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Tuesday 12 November – 35 meeting of 2013

Usual meeting today at Charing Cross and then underground to South Kensington and the Victoria and Albert Museum to view the exhibition of Pearls sponsored by Shell and Qatar Museums.

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Once at the Museum we purchased are timed tickets for the exhibition £8.00 for concessions and then went for a drink in the William Morris Tea Rooms. Personally, I really like this Cafe but must add that the price of the tea and coffee certainly reflects the deco, expensive!!

pearls 7The exhibition itself was very good. Well laid out and not too packed with people although at some points there was a short wait.  It started by explaining how pearls are formed in shells and particularly oysters.  Reading through this and watching a video I was amazed to find out that my life long understanding of how a pearl is formed from a grain of sand in the shell is completely wrong.  It is a very small parasite that enters the shell and cannot escape that eventually forms a pearl! I was pleased to learn that most of us thought it was a grain of sand so maybe that was what we learnt at school many moons ago!!

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The exhibition was set out in sections from Roman to Modern times and also explained how the pearls are caught and the process of the modern cultured pearls. The exhibits were in small safe cases and could be clearly seen. I was surprised by the different colours of pearls on display. We all loved the old designs but were not so keen on the modern contemporary exhibits.

After the exhibit some of our ladies stopped at the Museum shops looking for some little bits and pieces for Christmas while the rest of us made out way home. This was a very good exhibition and well worth a visit!