I’m just back from Berlin where I was attending a conference run by the ECPRD – the association of European Parliamentary libraries. Usually I don’t go to these events as they’re not often about archival stuff; however, this year the theme was “Parliamentary history and its communication to the public” which was right up my street. […]
Today is the 150th anniversary of the death of Superintendant James Braidwood. He was the man who saved Westminster Hall in the great fire of 1834 through the innovative firefighting techniques he had first developed when fire chief in Edinburgh. His death was both tragic and horribly ironic. He died at the enormous Tooley Street […]
A yummy lunch today with Lady Antonia Fraser at the Whistler Restaurant at Tate Britain. Tate sits on the site of the Millbank Penitentiary where Joshua Cross (one of the labourers who started the fire) did time. And of course it houses the Turner watercolours of the 1834 fire, along with the rest of the Turner bequest, so […]
Very exciting news on the book emerging over the last week, which I hope to be able to divulge shortly… In the meantime, I have joined Twitter @dustshoveller…tweet you there!
More strolling round Westminster of a lunchtime, on the way back from Pret (mine’s a Hoisin Duck wrap, a mango pot and diet coke, since you’re asking). I like finding pockets of the borough which are pretty much as they would have been in 1834 (except for the cars) … First up, Lord North […]
Despite some strange looks, I’ve been studying the pavement outside the east end of Westminster Abbey recently. We know that in 1834 there was a street plug (ie access to underground fire mains) in “Speaker’s Corner”, which was the name for the outside area between the apse of Henry VII’s chapel and the Chapter House (as well […]