Did you know that one of Irelands most famous revolutionaries became radicalised in London? Portrayed by the media of his day as a dangerous gunman and a romantic playboy, Michael Collins, the IRA leader, learned it all while living in London.
In the Museum of London’s collection there are over 800 Christmas cards, many of which date back to the Victorian era. While themes of birds, flowers and Nativity scenes were common, competition and a desire for originality gave rise to a highly successful genre of novelty cards. We trace the origins of why — on some cards — policemen got whacked by clowns, hares rode Penny Farthing bikes and insects wished you a Merry Christmas!
Museums are full of amazing objects exhibited in the galleries, but unbeknown to many, they also house a number of archive collections — much of which are stored behind the scenes. These collections largely consist of records and documentary material which help us uncover hidden but fascinating stories buried deep in paperwork! Here we put the spotlight on some such documents that showcase interesting aspects of London’s docklands and its inner workings, ranging from clandestine wine tastings to a special female police force.
From Roman Londinium and 18th-century coffee houses to modern-day Tube stations, London has been home to a vibrant and varied ceramic tile industry for centuries. Here’s a reminder, as we walk the streets of London, to look up and around ourselves, and enjoy this city of tiles.
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