Wednesday, September 19, 2007

London Open House weekend - 15 September 2007

Royal Courts of JusticeThe London Open House Weekend is a favourite of ours: every year we learn more about the city and it's history in buildings.

We started the day (after dropping Bradley & Susan at the train - see last weeks entry) at the Royal Courts of Justice. The building looks like a cathedral, and we understand the architect always wanted to design a cathedral so made the most of this opportunity. Water wheelThe entrance hall is spectacular, and we were able to have good look around at various rooms. The courtrooms were particularly interesting, and we happened to visit at the right time, when a mock court session was about to begin in one of the many courtrooms, and for the first time, were chosen for jury duty.

Samuel JohnsonDr Samuel Johnson has always fascinated us, particularly for his quote, The dictionary"Sir, when a man is tired of London he is tired of life ..."

We were able to look around his house: all rooms were open, including the room at the top of the house, where he wrote his dictionary.

GuildhallOn to the Guildhall, from where walking tours were departing. The George & VultureWhile we waited for the tour to start, we joined a tour of the Guildhall Art Gallery. In the basement is a large excavation of the original Roman Forum in Londonium; an excellent display, using lights to create the figures and distant stadium.

BBC TV StudiosBBC Media Centre

Quite a different "theatre" awaited us on Sunday when we visited the BBC Television Studios in White City. We saw a studio, a dressing room, the Blue Peter Garden and the news centre. Prior to that we had visited the BBC Media Centre in a newish eco-friendly building in the White City complex.

Race start boxOn into Hammersmith where we checked out Linden House: home of the Sons of the Thames Rowing Club and the Corinthian Sailing Club. Since it was such a beautiful day, we set off to the Barnes rail bridge, across the river and back down the other side.

BarnesThe walking tour of alleyways of London was interesting and took us around small streets we've never discovered. All street names reflect the original purpose of the streets.

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