Saturday, 24 January 2015

Old times, gentlemen, please

This inviting glass sign lured us into the Museum Tavern in Bloomsbury, London - right opposite the British Museum. I’d heard it was a bit of a tourist trap so I had fairly low expectations, but inside it’s a relaxed Victorian pub, with a good mix of customers and some rare cockney accents.

The Tavern was expanded in 1855 and pleasing original features – such as this cut glass window, carved wooden fittings and pretty coloured glass – still survive.

It’s hard to believe now, but the area was full of swamps and ponds in the early 18th century. The pub on the site was called the Dog and Duck, and the area was a hunting ground for the Duke of Montagu, whose house later housed the first British Museum. 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Gorgeous Gaskell house

If you live anywhere near Manchester, get down to the Elizabeth Gaskell house, recently restored and open to the public. The house is shown as a home, as if Elizabeth had just left the room to write a quick chapter or to welcome another guest. As well as displays on Gaskell and Victorian Manchester, there is a great library full of titles the family read - and you’re actually allowed to touch things. They also do a nice line in quotes on the wall and really excellent cake. Check it out here. 

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Pioneering picture taking

A visit to the Rochdale Pioneers Museum today reminded me that I had a picture of this rather fine old co-op sign, taken on holiday in Devon last summer.

The museum has a great exhibition of photos of co-op signs – old, new and international. It’s on until 28 February 2015. Catch it if you can, and follow it on #coopography.