09 August, 2008

Tottenham Walthamstow and Ilford

Tottenham has Bruce Castle museum within its boundaries, however the opening hours are not for early birds. Wed-Sun 1pm-5pm. So when I arrived at 1100 on Saturday I was disappointed and not really prepared to hang around for another three hours. So I went off to Walthamstow to the William Morris Gallery, which proclaims itself as the only museum dedicated to the life and work of William Morris. William Morris had his childhood home in Walthamstow, when it was nice, and this has been transformed into a museum of his life’s work. This includes furnishing, fabrics, stained glass and wallpaper. The museum also contains pictorial art and a room for temporary exhibitions.

I also went to have a look at Walthamstow Town Hall a 1930s sub totalitarian style building with a pool outside, similar to Rugby Town Hall but bigger with a clock tower and in Portland stone. The technical college next door has sculptural panels depicting activities such as music and swimming that take place (or once did) in the college.

The weather was not promising so I took a bus to Ilford where I got rained on and heartily sick. The Redbridge Borough Museum, which wasn’t bad, displayed a lying notice stating that it’s lunch hour was from 1pm-2pm. On this occasion the museum did not open until 10 past.

Having become sick of Ilford I got on a bus to go back but then noticed that the chapel of St Mary’s hospital, Ilford’s oldest building, was open that day. St Mary’s Hospital was founded as a leper hospital and became an almshouse after the lepers moved out on the dissolution. The flats were made new in 1927, and the chapel was in use as a tea room and market. It wasn’t very interesting.

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