A Visit to the Skeletons

On Thursday evening I finally got the chance to go and see the London Skeletons exhibition at the Wellcome Trust on the Euston Road, that I mentioned a while back. All I can say is that if you get the chance, go along. Not only was it truly fascinating, but the sight of so many lives blighted by conditions for which there was little or no treatment available at the time made me appreciate modern medicine and improvements in living conditions anew.

While you’re there, pop upstairs and have a look at the items on display from Henry Wellcome’s private collection of, and there’s no other way to describe it, weird stuff. A Chinese torture chair, ritual objects from around the world, sex aids, artificial limbs and all manner of oddments. Not a bad way to spend some time if you’re passing.

An Afternoon in Docklands

Yesterday afternoon we spent a very enjoyable time in London’s Docklands. At least we did once we managed to actually get there. First there was trouble on the bus to Stratford when a group of people decided they didn’t want to pay. Eventually they got off and we were on our way again. On our arrival at Stratford we found that the DLR wasn’t running. There had been no notice of this; in fact, it wasn’t included in the station announcements along with the other lines that were closed. We found our way to the rail replacement bus, after a bit of grumbling, and soon we were on our way.

Once we arrived at Canary Wharf we located a handy pub where we had a drink while awaiting the rest of our party’s arrival. Having had a bit of a chinwag we spent a very enjoyable time in the Museum in Docklands, which currently has a very good Jack the Ripper exhibition on. Not so much about the murders as about the time in which they happened.

After that it was back to the pub for a meal before wandering over the road to the cinema to see Hellboy II, which was great fun. Not only does it look fantastic but there’s bags of humour. If you like that kind of special effects extravaganza, go and see it.

An uneventful couple of bus rides brought us home again at a not-too-unreasonable hour, but I’m still very glad it’s a bank holiday Monday today.

Great British Beer Festival

After work yesterday I went to the Great British Beer Festival at Earl’s Court. I’d pre-booked my ticket but I needn’t have bothered as the usual massive queue was conspicuous by its absence. I bought a book at the CAMRA stall, met up with friends, listened to a rather crappy band, talked bollocks and (surprise, surprise) drank plenty of different beers.

It was a very enjoyable way to spend the evening although I can’t help thinking that simply going to the pub with the same group of friends would have been equally pleasurable. Still, I’m not compaining. A good time is a good time.

Goldsmiths’ Hall

Yesterday I met up with some friends at Goldsmiths’ Hall to see the Treasures of the English Church exhibition. We were expecting to see a great deal of Victorian silver and just a little mediaeval stuff (our main interest), but actually there was a great deal of beautiful and fascinating mediaeval church silver on display. I did pick up a very cool fact, though. Apparently the Victorians built so many new churches that specialist suppliers started to sell their wares through catalogues, from which you could buy everything for your new church, from gold and silverware through pews to general fixtures and fittings. The Victoria and Albert Museum has some of these catalogues, which I’d love to see.

Once we’d finished at the exhibition we repaired to the Cittie of Yorke for a spot of lunch and then made our way via a couple of other pubs (we wanted to check them out for possible hire for an event) to Clerkenwell where we had a quick look at the well before heading to St. John’s Gate and the museum of the Order of St. John there.

I arrived home with very sore feet but I think it was well worth it.