Tuesday 31st January – 4th meeting of 2017
Eight of us met today at Cannon Street Main Line station for a visit to The Guildhall and the newly opened City of London Police Museum.
A cold wet rather miserable day so our first job was to have a warming coffee. This we did and then walked to Guildhall. It is some time since we have been in the City of London so I found it pleasant walking through the streets with all the office workers busying themselves. We noticed that in the coffee shop there were many meetings taking place and we remarked that was one of the reasons why coffee shops started many years ago! We wound our way through the streets to Gresham Street and The Guildhall, Aldermanbury. This is a fabulous square and the buildings are superb. Also in the Guildhall are the Guildhall Library, London’s Roman Amphitheatre, City of London Heritage Gallery, Great Hall and The City Centre Gallery.
We gained access to the Police Museum through the Library. The fascinating collection shows how the City of London Police Force over the last 175 years have kept law and order in The City. It charts the Force from its earliest days through the intrigue of the Victorian era to modern policing and current challenges like cybercrime and fraud. This police force is responsible for the square mile of the City of London and works separately from The Metropolitan Police. Exhibits of all description were displayed. Weapons, uniforms, electronic apparatus including many types of telephones and medical information. Jack the Ripper and Sydney Street siege were shown. The war years were also covered. This was a very interesting exhibition and enjoyed by us all. On one of the stands where was an assortment of police helmets to try on. A few of our ladies did this. It was clear they were not really police material but very funny!
After this we went into The Library to see the Marie Duval Exhibition. Entitled ‘Laughter in the First Age of Leisure’ it shows many illustrations by Marie Duval who was a London actress Isabelle Emilie de Tessier. Her illustrations first appeared in a variety of cheap British penny papers and comics of the 1860’s-1880’s, for urban working classes. The drawings were very funny and typical of the era.
After this we made our way home walking through the streets of the City which was hustling and bustling with office workers and building workers taking their lunch breaks! One of our ladies left us and went on a reminiscing trip in the City to where she had worked many years ago when she left school and went into the big wide world. Hopefully some of the buildings will still be standing!