Sunday, 18 May 2014

Day 4 - London

Hull City fans at Trafalgar Square
Well we set off again to go to St Clement Danes, this time we walked over the Thames using the Jubilee Bridge. It is a beautiful walk, which is not far from County Hall.  Today is full of excitement in the city as it is FA Cup day AND to top it off Hull City are playing in it.  For those who don't know, my Mums family have a long association with Hull City as one of my ancestors was a founding member.

Today's plan was to walk to Trafalgar Square then start walking the length of The Strand till we find the Church.  At Trafalgar Square it was very busy, the roads were blocked of for a bike race and rally, plus, it seemed to be a meeting place for many Hull City fans.
St Clement Danes

We had a nice stroll down The Strand AND yes we made it to St Clement Danes Church, central church of the RAF.  It is across the road rom Australia House.  It is a beautiful part of London.  The Church is very old.  It has over 800 Welsh slate badges on the floor commemorating RAF Stations, Units and Squadrons.  The Church was bombed during the Blitz in 1941 and had to virtually be rebuilt. Downstairs called the Crypt, it contains many plaques o old burials, these are the plaques that survived the bombing.  It is a beautiful place to visit.
After this we went back to our hotel where we R & R'd and watched the FA Cup.  That we won't discuss:-/ .. A nice relaxing day :-). 
One of the 800+ slate badges in the floor
Some of the plaques in the crypt
Some of the sights we saw on the Southbank

Day 3 - London

The people you meet in London, such a small world!

Today was a glorious day.  A lovely spring day of around 21 degrees, I even got a slight tan!

Piccadilly Circus

We decided to head off to the other side of the river, as Dad wanted to go to the RAF Church, St Clement Dane.  We went over to theTube Station (Waterloo).  We caught the tube to Oxford Street then aimed to walk back down towards the Church, which is located on The Strand right opposite Australia House.  Having seeing the toy shop Hanley's we just had to enter ... And left 'not alone'. We have a few more furry friends to bring back!!!  Next stop Piccadilly Circus, what a hustle bustle place that was, the warm weather brings everyone out that is or sure.

The Glassblower

Needing a medicinal drink or Dad we went to a pub called 'The Glassblower', a typical English pub.  A cider later, we wandered off down to St James' Park for a sit down, we shared a bench with a guy who just arrived from Argentina a few hours earlier, he has come to learn English (his English was better than some shopkeepers)!  As we sat there we heard the band music and then realised it was the Changing of the Guards, to which we missed, bugger, oh well!!! 

Buckingham Palace

We have to wander/stroll/meander everywhere as Dad can't walk too fast, so we meandered down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace via St James' Palace.  I can't believe I finally have seen Buck Palace, as on my last trip I tried 3 times and was unsuccessful, the Jubilee celebrations were on and it was off limits.  This was another bustling place. 

Dad wanted to sit down,  rest his hips so we went over to Green Park to have a sit, there was some room on a bench with an elderly couple.  WELL, we sat down and started to chat to them, they were a lovely couple he 94 and she 81, they were from Cornwall AND you wouldn't believe but the lady and Dad went to the same school.  They had a great time talking about school teachers, fellow students etc. She is the first person Dad has met that went to school with him since the 1950's.  Mind you they weren't in the same year level, but remember the same people.  I wouldn't help chuckling on how many people there are in London, how many park benches and we picked that one with that couple!!!

After all that chatting it was time or another beverage, so it was off the 'The Bag of Nails' or another drinkipoos.

By there way we never got to St Clement Dane Church ..oh well there is always tomorrow!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Police Museum

We arrived at the Police Museum about 10 minutes before the advertised time and were lucky enough to score a park on the premises, we were the only public members to do so ;-).  A retired police officer dressed in an old police uniform met us at the gate swinging a bucket ready to collect our $5 entry fee. The Museum was manned by volunteers of the police force both current and retired as well as the members of the Police Historical Society.  They  were in fine form and only too willing to help and further explain the exhibits.

There was a good display of two and 4 wheeled vehicles was in the courtyard and we met a retired officer who had served with my father-in-law and he explained how the  radar units in police vehicles worked and proudly showed us his personal motor cycle which is the same as the current BMW bikes used by the Police. 

He also took us into the area that was out-of-bounds to the public.  It housed the workshops of the historic vehicles and also had the ones not on display, like the Black Maria and the first police boat.  We were very privileged.  One building housed an impressive 4 rooms of displays covering Forensic, Drug Squad, Communications, badges & head wear, country stations, old records and historical things. Each room had an officer or person available for questioning and I enjoyed meeting Mr Beare (uncertain of his rank) who had been an instigator of the drug squad (he started the drug squad) and he told us many interesting and amusing stories of his time on the force. The next building had some historical photos and tea, coffee and biscuits were available for $2 as well as a movie about the force whilst we were able to rest our sore feet.

The next section we explored was the Mounted Police Horses. Unfortunately there were not many horses to be seen but we saw the stables, exercise machine and yard with sand where the horses could roll about. The SA Police only use greys which could be because an earlier officer did not like the look of multi coloured horses and thought the police uniform looked better against the grey horse. We moved on to the Police Band building where we saw a film about the various band leaders and a clip of their performance at the prestigious Edinburgh Tattoo. At the end of the film everyone else filed out of the room leaving us to ask questions and be shown through the room where the instruments are stored and see the huge trunks which are used to transport the uniforms and instruments interstate and overseas.  We also saw a good photographic display of the band through the years. Our final stop was a police wagon with dog handler and we were able to pat the beautiful german shepherd. Again the handler told us stories about her dog and talked about the dog being retired when it turns 8 years old and about a year prior to that she will have to begin working with another dog. We spent over 3 hours at the Police Museum, it was the best $5 I have spent.



Royal Adelaide Hospital

This historical display was quite small considering the vast history the Royal Adelaide Hospital would have, It was up on the first floor in the foyer area, an unusual place and very noisy. There was an impressive range of nurses uniforms, medical instruments, information on Adelaide Lunatic Asylum, optical equipment and microscopes. It was quite awkward to photograph due to building lighting but well worth a visit. I would hope this exhibition is made available more often, or even better as a permanent display. Many of us have visited the RAH but had more pressing medical problems to think about the history, but this could be a welcome distraction.. It was also interesting walking through the buildings on the site, to see the wonderful workmanship in the Nurses Quarters to the ultra modern IMVS building. A quick but informative time spent here.

Clay Lineage – The London Pottery to the Jam Factory

I went to this exhibition not knowing what to expect. It was held in the St. Peters Town Hall, I had never been in this building before and what a magnificent building it is.

The exhibition celebrated the tradition of potters in Norwood, Payneham and St Peters. We saw examples of simple household items, pie funnel, vases and kitchen jars, to bricks, electrical insulators and terracotta garden edging. This exhibition is well mounted and displayed. There were explanatory mounted information boards and articles in glass cabinets and out in the open.