Travels with Tim and Lisa

"If my discoveries are other people's commonplaces I cannot help it – for me they retain a momentous freshness" (Elizabeth Bowen)

London, Museum at Docklands, 2.10.05

Posted by Lisa Hill on December 29, 2005


The Museum at Docklands is an excellent museum. It’s in one of the few remaining warehouses left standing after the war; it’s in the area devastated by the end of the Phoney War in September 1940, and it’s now all redeveloped as the Docklands estate, for rich people and the finance industry.

The museum tells the story of London with Roman Britain and the birth of Londinium. After the Romans abandoned Britain because their empire was falling apart, it lapsed, but a new port arose, called Lundovych, and then a further port developed later on in about 700-800AD. From then it grew and grew, with bridges and houses and warehouses, all along the Thames, until it became a massive port serving the empire. I liked the little model ships best, with their tiny people and animals and cargoes.
There was also a gallery called Docklands at War, with a video of the area during the Blitz, which aroused yet again those awful feelings about what it must have been like for my father, who lived in Rotherhithe during the war until he was bombed out.
After the museum we took the light rail back to Bank, and then the tube to Holburn. There we wandered around a bit and found the Lincoln Inns of Court, and a magnificent building that looks like a church but is actually The Great Hall. By then we were tired, so we had a muffin and a drink at Cafe Nero, and then en route back to the Montague we found not only Bertrand Russell’s flat at No 34, but also, next door, Lisa’s natural habitat – the London Review Bookshop (where of course, she bought a book. Or two.)
We dined in at the hotel for our last night in London.

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