Vis­it­ing the great city’s more ec­cen­tric at­trac­tions.

Grand Magazine - - CONTENTS - By John Towler

WE LIKE MU­SE­UMS. They are trea­sure troves where you can be ed­u­cated, amazed, and fas­ci­nated, and shown things you never knew about peo­ple, places and his­tory.

Mu­se­ums are mes­mer­iz­ing re­sources for ev­ery age, and some of the most ex­cit­ing and in­ter­est­ing mu­se­ums in the world are in Lon­don, Eng­land. The city has the largest num­ber of mu­se­ums in Europe. There are more than 240, rang­ing from the well known to the quirky and pe­cu­liar.

The Bri­tish Mu­seum, the Tate and the Mu­seum of Lon­don are familiar, but less so are the mu­se­ums de­voted to fans, Napoleon’s tooth­brush, Sher­lock Holmes, car­toons, surgery, crime, toys and sewing ma­chines.

It is un­likely that you will ever see them all, but here are some that we found par­tic­u­larly in­trigu­ing.

The Fan Mu­seum: As the name sug­gests, the Fan Mu­seum is de­voted en­tirely to ev­ery as­pect of fans and fan mak­ing.

Over the cen­turies fans were used for cool­ing, as cer­e­mo­nial tools, fash­ion ac­ces­sories, sta­tus sym­bols, com­mem­o­ra­tives and ad­ver­tis­ing giveaways.

The mu­seum’s col­lec­tion con­tains more>>

>> than 4,000 an­tique fans from around the world, with ex­am­ples dat­ing as far back as the 11th cen­tury. 12 Crooms Hill, Green­which, Lon­don www.the­fan­mu­seum.org.uk

The Gef­frye – Mu­seum of the Home: If you are in­ter­ested in the his­tory and de­sign of home in­te­ri­ors, this is the mu­seum for you. Housed in a se­ries of 18th-cen­tury almshouses, the mu­seum’s 11 pe­riod rooms show how homes have changed over the past 400 years, in­flu­enced by so­ci­ety, be­hav­iour, style, taste and the wider world.

The rooms dis­play the fur­nish­ings, light­ing and heat­ing of each era and demon­strate the shift­ing dy­nam­ics of how fam­i­lies once lived. 136 Kings­land Road, Lon­don www.gef­frye-mu­seum.org.uk The Ragged School Mu­seum: Ragged schools were es­tab­lished by Dr. Thomas Bernardo in the 1800s to ed­u­cate im­pov­er­ished chil­dren. In those days, dis­ease was rife, poverty and over­crowd­ing en­demic and ed­u­ca­tion for the poor was not avail­able.

Over the years, the schools cared for, ed­u­cated and sent thou­sands of chil­dren abroad to what was thought to be a bet­ter life. For some it was, for oth­ers it was dread­ful. From 1867 to the present barnardo's as it was known, cared for more than 370,000 chil­dren and placed some 6,500 chil­dren in

adop­tive homes. Some chil­dren were sent to Canada, oth­ers to Australia es­pe­cially af­ter the

Sec­ond World War. The last child was sent abroad in 1967. The mu­seum is in three canal-side build­ings that once housed Lon­don's largest ragged school. The mu­seum recre­ates a class­room as it would have been when the school was first es­tab­lished. Once a month ac­tors in pe­riod cos­tumes teach lessons as they would have years ago. 46-50 Cop­per­held Road, Lon­don www.ragged­school­mu­seum.org.uk

The Sher­lock Holmes Mu­seum: Surely this is one of the world’s most un­usual mu­se­ums — ded­i­cated to a man who never Ex­isted Sir arthur co­nan doyle wrote storis

about this fic­ti­tious de­tec­tive and his friend Dr Wat­son and placed them in a flat at 221b

Baker Street.

De­spite the fact none of this ac­tu­ally ex­isted, the fa­mous first-floor study over­look­ing Baker Street is recre­ated and main­tained as it would have been in Vic­to­rian Times. It con­tains an­tique arte­facts true to the pe­riod and in­cludes a man in pe­riod cos­tume out­side the door. This is an op­por­tu­nity to step back in time and visit one of the world’s most fa­mous ad­dresses even if it’s all in fun. 221b www.sher­lock-holmes.co.uk

The House­hold Cav­alry Mu­seum: This mu­seum of­fers a be­hind-the-scenes look at the work that goes into the cer­e­mo­nial du­ties and op­er­a­tional role of the House­hold Cav­alry. You can see troop­ers work­ing with horses

and hear ac­counts of their rig­or­ous and de­mand­ing head­quar­ters of the House­hold Di­vi­sion, in which the House­hold Cav­alry has per­formed The queens

re­main­ing broadly un­changed for more than 350 years.

Cur­rent dis­plays show the role of the unit from the Sec­ond World War un­til the present, in­clud­ing a scene of two troop­ers on pa­trol in Afghanistan. >>

>> The cap­ture of the Ea­gle and Stan­dard of the French 105th Line In­fantry Reg­i­ment by The Roy­als at the Battle of Water­loo (June 18, 1815) is recre­ated. Rare ex­hibits in­clude First World War Cor­po­ral of Horse Harold Buckby’s cig­a­rette case, French dic­tio­nary and pocket book, punc­tured by a sin­gle bul­let. Buckby sur­vived.

You can see two sil­ver ket­tle­drums given to the reg­i­ment in 1831 by Wil­liam IV, the pis­tol ball that wounded Sir Robert Hill at Water­loo and a cork leg that be­longed to the first Mar­quess of An­gle­sey, who lost his The real house­holdone at Water­loo. di­vi­sion Horse guards White­hall, Lon­don www.house­hold­cav­al­ry­mu­seum.co.uk

The Han­del House Mu­seum: This is ob­vi­ously one for mu­sic lovers, Han­del afi­ciona­dos and any­one want­ing a glimpse of life as it was dur­ing the time Han­del lived at this ad­dress in Lon­don, from 1723 the un­til fine­ly­his death re­storedin 1759. Ge­or­gian in­te­rior is filled with arte­facts, por­traits and me­mora­bilia. This is where Han­del com­posed some of the great­est mu­sic in his­tory, in­clud­ing “Mes­siah,” “Zadok the Priest,” mu­sic for the Royal Fire­works and his best-known 25 op­eras, brook or­a­to­rios street and lon­don cer­e­mo­nial mu­sic. www.han­del­house.org

The Car­toon Mu­seum: Again, the name says it all. The Car­toon Mu­seum, which is near the Bri­tish Mu­seum, was cre­ated in 1988 and opened in 2006. It is ded­i­cated to col­lect­ing, ex­hibit­ing, pro­mot­ing and pre­serv­ing the best of Bri­tish car­toon art.

The mu­seum has three main gal­leries dis­play­ing car­toons and comics, past and present, car­i­ca­tures and pages of comic­strip art. Bri­tish car­toons have of­ten been pointed, po­lit­i­cal, satir­i­cal, hu­mor­ous and some­times out­landish.

An un­usual fea­ture of this mu­seum is that it of­fers work­shops for fam­i­lies, chil­dren and adults and can be booked for chil­dren’s birth­day par­ties. The mu­seum shop has more than 900 books on the his­tory of

car­toons and comic strips, graphic nov­els, chil­dren’s books, and a wide range of cards, posters, prints and car­toon-re­lated gifts. 35 lit­tle

mu­seum Theis within Mu­se­umthe vic­to­ria of and Child­hood:al­bert mu­seum and houses Thisa col­lec­tion of

child­hood ob­jects, rang­ing from the 1600s to the present as well as toys, dolls, doll houses, games and puzzles, the mu­seum

as­pects has of a child­hood, wealth in­cludin­gof ob­ject­shome and child­care re­lat­ing, play to and other learn­ing, cloth­ing

rep­re­sen­ta­tions of child­hood, archival col­lec­tions

Th­ese ob­jects pro­vide an in­sight into how chil­dren lived, thought and felt and tghe ob­jects they were sur­rounded by through­out their child­hood,.

Left: Vic­to­ria and Al­bert Mu­seum, which is also home to the charm­ing Mu­seum of Child­hood. Above: A dis­play from the Fan Mu­seum, the first mu­seum ded­i­cated solely to fans.

Top photo: The Gef­frye Mu­seum build­ings. Above: The recre­ation of an 1830 drawing room, one of the pe­riod dis­plays at The Gef­frye.

Top: The House­hold Cav­alry of the Queen’s Life Guard. Be­low: The study at 221b Baker Street, pu­ta­tive res­i­dence of Sher­lock Holmes, now home to the mu­seum ded­i­cated to Sir Arthur Co­nan Doyle’s cre­ation.

Top: The mu­sic room at the Han­del House Mu­seum es­tab­lished in the great com­poser’s Lon­don home. Be­low: The Car­toon Mu­seum is ded­i­cated to pre­serv­ing Bri­tain’s his­tory of car­toon­ing and comics.

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