11 October, 2014

City and Suburban - London Open House

London open house this year seems to have gone all booked so was not able to get in to any spectacular places.  However starting in the city and finishing in suburbia captured the spirit of the weekend I think.

First up - the Bishopsgate Institute which has been educating and amusing the people of the city and east London for 120 years with lectures, a library and events.  the library has a magpie collecting policy of labour history and other items relating to the district, including the Spitalfields Diorama a series of models of the area round Spitalfields.  Ably led by the erudite Scott Wood of the Bishopsgate Institute the tour was informative and humourous.
Spitalfields Diorama - Pub scene.
Next up St Helen's Bishopsgate.  The church was once attached to a convent and the screens removed at the dissolution of the monasteries making two churches into one.  Several re orderings later it now looks like this.  They have reverted to the pre 18th Century custom of having a church band and baptism by total immersion.  Approved!  The building was interesting with a spectacular roof in the transept and a very good use of the extensive space.  They pack them in on Sundays too so they must be doing something right.  Then again so does St Botolphs Aldgate with their more traditional services.

St Helen's Bishopsgate from the organ gallery.
Nobody likes paying taxes despite politicians protestations and indeed the Inland Revenue used to say the same thing.  However they do open the Customs House for a look around and displays of seized goods which were spectacular, including snake skins and crocodile handbags.

The Boss in the Custom's House Long room.

1 comment:

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