums - fact, fakes and fiction

Museums - facts, fakes and fiction Julian Spalding has a few interesting things to say along the lines that museums pedal authenticity but looking into the history of many museum objects shows that they are on a continuum from - fact to fake Julian Spalding 'The Poetic Museum: Reviving Historic Collections ' Prestel Publishing Ltd 2002 Take for example the Cutty Sark , it seems it sustains a major fire and still somehow remains genuine (because I believe it has a steel frame which is intact, while the timber work was and is often replaced). In the case of the Old Operating Theatre Museum, the Operating Theatre's shell is original, the standings are replicas, and the furniture is genuine but from other hospitals and are in a way set dressing. So the idea that museum's embody true authenticity is not as clear cut as you might think. Despite this it is something that the Museum Curator cleaves too as the foundations upon which to repel all claims that money spent

Radical London Walk

Radical London walk - the route was St Pauls, Cheapside, Guildhall, Smithfield, St Johns, Clerkenwell I managed to get the group round right to the end - quite an achievement and did a fair look at the London people, riot and government - not so sure gave a good introduction to the development of radical politics - maybe that is another walk?

Myths and Legends Walk

Myths and Legends walk from Tower Hill (for London Walks) went very well - about 20 turned up and I got a bit further - to Walbrook, but still finding it very difficult to get as far as I want to - ideally, Guildhall or St Pauls Also, I think I am making the walk far too complicated by trying to make it myths and the archaeology - really need to shorten the narrative and make it crisper. But it is very interesting and I am at last getting to grips with Vortimer the Blessed and Belenus. Very interesting research currently being done which it trying to bridge the gap between the Anglo Saxon Chronicle and the Welsh tales which suggests Alle is Ambrosius Aurelianus

Malware cleared

I have cleared the malware listing on my site at the cost of deleting it all and replacing the designed pages with a bland place holder, now I have to reinstall it gradually without reinstalling the malware bland placeholder

Wouldn't it be nice review

One of the participants of my experimental Wouldn't it be nice tour at Somerset house has reviewed it: art

Diigo - end of an affair wit Furl

Furl is no more and I have been moved over to Diigo - I have had first go at it and seems not quite as good although easier to manipulate between it and blog. So maybe I need to give it a chance? Dashboard | Diigo

Lady Jane Grey: Biography, Portraits, Primary Sources

Excellent biography of Lady Jane Grey Lady Jane Grey: Biography, Portraits, Primary Sources   Posted from Diigo . The rest of my favorite links are here.

Malware and Google

I received an email to say that my web site had malware and that Google were placing a warning on the google page. But they give no idea where the malware is and how to find it - they link you to an anodyne page which says a lot but without giving a clue how to go about it. So I can see that if you depended on your web site this could put you out of business.

Shunt Vaults and British Commonwealth Museum in running for Potters Field

Southwark Council say that Shunt Vaults and British Commonwealth Museum in running for the new cultural venue in Potters Field

Guys Tower reclad and the Shard

SE1 Magazine has a image showing what the Pool of London will look like when the Shard is built and the Guys Tower is reclad. Meanwhile we are inundated by lorries working on the shard New look Southwark with Shard and Guys Tower ttp://

First Quarter at the Old Operating Theatre

We have had a very good quarter at the Old Operating Theatre, not as good as last year, but second best, and good results for schools and groups. And some success with grants.

Google horror - importing Contacts using CSV format

What a terrible case of appalling documentation - Google's help in regard to importing contacts into Google using a CSV file is really absolutely appalling. I followed the instructions and found it did not import the data at all as you would expect it. Eventually I found a blog which contained the information that enabled the truly appalling nature of Google's documentation to become apparent. This is what you have to do 1 create a csv with a header line something like this Name, E-mail, Section 1 - Description, Section 1 - Title, Section 1 - Company, Section 1 - Address, etc The lines below have to be: myname,myemail, Work, Mr, my org etc of the emails are not work change work to personal, but this needs to be in every line or you are in trouble. How can google have such truly awful documentation?

Synching mobile phones and google

Found an easy solution for the horrific change over from palm to nokia. 1. Sign up to Goosync to sync calendar with nokia e71 - this was simplicity itself as I managed it even with unfamilar mobile. 2. Download companionlink and set up to sync palm with googld 3. use goosync. remarkable 3 ways world and I think it means i can then move back to pam when the Pre comes out! Now the contacts ..... companionlink link below Products

The Horrors of changing technology

Someone trod on my phone - it may look like a brick, and weigh like a brick but it's fragile like a flower. So, looked around for an alternative, really wanted something really light and modern, but found it very, very difficult to try any phones out in shops - they all said no. So in the end I implusively bought an Nokia E71 which has a querty keyboard and had good write ups, and is very slim and elegant. Trouble is when I get it I find the calendar is not as good and does not have colour like my old Treo 680, the brick. And I find it absolutely difficult to get my calendar date out of palm and into nokia. Contacts too - same problem - its going to take about a week to set myself up with something not as good. Or do I cut my loses sell the damn thing and buy a treo - the problem with the treo is that a new version is coming out soon which sounds fantastic, but not yet. Here anyway is a work around to get from palm calendar to google. - Syncing your Palm Desktop Cal

Sutton Hoo

We visited Sutton Hoo. Very strange because this and the BM exhibition are the opposite of complementary - they each need each other. Sutton Hoo is an exhibition (book on the wall type) without a focus on real objects, while the BM Sutton Hoo exhibitions could do with some of the explanation you get at Sutton Hoo. I was disappointed as some how the NT has managed to make it into a unmememorable visit - all too tame. The video was shocking as it had some very interesting quotes from Anglo saxon that made me think - why have I not read these before - they are so good! But they were unattributed made up modern quotes in the style of Beowulf. Very misleading and the National Trust should be ashamed of passing off pastiche as reality. National Trust | Sutton Hoo

Under the pier show arcade, southwold/alternative coin operated machines

Went to the Under the Pier Show by Tim Hunkin - best, funniest, grungiest