The present-day Charterhouse School is located just outside the town of Godalming in Surrey and I have driven past it many a time on my way to or from the A3 and our son’s house. The school was originally established for the education of bright boys from poor families in the city. Looking at the school down in Surrey today I think it’s only for the very wealthy. But the original Charterhouse still stands in a quiet square away from the hustle and bustle of the City of London.
The Postal Museum at Mount Pleasant, WC1, opened to the public on 28 July last year (2017) with Mail Rail opening on 4 September. My sister and I spent a few days in London just after new year and near the top of our ‘must-do’ list was a visit to the museum and a ride on the train. As you might guess the museum is devoted to the story of the 500 years of the British postal service since Henry VIII tasked Sir Brian Tuke with establishing a national postal network to serve his Court.
The Obligatory Book that Accompanies the Show
Before visiting Melancolia at Somerset House (see previous post) I popped in the Courtauld Gallery. Again, I had been alerted to this show in a review in the Financial Times (Weekend, 21/22 October 2017): “Uniformed but Different: Soutine: The Russian-French painter’s portraits make an exceptional show”. I’d never heard of Soutine before but it looked and read to be something I would enjoy. I’d recently re-read Arnold Bennett’s “The Grand Babylon Hotel” (first published in 19o2) and the Soutine portraits are from a slightly later era. Although his are French and not characters from The Savoy Hotel in London. Near enough. [Here‘s a review of a 1950 show of Soutine’s work in the US and brief biography of Chaim Soutine (1893-1943)].
On a recent visit to London I had time enough before catching my train home to visit Somerset House. I’d earmarked three exhibitions – none of them big blockbusters – all in the same venue.
Time flies! It’s already over a week since I was in London and Surrey and at home we’ve been busy, busy, busy. And now it’s nearly time for me to reopen the pages of My Irish Times. This year I’m going Dutch for the first ten days and working my way from north to south.
Anyway, that’s for next week, in the meantime last Friday (13th) I was in London and on Saturday and Sunday in Surrey … and beyond.
The Geffrye in January this year
The first watery feature in London that I would think of is certainly the River Thames. And what better way to approach Greenwich than by boat leaving from Tower Pier.