Showing posts from 2015

Ipad games at the BM

How to engage kids at the BM Gamar app with the British Museum game featured on BBC London News - YouTube

Stonehenge stones in Wales date to 3200 BC

So what happened to the stones for 300 years before being erected at Stonehenge?  This confirms the evidence on bluestones (motice.tenor, tongue and groove joints) which show that the Bluestones were previously in another configuration. Stonehenge may have been first erected in Wales, evidence suggests | UK news | The Guardian

Rethinking the Celts: On line lectures

Rethinking the Celts: introduction - YouTube Here are a couple of videos about the issue of who are the Celts and whether it is a valid label, from a session at the European Archaeology Association conference. John Collis introduces the subject - pointing out that the term 'Celt' is very contested and means many different things. Rethinking the Celts: introduction - list= PLBjeGwwG0rtQFVwmvhWBYuojFOjVV e4qM Raimond Karl robostly asserts that the use of the term 'Celt' is simply a label and therefore perfectly appropriate to use. Fundamentally flawed logic: the question of 'Celtic ethnicity’ - list= PLBjeGwwG0rtQFVwmvhWBYuojFOjVV e4qM 'The session abstract Collis - Over the last thirty years there has been a major rethink among prehistoric archaeologists which has seen a fundamental change in how we study the Ancient Celts and the paradigms that lie behind our work (so

Free Online Animated GIF Maker & Video Maker - Make A GIF or Video Easily

I used this to create animation of my daughters graduation. Free and no download needed. Free Online Animated GIF Maker & Video Maker - Make A GIF or Video Easily

Eating the Collection

Normally, museum ethics suggest that the safety of the Collection is a paramount objective of  a Museum. Here, according to the article, the Sunken Steamboat museum allow the occasional tasting of the  Collection - preserved food in glass jars as fresh as when the boat sank. What was Found (and still edible) inside a 150 year-old Sunken Steamboat | Messy Nessy Chic

Hop Picking Photographs | Spitalfields Life

Great pictures of Londoners having a whale of a time in Kent picking hops. Hop Picking Photographs | Spitalfields Life

The Book Wheel

Just so you don't lose your place!   Prints | The Æsthetic Antiquarian | Page 6

Great Exhibition of the North

Could not exactly find out what this policy was but there is to be a Great Exhibition of the north.  Verity to lead ‘Great Exhibition of the North’ - Prolific North : It also announced that Sir Gary Verity, the man who brought the Tour de France to Yorkshire, had been appointed to take forward the previously announced Great Exhibition of the North, which will celebrate the great art, design and culture of the North. A total of £5m has been committed.

The Franks Casket:hengist and horsa

This is an article which suggests that the Franks Casket in the BM should be interpreted as a celebration of Hengist and Horsa, founders of England. The Franks Casket: A Tribute to the Founding and Destiny of England

Celts – Art and Identity review of the British Museum Exhibition

This was both a stunning triumph and a very poor exhibition.  The Art is amazing - to see the Gundestrup Cauldron close up more than paid for the entry fee.  But if you are really hoping for an rigorous discussion of who the Celts are/were/may have been, this is not the place. The introduction is ok, but the end of the exhibition is soggy, it drifts into an unconvincing tokenistic foray into the Celts - a green Celtic Football shirt in a case here; a video of various Irish Dancers and Celtic festivals there, a bit of Romantic Badoltry here.  If it were an essay I'd tell them to go away and make the second half work, and they'd only get a B- for the first half. Ofcourse, for the collection of objects they get an A*, although I would then mark them down for leaving the Prehistoric Gallery upstairs in the British Museum, devastated.  This is to my mind unforgivable. They spend thousands on an international exhibition and upstairs they leave empty cases with nothing in  them. 

Converting files for archive purposes

As I  had over all my old Word Processing files to the Museum Archive, I have had to convert the old Word Perfect files into Word I used Doxillion to do it. Very easy to use. Now I need to find something to tranlate GreenStreet DTP flles. Document Converter Software. Convert Word PDF WPS ODT etc. Free Download

Stonehenge Begins to Yield Its Secrets - The New York Times

This is a very good summary of the discoveries at Blick Mead and Stonehenge. Stonehenge Begins to Yield Its Secrets - The New York Times

After London - Celebrating the life and works of Richard Jefferies

Richard Jefferies wrote a book called "After London" which is one of the world's first Post-Apocalyptic novels . It inspired John Wyndham and John Fowles. BBC magazine refered to "Dead London" but I can find no trace of this so I think this is a description of Chapter 22 Part 2 of After London which describes the ruined City. Anyway there is a Museum, near Swindon and a Writer's Prize.   Celebrating the life and works of Richard Jefferies

Story Structure - is it a straitjacket or a means to a liberating end?

John Yorke  in 'Into the Woods' How stories work and why we tell them' quotes from Guillermo Del Toro:. 'You have to liberate people from film Theory not give them a corset in which they have to fit their story, they lifes, their emotions, the way they feel about the world. Our curse is that the film industry is 80% run by the half informed. You have people who have read Joseph Campbell and Robert McKee and now they're talking to you about the Hero's Journey, and you want to f****** cut off their dick and stuff it in their mouth.' "Guillermo Del Toro echoes the thoughts of writers and filmmakers, there's an ingrained  belief that for many that to study structure is implicitly a betrayal of their genius,  its where  mediocrities seek a substitute muse." Yorke, I think, takes the contrary view and the book is mostly about said structure.  But it echoes my thoughts about people who say that there are only 7 basic plots in all

Cambridge historian and Oxford publisher under scrutiny over claim made in Dickens book | Fitzrovia News

Personally, I think that Ruth simple did not know of these books.  Not a conspiracy. Cambridge historian and Oxford publisher under scrutiny over claim made in Dickens book | Fitzrovia News

A review of my walk around Londinium

A review of one of my walks Londinium loses its monopoly on power | Past In The Present

The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood by Irving Finkel – review | Books | The Guardian

This is a really fascinating story. Pre-biblical stories of a Flood  make it clear that the Ark was a massive coracle -half the size of a football pitch - clay tablets exist which give accurate dimensions which have clearly been scaled up from a normal-sizedcoracle. Irving Finkel has written the book and Channel 4 has a documentary in its Secret History series in which a replica is built. The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood by Irving Finkel – review | Books | The Guardian

'Eco-home at Stonehenge'

The finding of any house during the Mesolithic is rare, one near Stonehenge is amazing but to call it a eco home is ridiculous.  The reuse of a tree-hole and the use of heated stones for central heating is impressive enough but to suggest by the use of the term 'Eco Home' that they were deliberately trying to lower their use of environmental resources is to look at the past through modern eyes. Surprised the Guardian fell for it.  2015/oct/29  Archaeologists-discover-mesolithic-eco-home-near-stonehenge

Hiistoric Events - Upcoming End Oct - early Nov

 Courtesy of Ian Visits here are some interesting events in late Oct - early november Guided tours of the Albert Memorial - Kensington Gardens - The Royal Parks 17th-century-revolution in Book reading The king in the Car Park - Gresham Lecture Virtual Autopsy -  Death of a king  - the Old Operating Theatre Museum The Great Exhibition and Steam Punk

Design Thinking for Museums

Interesting links on this site about  Design Thinking for Museums

Lady rochfort

Outcast London - Slums in Victorian London. Andrew Mearns, "The Bitter Cry of Outcast London: An Inquiry into the Condition of the Abject Poor" (1883) - W.T. Stead Resource Site

Interesting article about slums in Victorian London. Andrew Mearns, "The Bitter Cry of Outcast London: An Inquiry into the Condition of the Abject Poor" (1883) - W.T. Stead Resource Site

How the British Museum treats its visitors

These pictures show how the BM has denuded its displays in order to place them in their new Exhibition about the Celts. They have shown no respect at all for the Permanent Galleries or for its visitors.  Over the summer, they just stripped the cases one by one and did not replace any of the objects or do anything with the cases, just left them as if with contempt for the visitors.  They have recently put up a couple of adverts to cover the case but this is months late,and even so not an adequate replacement for important objects. There are so many ways the museum could have used these spaces but they just left them bare, like a failing museum with no money. I'm a little bit shocked, and also disturbed that my three communications about this subject have yet to be addressed.

Under These Restless Skies: Lady Bridget Wingfield

Under These Restless Skies: Lady Bridget Wingfield

British Museum - Celts - an abandoned Public Gallery and a blockbusting exhibition

This is my letter about the Prehistoric Gallery 'I'm a frequent visitor to the British Museum Prehistoric Galleries and have noticed how it has been gradually denuded of many of  its treasures. In effect the BM has taken away from the public the ability to see the great prehistoric treasures for free and they now have to pay for the privilege of seeing the Battersea and Wandsworth Shields; Waterloo Helmet, Snettisham torcs etc.  Ok, I can see there is a need for special exhibitions but it seems to me that no one at the museum has taken into account: 1. the idea that the BM should have kept a core of objects in the Prehistoric Gallery so that the story of Britain could continue to be enjoyed. 2. the thought that the BM could have found substitutes for the permanent gallery, as it is the Gallery is devastated with huge holes in the narrative, and empty eyesores of cases. 3. Why did the BM need to take virtually everyone of the Snettisham Hoard torcs - there is now

Experimental Medieval Life Guedelon

Impressive video at the begining of this site which shows a Castle being repaired using medieval technology. Very impressive.

Guided Walks at London Bridge on 15th October. on Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dickens London

I'm doing a couple of walks for Team London Bridge on 15th October - On Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dickens Team London Bridge and the London Bridge Business Improvement District

Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia, | John Koch -

Excellent free E-book on the internet. Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia, | John Koch - : Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia,

Help Ur - Crowdsourcing Excavation Records from Ur

AWOL - The Ancient World Online: Crowdsourcing Excavation Records from Ur : Crowdsourcing Excavation Records from Ur

Wolf Hall - film location more important than the real locations

Google Wolf Hall locations and mostly you will get a list of the film locations. As a tourist it is easy to go on a tour of the film locations - much harder to find the real locations -despite the fact that most of them are Tourist Attractions or in the heart of London. Baffling. Fans of TV drama Wolf Hall can now follow a map around the filming locations including in Bath, Bristol and Somerset | Western Daily Press

The REAL Wolf Hall Manor in Burbage, Wiltshire

Interesting article on the Wold Hall, in Wiltshre The REAL Wolf Hall Manor in Burbage, Wiltshire | Daily Mail Online

Early Twenty Century Regents Canal - British Pathé

Amazing film of the Canal in East London The Barge Fellows - Studies On The Regents Canal - British Pathé

Tales of the old East End - The Tribe

Memoires from London at war Tales of the old East End - The Tribe

Gilbert Scott - forgetful man

A new site on George Gilbert Scott has an amusing anecdote: 'Gilbert Scott : W. R. Lethaby, the leading exponent of the Arts and Crafts Movement and a friend of Morris, in his biography of Philip Webb published in 1935 stated the usual early twentieth century view of Scott: Sir Gilbert Scott (1811-78) made his way, by remarkable powers of energy and persistence, to a position of eminence and prosperity. It is told that once having left town by the six o’clock train, the ‘office’ on slackly assembling, found a telegram from a Midland station asking ‘Why am I here?’ On another journey he is said to have noticed a church that was being built and to have inquired who was the architect – ‘Sir Gilbert Scott’. '

Hobbit doors at St Edwards Stow-on-the-Wold

The North Doors of St Edwards are certainly amazing, and everywhere described as the Hobbit Doors, but as far as I can tell the 'evidence' is simply that Tolkein knew the Church and must therefore have been inspired by the Doors. But then the references cited in , for example, Stow-on-the-Wold, The Cotswolds #travelthursday | Adventures of a London Kiwi : does not describe a door with two trees beside it - it describes and invisible door with a badge on it which has various insignia including two trees: 'The two greatest craftsmen of the Second Age, the elf-lord Celebrimbor and the Dwarf Narvi, built the Doors. They were made like a flush door, the jambs invisible to the eye, and matched so perfectly with the mountain rock that, when closed, the Doors could not be seen. The slabs were made by Narvi out of grey material stronger than stone and inlayed by Celebrimbor with Ithildin, which can only be seen in starlight and moonlight; when visible, the fine silver-li

books | Michael O'Mara Books Ltd.

 Divorced, Beheaded, Died is coming out in Paperback in September 15 books | Michael O'Mara Books Ltd.

What is the Madding Crowd?

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. Search eText, Read Online, Study, Discuss. the following web site gives the source of the Madding Crowd.   (1874) Hardy took the title of this novel from Thomas Gray's poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751): Far From the madding crowd's ignoble strife Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray; Along the cool sequester'd vale of life They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. In this case "Madding" means "frenzied". The title may be ironic: the five main characters -- Bathsheba, Troy, Boldwood, Oak, and Fanny Robin -- are all passionate beings who find the "vale of life" neither quiet nor cool. Hardy said that he first introduced Wessex in this novel. It was successful enough for him to give up architectural work and pursue a literary career. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. Search eText, Read Online, Study, Discuss.

National Olympian Games Olympics before the Olympics

 In 1866, the National Olympian Games was held in London. One of the venues was the German Gymnasium which still exists in Kings Cross .  Aquatic events 31 July 1866 at the River Thames at Teddington   and  at the Crystal Palace Park Cricket Ground 1 August 1866 Played in Britain - News: Launching the British Olympics with a German twist

Henchard's Psalm - Mayor of Casterbridge

This is the psalm Michael Henchard has the choir sing. The Choir Master says: 'I wasn't made for singing. We chose it once when the gypsy stole the parson's mare thinking to please him but parson were quite upset. Whatever Servant David were thinking about when h he made a Psalm that nobody can sing without disgracing hims I cannot fathom' Henchard is angry with Farfrae. Psalm 109 King James Version (KJV) 109 Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; 2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. 3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. 4 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. 5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. 6 Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. 7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer bec

Literary Tourist

This is an ambitions web  site - which provides a list of writer's houses, book shops, libraries, events and literary tours. Covers a host of countries. I checked London and Dorchester and it is quite impressive in its coverage. However, the funcionality is a bit limited  not sure you could not get all that information by googling. Dorchester - Literary Tourist

Pharmazie-Historisches Museum der Universität Basel

I must visit this pharmacy museum! Startseite - Pharmazie-Historisches Museum der Universität Basel

Early Photos of brain surgery

Amazing photos

Olympicopolis at Stratford - architect choosen

UAL’s Stratford development moves into next major phaseNews & Events

The Heavens

Interesting conversation on Britarch about the goods  'Venus is brighter, but only appears in the morning and evening, never the whole sky. Jupiter is very noticeable and rules the whole of the heavens. Saturn moves very slowly, must be old and therefore Jupiter's father.' Harriet Courtney Tony marsh said 'Jupiter < Dyeu-peter, proto-indo-european for father of the sky or father of the day. The planet's passage in the year 'visits' all 12 of the zodiac constellations and that's where much of the mythology comes from, I suppose.  Venus visits mainly for the Dawn and the Eve - hence the feminine connotations'

Amazon Kindle: Your Highlights

Amazon Kindle: Your Highlights this is how you can see your highlighted text in amazon

▶ London Museum Development 2015: Looking back, looking forward - YouTube

This is a film about Museum development in London in which I have a role. ▶ London Museum Development 2015: Looking back, looking forward - YouTube

The best thing the Romans did for Britain was leave, historian claims - Telegraph

This seems like a thin story - one bit of evidence that post roman people lived longer than romans. The best thing the Romans did for Britain was leave, historian claims - Telegraph

Science Museum's innovative Children's Gallery opened in 1931

This picture shows one of the models in use in 1934. I remember my  parents took me to see this exhibition in the early 1960's. There was also a reconstruction of a mine.  May not be a surprise that I ended up in Museums.

The Great Explosion of 1649: Tower Street

According to legend not only were 67 people killed by the explosion but a baby was blown on to the Church Spire, and was found still in its crib alive. BBC NEWS | England | London | Streets of London: Tower Street

Top 5 Quirky London Museums That You Need to Visit

And ofcourse one of them is the Old Operating Theatre Museum Top 5 Quirky London Museums That You Need to Visit

Roman bath house Borough High Street

Remains of Roman bath house found on Borough High Street [15 September 2011]

Love’s Sacrifice review – sharply staged John Ford revival by the RSC | Stage | The Guardian

I'ev no real idea why they revived this play.  It really doesn't give any of the characters any thought through motivation and therefore you really don't engage with any of them.  Just not a very good play.  The biggest problem is that the evil Iago character seems to be evil simply for the fun of it, he seems to stand to gain nothing from it. The staging also uses a lot of Bill Viola like projection which does not add to the drama much, and the projection of foetuses onto the stomachs of the 3 pregnant unmarried mothers is bafflingly unnecessary. Its well acted as far as it goes, but no engagement is provoked and the ending is such a come-down that I felt sorry for the actors at the end who surely must want to creep home rather than go to an after show party. Matthew Kelly was very good. The problem, I think, with the way the play was performed, is that the plot only works if the audience are ery clear at the begining that  D'Avolos is in love with,  or w

future museums

Museum Identity Ltd - high-quality conferences, study days, publications, for professionals

Robots to Replace Fast Food and Shipping Workers Soon - YouTube

Robots to Replace Fast Food and Shipping Workers Soon - YouTube

▶ Robot allows those who can't visit to take virtual tour of Seattle Art Museum - YouTube

▶ Robot allows those who can't visit to take virtual tour of Seattle Art Museum - YouTube

legionaires Crossing a River - trajan's Column

There is an ongoing Britarch debate about how deep a ford can be. The best solution proposed was that you would know as you were being swept away, that it this was too deep!   Publish Post Here are the Roman's on Trajan's Column sedately crossing the River. 26_6997-web.jpg (JPEG Image, 1152 × 825 pixels)

film footage of London life dating back to 1890

Interesting film of london before World War 2. Incredible film footage of London life dating back to 1890 – the heyday of Sherlock Holmes | Metro News

The Circulation Department - Victoria and Albert Museum

This is an article on the much lamented Circulation Department of the V&A, this was designed to encourage the Museum to send its objects around the Country. The exhibitions were a great support for regional art schools, and regional museums. It was set up, I think around1909, and killed off by Sir Roy Strong in 1977, because of funding cuts. Room 38A and beyond: post-war British design and the Circulation Department - Victoria and Albert Museum

Medieval London - research insights

One of things that interests me about Medieval London is how effective is archaeology?  In the Prehistoric, Roman and 'Dark-age' period Archaeology has revolutionized our understanding of these periods. After 40 years of excavation, we now know there was no prehistoric London; that London boomed in the early Roman period, but began its decline as early as 140AD; and that after a period of decline revived in the 7th Century in the area of Covent Garden, before moving back into the Century round about the time of King Alfred. These are really impressive discoveries, things that just were not even hinted about from  historical documents.  Is the same true of the Medieval period?  Certainly recently archaeology has shown the development of the City from the 9th to the 12th Century, and sites such as Milk St. Guildhall, No 1 Poultry and Queenhithe are used by John Schofield, and Christopher Thomas in their books on Medieval London to give a novel insight into the City's growth

Time - how accurate can we be?

John Clark, on the Britarch mailing list, in a discussion about calendrical accuracy of Stonehenge quoted   R L Poole /Medieval Reckonings of Time/ (1918) 46-7 'If we suppose a traveller to set out from Venice on March 1, 1245, he would find himself in 1244 when he reached Florence; and if after a short stay he went on to Pisa, the year 1246 would already have begun there. Continuing on his journey westward he would find himself again in 1245 when he entered Provence and on arriving in France before Easter (April 16) he would be once more in 1244.' My contribution was that before Railway time, created by the GWR in 1840, Local Mean times were set up by sundial.  

Haggerston Park History

Haggerston Park was carved out of industrial buildings after World War 2. haggerston-history-leaflet.pdf

Museum of London to relocate to Smithfield - Official

The Museum Association has revealed that the move to Smithfield has now been officially adopted by the Museum of London. Museum of London to relocate | Museums Association I think this entirely makes sense for the Museum - I do, however, wonder if it will not ruin the area of Smithfield which is still a bit of a backwater as far as tourists are concerned.  With the Museum of London there it may become a major centre of Tourism. St Barts will enjoy a huge boost in tourism. and the major tourist routes will be stretch from St Pauls to the North. I am a member of the NIMFHP tendency - not in my favourite historic place. More seriously, is there a hidden threat to the Museum of Docklands - will the museum have enough room for the Dockland's objects, and will it want to cut its loses and go back to a one centre museum?

Sat, (Apr. 4) the Archaeology of Mediaeval London 10.45 MoorgateTube

Newgate I have been ploughing my way through a small mountain of books. My main worry is that I repeat the Saxon London Walk, and don't have enough time to do justice to the Medieval. Sat, (Apr. 4)     I'm doing the Archaeology of Mediaeval London     10.45 Moorgate Tube

25 maps that explain the English language - Vox

Very useful set of maps explaining the english language. 25 maps that explain the English language - Vox

Are Jack the Ripper tours blighting London? - Telegraph

This was part of the plot of  a book I was writing - the idea is now ripped apart! Are Jack the Ripper tours blighting London? - Telegraph

Old Views of London - John Thomas Smith’s Ancient Topography

This is a collection of some of the most famous pictures of timber framed pictures of Old London John Thomas Smith’s Ancient Topography | Spitalfields Life

London's Roman City Wall

This is a google view map of the City of London and pins mark areas where the Wall survives.  It also contains links to articles on the archaeology. London's Roman City Wall :

My next walk - the Archaeology of Medieval London

Pilgrims Leaving the Tabard My next walk is going to be about the archaeology of Medieval London. My first question is going to be deciding on the definition of medieval. I was brought up with the 1066 to 1485 definition - from the coronation of William the Conqueror to the accession of Henry VII.    But modern scholars like 500AD to 1500AD.  However some start as late at 600, while others prefer from the fall of the western empire in 476AD to the Fall of Eastern Empire - Byzantium in 1453. So basically from the fall of the Roman empire to the Renaissance - the middle ages. I have just done a Saxon London walk so should probably keep my walk from 1066 onwards, although I am tempted to start from the restoration of London in the 9th Century - particularly as I did not do this very thoroughly previously. The next problem is the 'archaeology'.   Documentary sources begin to be quite detailed in this period, and, to my mind, the archaeology, becomes less 'interesting&

10 Rules for Students and Teachers Popularized by John Cage | Open Culture

Here are 10 rules for students and teachers to break! 10 Rules for Students and Teachers Popularized by John Cage | Open Culture

Bedlam graveyard Excavation - Crossrail Project

Some good videos here of the excavations.  For once, they are providing public access to the excavation. This has happened so very rarely during the last 50 years of intensive excavation. Such a pity Crossrail Project

▶ Fleet Valley Project (1989) "Life's Rich Tapestry" - YouTube

 !989 Film of excavations near Blackfriars.  David Bellamy narrates a story of the archaeological process, which is the films strong point. The findings themselves are not that spectacular but the process is described. ▶ Fleet Valley Project (1989) "Life's Rich Tapestry" - YouTube

The dreams of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Here is an article about an exhibition about Mackintosh.  It includes a couple of short videos. BBC News - The dreams of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Stonehenge is all in the air

Julian Spalding, who is a well respected ex-museum curator has suggested that Stonehenge supported a giant platform.  There is no evidence for this but he claims that ancient worship was mostly above ground - pyramids, zygurats etc. So, a platform above stonehenge makes sense, he believes. Circular thinking: Stonehenge's origin is subject of new theory | Science | The Guardian

Should museums ban selfie-sticks?

 I think Museums should ban inappropriate use of selfsticks, but no need to ban them altogether. Its just snobbery.  People from Asia have a complete different attitude to them and have embraced them as a useful tool. Admit it - we have all been in a situation when you have to ask a passing stranger to take a picture for you and your group/partner/family.   So we have ALL been in a position where a selfie stick would have been useful. BBC News - Should museums ban selfie-sticks?

Bermondsey Industries - the Pure Finder

PURE FINDER I am an Old Pure Finder, yes pure is the word What I find, me and my kind, you might find absurd I searches out what lurchers left, it’s a strange kind of job Picking up a job or two, to pick up just two bob. I am an Old Pure Finder, when folks say “How d’ya do?” Says I, “Well, I do doodoo and do do well don’t you?” I do doodoo so well, when the doodoo I do sell, But could do doodoo better if the doodoo didn’t smell. I am an Old Pure Finder, and often privvy to Evacuation information, where the dung is new. As canine clay collector I tries to do my bit At the places with the faeces and the spots where doggies hit. I am an Old Pure Finder, a retriever of the mess And not the kind of job to do, unless done to ex-cess Riches come from bitches, as I work dern hard Accruing Basset assets, whilst praying to St Bernard I am an Old Pure Finder and Miss Brown down our street Smiles, beguilingly and looks at me so sweet. She knows what I wants, as she walks around And lets her

Bronze Age Migration

This is a report on evidence that suggests a mass migration of peoples from the Steppes into Central Europe in about 4500 BC.  "And it's a massive event—at least three quarters of the population got replaced by people who are never in that part of continental Europe before." Some European Languages Came by Steppe | Richard Dawkins Foundation

Bermondsey - Cholera in the Age of Victoria

Unbelievable poverty. Victorian London - Districts - Areas - Bermondsey

1930s Slum Clearance in Hackney, London

Hackney Today revealed fascinating archive footage of Slum Clearance in 1930's Hackney. http://www Heavy handed officials come to Banister Road to measure up, assess and ultimately to condemn and demolish working class housing in Hackney. The officious film shows glimpses of everyday life for poor Londoners, as the camera lens looks down its long nose at their lives.  The worst scenes are of the insect infestations and the damp wall paper, but otherwise the Londoners look cheerful, with the kids enjoying the outdoor life unsupervised. What is notable is how messy the outhouses, and yards are - full of carts, plants and detritus.  But they provide a little bit of customisable space.  The rows of Victorian houses are replaced by large blocks of flat, which however neat they look, you feel the Londoners are crammed into them, and they look unresponsive to the idiosyncratic needs of the Londoner

Decline and Fall of Roman London Walk

London Bridge, 5th Century AD My next walk is Decline & Fall - The Archaeology of Late Roman & Dark Age London St. Paul'sTube exit 2 on Saturday Mar. 7 2015 10.45am I am going to talk about the history of the discovery of what happened (may have happened) in the so-called Dark Ages.  We used to know what happened, but the lack of evidence to back up the documentary history led to a situation where anyone's guess was as good as anyone elses.  Now, the evidence is beginning to accumulate but  it still leaves a lot of room for imaginative story-telling. To my mind the story of the story is better than the story itself.

Great Lecture at the Old Operating Theatre Museum


Words in the Landscape

 I am beginning to wonder what dialect tells us about the Anglo-Saxon invasion, and this rather wonderful article about dialect words about the landscape struck a chime.. For example, Rionnach maoim means “the shadows cast on the moorland by clouds moving across the sky on a bright and windy day”; èit refers to “the practice of placing quartz stones in streams so that they sparkle in moonlight and thereby attract salmon to them in the late summer and autumn”, teine biorach is “the flame or will-o’-the-wisp that runs on top of heather when the moor burns during the summer”.'The Shaw The word-hoard: Robert Macfarlane on rewilding our language of landscape | Books | The Guardian

Recreating the Night Watch - Onze helden zijn terug! - YouTube

This is a video of a PR excercice to get people in a shopping mall to come to see the  original Rembrandt Here is the painting Here is the video Onze helden zijn terug! - YouTube

Billboards Share Stories of a City That's Just Getting Too Expensive for Many - CityLab

This is a great project looking at how people are being forced out of London by the high costs of housing. London Billboards Share Stories of a City That's Just Getting Too Expensive for Many - CityLab

Pitt Rivers Museum

Always a favorite visit, particularly when they say take any photos you like, including flash. I've asked the students to consider how they might improve the Museum.   I'm always shocked when some say, improve the cases, lighting, labeling add more information.  One said sell the objects and buy better stuff (tongue in cheek) Very different to quai branle in Paris, which treats all objects as art, but like it the PR does not do context well.

Wolf Hall Tour

I have been asked to lead a Wolf Hall study tour. Quite exciting but a lot of research needed.

Zeppelin Walk

The first Zeppelin Walk I have done when it was not raining or dark. This one was just cold! I was taking around a group of logisticians, very nice group and we had a couple of drinks in the Dolphin and in Smithfield. I discovered that I had been pointing out the wrong clock in the Dolphin Pub to survive the bombing.  Both were set to the right time for the bombing so I guess I can forgive myself.  lovely quiet pub the Dolphin, just across the road from Lambs Conduit St. The Dolphin Clock (the right one) (photo Steve Bowen)

At the Synge of the Wodows tracked down?

Having drawn a blank as to where Peter Treveris printed his pioneering Great Herbal, I rang the local studies Library, in Southwark, and Patricia was able to track down a reference Treveris working at the 'Sign of the Three Widows'. As to why his title page says 'Wodows' we don't know.  We had no luck finding out where in Southwark the 'Sign of the 3 Widows' was however. Patricia used British History Online Old and New London Volume 6 which is about Southwark, and in the Inns section is this: 'Another inn, called the "Three Widows," was probably a perversion of the "Three Nuns"—the ignorant people after the Reformation confounding the white head-dresses of the religious sisterhood with those of disconsolate relicts. Here, "at the 'Three Widows,' in Southwark," a foreigner, Peter Treviris, in the early part of the sixteenth century, set up a printing-press, which he kept constantly at work for several years, as

Dickens' Clock

This is the text of a much loved label now missing from Dickens House - its a letter he wrote about his malfunctioning clock. The energy level to write something this funny for an audience of 1! My Dear Sir Since my hall clock was sent to your establishment to be cleaned it has gone as (indeed it always has) perfectly well, but has struck the hours with great reluctance and after enduring internal agonies of the most distressing nature it's has now ceased to striking altogether. Though a happy released for the clock, this is not convenient to the household. If you can send down any confidential person with whom the clock may confer, I think it may have something on its works it would be glad to make a clean breast of. faithfully yours C. Dickens

A lament for the death of bohemian London | John Harris | Comment is free | The Guardian

This is happening all over London. A lament for the death of bohemian London | John Harris | Comment is free | The Guardian

Printing in Southwark and early medical publications

After a little bit of digging around. I discovered some very interesting facts about printing in Southwark.  Dawn Kemp, the new Director of the Old Operating Theatre Museum alerted me to Peter Treveris, the Southwark based printer of the first illustrated Herbal in England, ( Peter Treveris’ Grete herball ). I had not heard of this herbal before, and wondered if it had anything to do with the printing of the first Bible in English by Miles Coverdale in the grounds of St Thomas Hospital, Southwark in 1537. Title Page of Grete Herball A little bit of research established that Treveris was established as a printer at the 'sygne of the wodows'  in 1516.  ( The Stationers' Company and the Printers of London , 1501–1557  By Peter W. M. Blayney; ).  Was this the 'Sign of the Widows'? Treveris was an alien, possibly from Trier, and was a publisher/translator. However,  what was a great discovering was that Treveris also published the 'Handywork of

Printed in Southwark » Peter Treveris’ Grete herball of 1529

This is the first illustrated guide to herbs printed in England in 1529. and it was printed in Southwark. I am wondering whether it was printed by the same people who printed Covedale's Bible. Special Collections » Peter Treveris’ Grete herball of 1529

Metrics Monday: How Museums Use Demographic Data - EdTrips

This is a short blog article about collecting data for museums with examples from the Louvre and the Charles Dickens Museum in London. Metrics Monday: How Museums Use Demographic Data - EdTrips

The Old Operating Theatre Museum on the London Walks Podcast No.27:

After an introduction on the British Museum, after the first 10 minutes this is an interview with Kevin Flude talking about the Old Operating Theatre Museum. londonwalks » Blog Archive » The London Walks Podcast No.27: London Museums

The Clock of the Long Now

 Author of 'How buildings learn talks about how to make humans think over the long time - 'The Clock of the London Now' TED talk I think I've found a new hero!  I did not know he was also a 'merry prankster' and IN the 'Electric Kool Aid Acid Test' and editor of the Whole Earth Catalog which must surely be one of the most important influences on the Green movement. Makes me think I have wasted most of my life when I could have been doing stuff like this! Stewart Brand: The Long Now | Talk Video |

Pinned down by your things? Stuffocated? Here is the beginning of the answer

From the museum of brands Are you being stuffocated? ...and other thought provoking events - - Gmail : STUFFOCATION: Living More, With Less Are you being stuffocated? Based on his acclaimed book, James Wallman, explains why we've had enough of stuff and need experience more than ever. Do you have cupboards full to bursting? A cluttered desk? Do you want to organise life's clutter and live more? If so, you're suffering from ‘stuffocation'. The solution, as Wallman will show, is experientialism. This does not mean giving up all our possessions, but it does mean getting over our obsession with them, and transforming what we value. Stuffocation is a vital manifesto for change. It has inspired those who have heard its message to be happier and healthier, and to live more with less. Tuesday 10th Feb. Tickets £15 with free copy of the book

Unreal City Audio - Guided audio tours

Now this is the sort of thing I should have done with my walks, years ago! Unreal City Audio

We are history - the diggers digging up diggers

People used to say you know you are getting older when policemen look too young for the job.  But an archeologist knows he she is getting old when other archaeologists start digging up your excavations and reporting the finds. Here is  Raksha who reports digging up beer cans allegedly left by Canadian archaeologist Prince Chitwood. They haven't found Kevin's teabag yet! Raksha’s Site Diary: the archaeology of the archaeologists | DigVentures

The Case of Lady Sannox, by Arthur Conan Doyle

This is an article written following the inaugural meeting of a Book Club looking at books with a medical Theme.   This is a short story written in a highly dramatic form by Conan-Doyle. It does not feature Sherlock Holmes, and perhaps because of that it has a cracking pace.   It is a bit-sized story that can be read in a single tube journey.  There is no detection in it, but the style alerts the reader to the fact that there is going to be a surprising possibly horrific ending. The plot has medicine at its heart. Conan-Doyle was a doctor himself, trained in Edinburgh by Joseph Bell whose forensic skills were one of the main influences leading to the creation of the world's most famous fictional detective. There was no wikipedia page, so I set up the following wikipedia entry outlining the plot. This is a short story by Conan-Doyle which features an arrogant Surgeon, Douglas Stone, who is in love with the married Lady Sannox, one of the most beautiful woman world.  

Amazing technologies - Arduino - interactive kits, Circuit Pen and 3d Glue Pen

I must start making my own interactives! Here is how I might start: This is a kit system designed to help. Arduino - Home Look at this for some art projects using the kit  3d Circut Pen 3d Glue Pen

Museum Fun for Children and Young People | SHOW ME

A Culture24 portal to fun stuff for kids by UK Museums. Browse Our Fun, Interactive Games for Children and Young People | SHOW ME

The 4 Humours of Shakespeare | Authonomy

I am working on a project I began many years ago, and have decided to try out Authoromy, which is a writer's platform.  I have also published an early version of the book on Feedaread. So, if you want to have a look at it - its a very early draft and needs lots of work. The 4 Humours of Shakespeare | Authonomy