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Notes and news — June 1999

In this issue:

Up the Creek — or GLIAS goes Barking mad

The 1999 GLIAS walking season got off to a good start on the first Saturday in May when some 60 members joined John Lewis who took us round Barking. The weather was ideal for walking — sunny and not too hot.

We met in the concourse of Barking Station, a modern concrete structure far removed from the older style at platform level. The concourse has recently been listed. Through the town we passed the old and the new town halls and the site of Barking Abbey and the church which has many connections with the fishing industry — the building and repair of fishing boats was important in Barking.

We passed the site of the Abbey Match Works and went over London Road bridge of 1912, which bears the shield of Essex County Council who financed it. From here we went as closely as possible down one side of Barking Creek (as the River Roding is called here) and back up the other bank. Unfortunately much of interest has disappeared or been converted for new uses — for instance a Tesco superstore and its car park.

Perhaps the highlight of the walk was crossing the Barking bypass by the footbridge. This gave us a high vantage point to look over the surrounding low lying land and a number of industrial monuments. These included the Barking Flood Barrier at the end of the creek which opened in 1982 as part of the London flood prevention scheme.

This was a good start to the walks season and we must thank John for giving us such a good opening event. Bill Firth

The new English Heritage

On 1 April English Heritage (EH) and the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME) merged operationally to form a single body for the conservation, management, enjoyment and understanding of England's historic environment.

The RCHME's experience in recording the historic environment complements the research done by EH giving a combined resource able to range from broad strategies for conservation to detailed evaluation of a particular building or artefact.

Hopefully IA will gain something from this merger. Bill Firth

Pedestrian subways

There is a little known pedestrian tunnel connecting Park Crescent with Park Square under Marylebone Road. It is often referred to as The Nannies' Tunnel as it was used by nannies exercising their charges in the gardens to pass from one side of Marylebone Road to the other.

The tunnel was part of Nash's plan for what became Regent's Park, presumably to enable the rich to cross the New Road, as it then was, without meeting the lower classes or getting their shoes muddy.

I suspect this is the earliest pedestrian subway in London if not the world (did the Romans build pedestrian tunnels?). The top of the portals on either side of Marylebone Road and the path leading down to the tunnel can be seen from the road. Bill Firth

Follow-up: This is a private subway between gardens reserved to the residents of the terraces around Regent's Park. They are maintained (as are the roads in front of the terraces) by the Crown Estate Paving Commissioners, a body set up by private Act of Parliament in the 19th century. When I worked with the Royal Parks, I became an ex officio commissioner — indeed I am still one as, once appointed, there is only one way to cease to be one!

The commission is a 'self-perpetuating oligarchy', in that new commissioners can only be appointed by the existing commissioners. The commission operates under 19th-century private statutes. I recall that, on one occasion during my time, when the commission was having problems with coaches parking on estate roads near Madame Tussaud's, it threatened to use its private act powers to seize carriages causing an obstruction, sell them and distribute the proceeds for the benefit of the poor! Brian Strong

Two questions arose during my visit during a heavy downpour. First, what happens to any water that runs into the tunnel? It is difficult to see inside, but there appear to be two grille-covered transverse gulleys, presumably to divert water, but what happens then? Bazalgette's sewer system hadn't been built and a soakaway at that depth might work in reverse!

The other question concerns the bridge-like structure near the centre. Set into the bottom of each side wall there is low, curved ironwork, several metres long, surmounted by a few courses of brickwork. It looked rather like a bridge but if it is, why is it there? Is it to span the Bakerloo line or perhaps added when the sewers were built. Michael Stevens

London buses

Just over 50 years ago concern was being expressed that out of more than 7,000 London Transport buses and coaches about 750 buses were having to be parked out of doors in the street overnight. The financial crisis at that time was holding up construction of new garage accommodation. Buses get worse treatment nowadays.

A London Transport RT type bus has been operating a shoppers' service in Oxford Street recently. The RT was introduced just before the Second World War. By the early 1940s most buses in London were powered by the efficient diesel or compression-ignition oil engine. They had either been built as diesels or, if older models, had had their petrol engines replaced. Understandably the use of the term diesel was unpopular at that time. During the war 177 civilian staff were killed on duty and 275 off duty. Bob Carr

Paddington station

At least up until the refurbishment work now in progress at Paddington railway station, a first-time visitor would have come across not only the engineer of the Great Western Railway, I K Brunel, but also displayed in a glass case the children's character Paddington Bear.

The man who invented Paddington Bear, Michael Bond, was born in 1926 in a cottage on the bank of the Kennet and Avon Canal in Newbury. Almost immediately his family moved to Reading and after leaving school at the age of 14 he first worked in a solicitor's office there.

Because he knew Ohm's Law and was quite good with a soldering iron he was accepted by the BBC at their Reading transmitter which was on the top floor of a five-storey building in the town centre. At the bottom of the building was one of the wartime British Restaurants. However, in daylight on 10 February 1943 a lone German Dornier dropped a stick of bombs in the town centre which hit the BBC transmitter and killed 41 people. The British Restaurant was completely destroyed with considerable loss of life. Miraculously Michael Bond survived.

Two months later Bond volunteered for the RAF and with his technical BBC background was a natural candidate for aircrew training. However, he suffered dreadfully from air sickness and after a visit to Canada for training was finally rejected as a navigator. He ended up in the army. But for his affliction with air sickness we may never have heard of Paddington Bear.

6010 King Charles I at Paddington, 10.30am, 11 February 1961. © Ian Mason After the war Bond again worked for the BBC, becoming a television cameraman. The first Paddington Bear book appeared in 1958. He also created The Herbs and Olga da Polga. The dominance of the Great Western Railway in Reading may have something to do with the choice of the bear's name. When Bond was young, Castle class locomotives regularly broke world speed records and people used to visit Reading station just to see the Cheltenham Flyer pass through. The GWR pacific loco 111 Great Bear was also a regular visitor to Paddington before Bond was born.

At Paddington station the concourse floor has recently been relaid with hard-wearing limestone and the Heathrow check-in desks are now fully operational. Airline passengers can check in their hand luggage here and travel onwards in comfort. Twenty seven further desks are to be built which will enable all airline baggage to be checked in at the railway station. When the refurbishment works are finished it should be possible to admire the work of Brunel and Digby Wyatt better than ever before.

Following adverse comments, even in the newsletter (GLIAS Newsletter June 1998), Heathrow Express trains now include a quiet carriage where passengers are not subjected to piped music or compulsory videos. This is at a greatly increased fare now trains run through to the airport terminals. Fares are £10 for an ordinary single and £20 first class. From Paddington it takes 15 minutes to Terminals 1, 2 and 3 and 20 minutes to Terminal 4. There are plans to extend the Heathrow Express system with trains running from Moorgate and perhaps Waterloo via Feltham. Bob Carr

'Living Steam' at Kew Bridge Steam Museum

The composer Brian Ferneyhough points out that "art works change the way we look at the world". Can the boiler house at LHP Wapping ever appear the same after the slow melting giant ice cube entitled Intensities and Surfaces (GLIAS 177, p6)? Something out of the ordinary can be a rather painful experience and our everyday perceptions may be damaged by exposure to artifice. Is the electronic composition installation Living Steam by Nye Parry at Kew Bridge (GLIAS 181, p4) likely to change our perception of this well known collection of steam engines? Apparently Living Steam was appreciated more by older listeners than the young. The sound reproduction was of good quality. Bob Carr

Wilson's lorries

Wilson's (GLIAS Newsletter April 1999) were established in 1934 at around the time full size diesel-engined lorries began to be produced in quantity in Britain. Not only were 4mm scale kits made which were compatible with 00 gauge model railways but there were 7mm scale lorries for 0 gauge. By the summer of 1953 the firm had changed address to 6 Great Winchester Street, EC2. Model lorry kits were marketed as "no-tools-to make-'em" outfits. Bob Carr

Banana oil

In reply to Squadron Leader Alan Birt (GLIAS 181, p8) I actually bought a small bottle of banana oil. If I can remember correctly it was sold by Keil Kraft in their range of dope products for aeroplane modellers and cost about the usual price. It was rather like clear dope but perhaps more viscous and was slightly yellow in colour.

I did not really find much use for it and ordinary dope seemed better for painting on tissue paper. From recollection banana oil was sticky and dried more slowly than dope. The name banana oil probably derived from the smell — an enhanced version of ripe bananas. Some aeroplane kits, probably the older ones, recommended treating the tissue paper with banana oil but perhaps its real purpose was in connection with Micro Models.

I have the impression that banana oil was old fashioned compared with dope and that it might be a natural product while dope was entirely a modern synthetic. Some of our members with an interest in the history of the chemical by-products industry may be able to shed more light on the matter? Bob Carr

Follow-up: Bob Carr is quite correct about Keil Kraft selling small bottles of Banana Oil. Various other companies providing supplies for model makers also sold it. Banana Oil was on sale before the 1939-45 war and for some time after. It contained no bananas.

The following extract from the seventh edition of Materials Handbook (G S Brady, McGraw-Hill, 1951) provides the technical details and use of it: Amyl alcohol. A group of monohydroxy, or simple, alcohols, which are colourless liquids and have the general characteristics that they have five carbon atoms in the molecular chain. Amyl acetate, CH3COOC5H11, called Banana Oil because of the odour of bananas, is an ester made by the action of acetic acid on amyl alcohol. It is a colourless liquid of specific gravity 0.986 and boiling point 141°C. It is insoluble in water but soluble in alcohol. It is a good solvent and plasticiser for cellulose plastics, and is used in cellulose lacquers and adhesives. It is also used in linoleum and oilcloth, and as a banana flavour. S D Robertson

I always thought Amyl acetate smelt of pear drops rather than bananas. I found that using amyl acetate made me sensitive to it, so that I always have a coughing fit when eating pear drops. Or to be more correct, I do not now eat pear drops as they make me cough!

I had a Bakyo set and it must have been the pre-war version. There were Bakelite (I presume) bases with rows of holes, thin steel rods which fitted in and flat brick units that slid between the rods. To cap it all there were horizontal perforated plates to make floors, and a solid roof.

I was always struck by the architectural design, all being what I would term detached Weybridge houses of the mid-30s. Did I have the correct version? John Dowding

Fifty years ago

Meccano Magazine 50 years ago gives a biased view of Britain at that time but to present-day readers the differences are quite startling. The impression given is that while a wide range of elaborate toys and hobbies were being promoted with older boys and young men in mind, a young woman was supposed to be delighted with a mere box of toffees. International Correspondence Schools Ltd set the tone with stern statements: "maximum production, on which the life of the nation rests, depends on high technical skill" and "the demand for well-trained men is urgent and unlimited — but there is no worthwhile place for the untrained".

The correspondence company offered a wide range of courses including boilermaking, civil engineering, coal mining, diesel engineering, motor engineering, steam engineering, toolmaking and works management, etc. One can almost hear concerned fathers making remarks like "get the boy interested in something technical; he won't prosper else". Advertisers then were every bit as ruthless as they are now. Bob Carr

Follow-up: Bob Carr mentioned International Correspondence Schools Ltd, which used to advertise in Meccano Magazine. Its technical courses predated today's National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and were very 'solid' in the best, old-fashioned sense. In addition, its publications appear to provide a thorough account of the 'state-of-the-art' in the subjects they cover, which is useful to us as we look back to understand what was done, and how, in the near-distant industrial past.

I have two books from ICS. One is 'Concrete Engineers' Pocketbook: a useful manual for all persons interested in cement, plain and reinforced concrete, building construction, architecture, concrete blocks, mill building, office building, fireproof houses, etc'. I have the first edition, 1911 (early for reinforced concrete publications), truly pocket-sized, and priced at 5/- (25p). Its 368 plus xxiii pages are densely packed with small but legible text containing just about everything you'd need to know in order to design, specify, and build in concrete. The schools' company's origin in the USA is betrayed by the section on building control, which reproduces the reinforced concrete regulations of the city of Philadelphia — not too useful to the British designer or builder, although the theory of reinforced concrete was fairly universally agreed by this time. Likewise, the section on steel reinforcement for concrete concentrates on American bars and systems, although several of these — notably the Kahn system, used widely here by Truscon — were adopted in the UK.

A later 'ICS Reference Library' volume (number 173 in 'a series of textbooks prepared for the students of the International Correspondence Schools and containing in permanent form the instruction papers used in their various courses') has sections on useful mathematics; temporary works and site preparation; foundations; areas, vaults, and retaining walls; limes, cements, and mortars; concrete construction; and fire-resisting construction (including proprietary concrete and terracotta floors). This volume is undated, but appears to be c1925; the text deals with British practice.

Both are fascinating insights into the way of concrete building for their respective periods. No doubt other ICS texts would be equally revealing. According to an advert in the earlier pocket-book, the ICS can qualify students to work in a range of jobs as diverse as architect, engineer-in-charge (of what, one wonders?), foreign correspondent, poultry farmer, riveter, salesman, shorthand-typist, window dresser, and woollen worker. I wonder if today's NVQs cover so broad a scope? Michael Bussell

Bob Carr mentions the postal training offered by International Correspondence Schools (ICS) in various engineering specialisations. Fifty years ago it was only in the large towns that any alternative training was available and even that provision was usually by evening classes. For most people the only option to better themselves was a correspondence course.

Postal tuition had been in existence since the 1880s with Wolsey Hall of Oxford being among the first — but this establishment offered academic courses only. At the turn of the century the main providers of engineering training by post were ICS, which started in the United States and expanded its activities to Britain, and the Bennett College of Sheffield. This latter organisation's advertisements used to show a picture of a middle-aged man of overbearing and pontifical appearance leaning over a youth seated at a desk with a book and the caption 'Let me be your father'.

In the 1920s many other correspondence schools sprang up. Those specialising in engineering included The Technological Institute of Great Britain; The National Institute of Engineering; and The British Institute of Engineering Technology. By the 1950s these had amalgamated as part of the Cleaver Hume Organisation and their teaching material was pooled, although each institute continued to offer courses in its own name and gave the impression of each still having a separate existence. The EMI Institute, which offered training in electronics and allied subjects, also joined the Cleaver Hume Organisation. The postal teaching continued until the early 1980s when, being no longer able to compete with local authority technical colleges, the organisation closed down. The Bennett College had faded away in the late 1950s, but ICS still continues in business and offers some engineering courses.

In the 1930s, 40s and 50s there was a great yearning for letters after one's name. Apparently it was perceived this carried some status and implied a high level of education. Correspondence courses were not slow to recognise the commercial possibilities. Those who completed the course were awarded a diploma of associate-membership which included initials after the name.

In the early 1900s there was not the number of textbooks that we have now, so ICS and Bennett College published their own series which were issued as an integral part of the course. These were entitled The ICS (or Bennett) Reference Library and were good quality productions. Some of these publications on technical topics from ICS and Bennett College have much of interest to industrial archaeologists and are worth seeking out. I have volumes on Public Gas Supply, Hydraulic Mains, Water Power, Bridge Building, Public Tramways (covering electrical and civil engineering topics), Waterworks, Dock Engineering. These give comprehensive technical information with quality information on a wide range of subjects as at the period around 1900. Specialist dealers may charge £10-15 and ordinary shops ask about £5. Charity shops sometimes have them at £1 or less. Sqn Ldr Alan Birt

More about Deptford Gas Works

Further to my article (GLIAS 180) and Brian Sturt's riposte (GLIAS 181), perhaps I can add to it again. Brian says that there is no record of legislation for a Deptford and Greenwich Co — yet the local paper lists it along with other non-existent works. Some of these are:

And that's just a few. So there were several plans for new gas works, which begs the question whether it was like this everywhere. This saga will continue, and thanks to John West, who has supplied me with notes on the subject when he has found them in the South East London Mercury, there are probably many more to unearth. Mary Mills

Who built the Old Dairy at Crouch Hill?

Over the past year or so I have been researching the remarkable building on Crouch Hill which used to be a dairy owned by the Friern Manor Dairy Company. The company commissioned the building as a development of the site that they already owned on the corner of Hanley Road and Crouch Hill.

The minutes of the LCC Building Act Committee record: "That the application of Mr J Young & Co, on behalf of the Friern Manor Dairy Farm Co Ltd, for the consent of the Council for the erection of an addition to the rear of number 127 Hanley Road, Stroud Green, to abut on Crouch Hill, be granted subject to the condition that the addition therein referred to be commenced within six months and completed within 18 months from the 30 day of September, 1890."

The Post Office London Trades Directory of 1891 shows John Young to have been an architect and surveyor with offices at 3 and 4 Great Winchester Street. The Dictionary of British Architects 1834-1900 reveals that Young was born on 22 April 1830 and died on 15 May 1910 at Guilford Lodge, Brentwood, Essex. He was originally articled to Lewis Vulliamy, then assistant to James Williams and later to Thomas Henry Wyatt. He started his own practice in Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, in 1860; moved in 1868 to Guilford Street, then to 3 Great Winchester Street.

The Architectural Library at the RIBA has an obituary which tells that Young was elected associate of the institute in 1860, fellow in 1892, and was placed in the list of retired fellows in 1902. His practice was mainly ecclesiastical and he was associated with the late James Brooks, who proposed his membership of the RIBA in the erection of many churches. Among his earlier works were: cemetery chapels and buildings at Chatham, Kent, 1869; additions to All Saints Church, Childs Hill, 1877; additions to Christ Church, Warley, Essex, 1878; South Isle Transept, All Saints, Childs Hill, 1884; Board School, Vange, Essex, 1886; gymnasium, Grammar School, Brentford, 1890; and church and church arch, Wisley Church, 1891.

The obituary also reveals that: "Mr Young enjoyed the friendship of Thackeray, whose acquaintance he made when as a young assistant he was drawing a plan of a house which stood on the site of the Dorchester House, Park Lane, the original, with another still existing, of the Marquis of Steyne's mansion in Vanity Fair."

Pevsner's Buildings of England: London 1 — The City identifies other works by J Young & Co as warehouses at 12 Little Britain, built in 1858-59, and 23 and 31 Eastcheap, built early 1860. He also built a brick warehouse at 52 Brick Lane.

The skeleton of John Young's career is known but it needs to be fleshed out. There must be other works that can be identified. If Young was an architect and surveyor, who did his company use as contractors to erect the buildings and in particular who built the fine red-rubbed brick facade on Crouch Hill? John Hinshelwood

Thames sold off and name changed

No, it is not a joke. The Thames to which we refer is the ex-sludge vessel MV Thames, late of Thames Water Utilities.

When TWU ceased dumping pre-digested sludge in the Barrow Deep off the Essex coast, the fleet of sludge vessels became redundant. MV Thames, the flagship of the fleet, had been laid up for the best part of a year awaiting the closure of operations and a new owner.

The ship was seen to have a new colour paint applied to her funnel and a new flag at her stern; the name Thames was painted over and Anastasios IV replaced it. Her new port of registration is São Tomé, the capital city of the republic of São Tomé e Principe, a former Portuguese colony a couple of hundred miles west of Libreville, West Africa.

We are not certain who her new owners are, only that she has sailed for Greece to be refitted as a tanker (local rumour suggests a fresh-water tanker). An extract from Lloyds List, 1 May 1999, states: "Anastasios IV, ex MV Thames, sailed 28 April 1999 for Greece. Left Port of London 1600 hrs — category, sludge carrier."

There is no confirmation that on leaving the Thames estuary Anastasios IV steered to port and upon reaching 51° 40.41'N, 0° 17.81'E automatically opened her valves.

Research has shown that in 1995 a ship with the name Anastasios was owned by Vasillios CMR Kokos, Piraeus, Greece.

Crossness Engines and Museum of Sanitation Engineering are the custodians of the history of London's sludge boat fleet. Further information about the MV Thames may be obtained by contacting the museum. George Olmit and Peter J Skilton

New home for Addington Beam Engine

The Crossness Engines Trust is the new owner of a beam engine that spent its working life pumping water at Addington, near Croydon. The trust acquired the engine — which was built at Erith Iron Works — after the Museum of London advertised its disposal. The engine will be the main item in the heavy machines collection, to be housed in the Valve House.

The trust is seeking photographs or drawings of the engine in its original home at Addington for interpretation beside the exhibit.
Crossness Engines Trust. Website: www.crossness.org.uk

IA on World Heritage Sites shortlist

Several places of industrial interest are among 25 UK sites that may be put forward for inclusion in the list of areas with World Heritage status.

The candidates with industrial heritage value are: Paddington-Bristol railway (selected parts); Chatham Naval Base, Kent; the Cornish mining industry; Liverpool commercial centre and waterfront; Manchester and Salford (Ancoats, Castlefield, Worsley); Saltaire, West Yorkshire; Forth Rail Bridge, Edinburgh; New Lanark, south Lanarkshire; Blaenavon industrial landscape, Torfaen; and Pontcysyllte aqueduct, Wrexham.

The sites have been listed by culture secretary Chris Smith as candidates to be considered for the accolade in the next five to 10 years. Unesco (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) will examine the nominations to see whether they should be added to 17 UK sites already listed. Classification is essentially honorary, but some see it as a major benefit in attracting visitors.

Industrial heritage on the web

Peter Marshall's photographic record of London's industrial heritage over the past 25 years is now on the internet. Many of the sites in his pictures are no longer visible — demolished and redeveloped or tidied up and "heritaged". The first period of work on the site covers 1973-1982, with later pictures due to be added.
The site is at: re-photo.co.uk

Meanwhile, the BBC has created a new website to accompany Fred Dibnah's recent Industrial Age television series. The site includes moving diagrams of steam engines; regional industrial trails; programme information; links to other sites of industrial interest; and more.
The site is at: www.bbc.co.uk/history/programmes/dibnah/ (no longer working)

Work starts on the Millennium Bridge

Work on a new £16 million Millennium Bridge across the Thames started at the end of April.

The bridge will have stainless steel balustrades, handrails and an aluminium deck. It will link St Paul's Cathedral with the new Tate Gallery of Modern Art in the former Bankside power station. The pedestrian-only structure will be lit at night to form a "blade of light" across the river.

Due to open in April 2000, the 4m wide suspension bridge will be central London's first new river crossing since the opening of Tower Bridge in 1894. It has been designed by a partnership between architects Foster and Partners, sculptor Sir Anthony Caro and Chris Wise of the Ove Arup engineering company.

About four million pedestrians a year are expected to cross the bridge, which will be open for 24 hours a day and be free.

Dome's future is up for grabs

More than 50 major concerns, including some from the United States and the Far East, are interested in taking over the Millennium Dome when it closes to the public.

Companies and institutions showing interest in the Greenwich site include those involved in running leisure, sports, conference, education and entertainment facilities.

Specific ideas and bids for the Dome will be invited in the summer with a view to drawing up a shortlist of proposals for the autumn. Final bids will be submitted early next year.

The announcement about the eventual winner of the competition to find a long term use for the Dome is expected in spring 2000.

Camden Roundhouse — undercroft development

The former Victorian railway shed's undercroft is to be transformed into a Creative Centre for young people. A range of studios and facilities will be set up where kids can explore music, film and video making, theatre, broadcasting, fashion and multi-media technology. The scheme will be funded by the Mountblanc de la Culture prize, awarded to toy tycoon Torquil Norman who stepped in with a £6 million restoration programme to save the Roundhouse in 1996.

Jubilee Line opening

Canary Wharf tube station. © Robert Mason The first section of the Jubilee line extension — Stratford to North Greenwich — opened on 14 May. According to London Underground, North Greenwich to Waterloo will open in late summer and by October the whole line from Stanmore to Stratford will be open.

Eventually up to 24 trains an hour will run between Stratford and the other end of the Jubilee line at Stanmore. There are 59 new trains resplendent in red, silver and blue livery.

The extension takes the line from Green Park, down to Westminster, and then along a new route across south and east London to Stratford. This means that Charing Cross will not be in use as part of the everyday passenger service. Charing Cross will remain as part of the Jubilee line but will only be used for special events and excursions — for example, for sports events at Wembley.

Nunhead Cemetery restoration plans

Nunhead Cemetery is set to benefit from a £1.25 million cash injection. The Friends of Nunhead Cemetery and park rangers have drawn up plans to renovate 50 key monuments, restore the Victorian chapel and install the original railings that were removed during the Second World War.
For further information contact the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery. Tel: 020 8694 6079. Website: www.fonc.org.uk

London Transport museum of the future

London Transport Museum's 'Depot' at Acton. © Robert Mason London Transport Museum's is set to open a new collections centre called The Depot at Acton Town this autumn.

The Depot will eventually house the museum's entire reserve collection. Some 360,000 items ranging from Tube trains and buses to station signs and posters will ultimately be stored at this new state-of-the art collections centre, on the site of a formerly operational Tube depot.

The Depot is part of the museum's lottery-funded Total Access Project — a three-year scheme which will enable the museum to become the first in the UK to offer total access to its collection of artefacts, archives and stories surrounding them. As well as the Depot, the project includes: the Infozone, an advanced media database to help everyone explore the museum's collection; an ambitious programme of restoration and conservation; and a new learning centre at the museum's main site in Covent Garden.
Website: www.ltmuseum.co.uk

English Heritage time trails

English Heritage has created 45 Time Trails nationwide, including five in the London area. The trails follow famous people from royalty to scientists, explore rural landscapes which have witnessed history in the making, trace England's military, religious and industrial past and look at buildings from pillboxes to palaces — and even pubs.

Trails in the London area are: Downe and Farnborough: Darwin's Rural Ramble; Greenwich Park: The Millennium Trail; In the footsteps of Prince Albert; Richmond and Twickenham: Romancing the Thames; Palace of Westminster to the Tower of London: Tower to Tower.
For further information call the trails hotline. Tel: 020 7973 3399

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© GLIAS, 1999