Tag: History


This May will see the doors open at the University of Westminster Regent Street Cinema, following the anticipated restoration. We would love to meet with you to tell you more about the venue and offer an invitation to the visit the archives in advance of the opening.  

The Regent Street Cinema was the first theatre to show a moving picture, the first to show an X-rated movie and an on-going force of innovation within the film industry. As the restoration marries retro techniques with the newest innovation, the wealth of materials in the archives meets the future stars from the University of Westminster, the Regent Street Cinema will soon be open and ready for consumers to enjoy.

regent street refurbished cinema

Opening in May 2015, the schedule has been selected by the recently appointed Cinema Director Shira MacLeod, who has an impactful programme planned to celebrate the marker in this iconic venue:

Bypass, 14th May – directed by Duane Hopkis, the hard hitting British feature will be showcased alongside a Q and A with  George MacKay

Sea Without Shore, 28th May – directed by Andre Semenza and Fernanda Lippi , the stunning dance film which premiered at Glasgow Film Festival on 28th Feb. Following the showing, Oscar winning soundman Glenn Freemantle (who worked on the film) will be available for a masterclass.

Gala of the Open City Documentary Festival, 17th -20th June


On Tuesday 19 May, Sir John Soane’s Museum will publically open Soane’s private apartments and Model Room, located on the second floor at number 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London.  The apartments, open now after being fully restored, have not been seen by the public in over 160 years.  The second floor includes Soane’s Model Room, Bedroom, Bathroom, Book Passage, Oratory and Mrs Soane’s Morning Room.

Soane’s Private Apartments and Model Room will open to the public from Tuesday 19 May 2015. Access is only available through pre-booking. For more details about how to visit and to book, please see the Museum’s website: www.soane.org

John Soanes private apartmentsImage credit: View of the Model Room, recreating a watercolour of the room c. 1834-35


unnamed-1Image credit: The blue-and-white china displayed on the mantlepiece in the Bath Room, which presumably belonged to Mrs Soane. The china was only rediscovered in the 1980s, having been moved after sustaining damage during the Second World War


unnamed-2Image credit: The chimneypiece in Soane's Bath Room

For the first time ever, never-before-seen-objects from the Metropolitan Police’s Crime Museum will go on public display at the Museum of London in the major exhibition, The Crime Museum Uncovered, opening this October.

Previously only accessible to police professionals and invited guests, the exhibition will reveal the secrets of the Crime Museum, created by serving police officers since its establishment in 1875. 

The exhibition, which is being created with the support of the Metropolitan Police Service and the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC), will take visitors on a journey through real cases and how they were investigated. It will bring them close to the objects and evidence from some of the UK’s most notorious crimes, including the Acid Bath Murderer of 1949, the Great Train Robbery of 1963 and the Millennium Dome Diamond Heist of 2000. It will also examine some of the challenges faced in policing the capital, tackling themes from terrorism and espionage to counterfeiting and narcotics.

The Crime Museum Uncovered - Image Caption Sheet FINAL

Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London, said: “Crime is an unfortunate by-product of big-city life, and a reality that Londoners are all too familiar with. Challenging and disturbing; familiar and unsettling, The Crime Museum Uncovered will use select objects from this extraordinary, hidden collection to consider the changing nature of crime and advances in detection over the last 140 years. Through focusing on people – victims, perpetrators and police officers – we’ll use real objects to explore the human stories behind some of the UK’s most well-known crimes, personalising what is so often de-personalised. And in doing so, we’ll confront how, as a society, we respond when normality is shattered, lives are torn apart and we need to rebuild.”

MPS Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said: "The artefacts held in the museum will provide visitors with an insight into the evolution of crime investigation and criminal justice. The public will view exhibits from some of the most complex and indeed notorious criminal investigations carried out by the Met, and discover how such crimes were solved. I hope people enjoy visiting this exhibition.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The evolution of London’s police force plays a fascinating part in the history of our city. Many of the policing methods now used by forces all over the world were developed here in the capital by our pioneering policing techniques. This exhibition will bring this story alive, in some instances out from behind closed doors for the first time, allowing us to reflect on the victims at the centre of each of these cases and learn more about how the creativity of the past has shaped the way the police work today.”

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Stephen Greenhalgh, said: “I am very pleased that the stories being told show how London’s police force have dealt with the changing nature of policing an expanding and evolving city like London to fight crime and keep the public safe. This exhibition proves that good police work, more often than not, requires painstaking and time consuming work where the smallest details are so critical to a detective in solving a crime.  This provides a fascinating opportunity to learn about this work.”

Aside from police professionals, the Crime Museum’s Visitors’ Book reveals an eclectic list of high-profile guests over the years. King George V (1865-1936), Sherlock Holmes author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), illusionist, Harry Houdini (1874-1926) and comedy double act, Stan Laurel (1890- 1965) and Oliver Hardy (1892- 1957) have all stepped inside the infamous museum, currently housed within the Metropolitan Police’s HQ, New Scotland Yard.

For six months only, visitors to the Museum of London can gain unprecedented access to highlights from the collection, established in the mid-1870s as a teaching tool to educate officers. The Museum of London has been working closely with the independent London Policing Ethics Panel in the planning of this exhibition and has discussed how to ensure the interests of victims are protected with Baroness Newlove, the Victims' Commissioner.

The Crime Museum Uncovered is curated at the Museum of London by curators, Julia Hoffbrand and Jackie Keily. It builds upon the museum’s expertise and follows exhibitions, Jack the Ripper (2008), Dickens and London (2011) and Sherlock Holmes (2014), in exploring the darker side of London.

The Crime Museum Uncovered runs from 9 October 2015 - 10 April 2016 and will be accompanied by a programme of talks and events. Tickets available from £12.50 online; £15 on the door. Wednesdays only; tickets from £10.

Beatles-at-the-Hall-1963We know you guys love hearing about London history, ye olden days and lesser known facts so the new The Secret History tour is a nice quirky activity for you. Revealing some really interesting facts including that the Hall has played host to gangsters, séances, a freemason’s ceremony for a former Prince of Wales, WW1 war-time experiments and ghosts as well as 2 James Bond premieres, the launch of Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix and Monty Python’s 40th birthday in its history The Albert Hall takes you through it all.

This is one of two new acts launched by Royal Albert Hall as part of its off-stage line-up. The Secret History Tour will take guests behind the scenes of the iconic London venue, with visitors also able to combine their visit with musical-themed afternoon tea.

Secret History Tour

The Hall has a remarkable history, from its Royal beginnings to events like the tribute concert to George Harrison, the 40th birthday of Monty Python, and the launch of Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix, but there are many oddities, eccentricities and secrets which will be uncovered in this unique new tour.

Unearth the connection between the Suffragettes and the Royal Albert Hall, hear backstage stories about the visits of Liz Taylor and Whitney Houston, and learn of ghost hunters, charlatans, swindlers and gangsters, as you wind your way around the iconic London concert venue that has also hosted baptisms, séances and even a funeral.

In the Secret History Tour, you’ll discover which artists were once banned from the Hall, which famous films have used the building as a set, and which singer was so overawed by his first view of the venue that he decided to go horse-riding instead of turning up for his concert. You’ll also find out just how the Hall stages events both intimate and enormous, with a visit to the Loading Bay beneath the building. All this for just £12.25.

Musical ‘Afternoon Tea’

Visitors can make their Secret History Tour extra-special by enjoying a quintessentially British afternoon tea – with or without champagne – featuring music-themed cakes, as well as scones, finger sandwiches and Twinings tea.

Tea starts from 14.00, with the last seating at 16.30. For bookings or more information, visit www.royalalberthall.com.

Tour – £12.25 (25p booking fee), concessions available.

Tea – Royal Albert Hall Afternoon Tea – £23.46, Royal Albert Hall Champagne Afternoon Tea – £33.66

Bookings at www.royalalberthall.com


17_steamtrain-(Read-Only)But it's just for the weekend. This weekend you can expect to be wowed and delighted by some old school trains trundling through the underground.

What you can expect to is see is the Metropolitan Locomotive No. 1, the Metropolitan Milk Van, the Chesham Set, the 1920s Sarah Siddons electric locomotive and the beautifully restored Jubilee Coach 353. Now that probably doesn't mean too much to most of us but if you're a train buff you're clearly going to be excited.

You can either buy tickets to be on the trains — here — or watch from the sidelines. The time table is below as is the link to buy tickets to go on the actual trains.

Trains run on both Saturday 2 and Saturday 9 August

Journey 1 – Northfields to Moorgate

(Steam hauled, Electric on back)

Departs: 08:24
Arrives:  09:19

Journeys 2, 3 & 4 – Moorgate – Hammersmith – Moorgate

(Electric hauled out, Steam hauled return)

Departs 09:55, 12:10 & 14:25

Each trip lasts around 1 hour, 30 minutes.

Journey 5 – Moorgate to Northfields

(Electric hauled, Steam on back)

Departs: 16:25
Arrives:  17:15

There are still some seats available. Book tickets here.

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