Pepys, Greenwich & Maritimes

Holiday adventure time!  As many museums were closed over between the 24th-26th I’m a little behind. Really inconvenient guys. Don’t they know I NEED to blog about them? Honestly.

 

We ended up heading out to Greenwich, the home of the Prime Meridian (hear of Greenwich mean time? THAT Greenwich) and where the final battle of Thor 2 took place. Pretty sweet.  They really cleaned up the place -it’s like the Dark Elves were never there. A+ work SHIELD!

 

Greenwich is a cute little part of London that was firmly separate for most of its history and was slowly absorbed over the last hundred years or so.  Lots of cute shops and Georgian Houses.

 

On to the MUSEUM!


National Maritime Museum Greenwich

 

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This museum is an interesting mix of naval history as well as just the Maritime trade. It is a pretty big mix of odds and ends.

 

Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution

Their special exhibition is about Samuel Peyps (pronounced peeps) who is famous for his detailed diaries during the reign of James II of England. He was actually part of the Navy administration.  It was very cool but NO PHOTOS allowed.

Pater really wanted to go as he had recently read an abridged version of the diaries.

They used a lot of audio visual presentations to show the execution of King Charles  I, the plague in London, theatre in Stuart England and the Great Fire of London.  I also really liked how they had touch screens that showed pages from his diaries and translated them for you (they were in shorthand).  It was the best use of these kinds of visuals I have ever seen!

Also shout out to the marketing team! Well done the official hashtag is #PeypsShow. Great work all around.

 

The other exhibits:

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The museum had a pretty sweet space called ‘The Great Map.’ Which is exactly what you think it is!  Kids loved it and they were racing around.  There were even ipads that allowed you to track your movements and trade routes. Very cool!

 

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I particularly liked the gallery that focused on the East India Tea Company.  The visuals were stunning and had lots of things you could touch.  They really focused on India, China and Malaysia as complete and diverse cultures that were irrevocably altered by their confrontations with the ‘Company.’ I mean they’re the reason that India was invaded by the Brits and helped to begin the Opium wars.

 

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One of the coolest segments was the videos of contemporary families and organization.  I particularly liked the excerpt about Tea and how in 1700 a cup of tea cost about 500 pounds whereas today its closer to 1 pound or so.  It really puts into perspective how much cheaper transport is and what intentional undercutting of labour costs can do. Also that a lot of the ‘British’ cultural institutions did not really start here at all!

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(The left side of the mannequin has the styles from Britian- Tweed and Linen)

 

The museum is a bit convoluted in themes (really what does Maritime mean anyways?) and in space. Its on multiple levels that don’t all connect and specific galleries are hard to find at times.

 

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One fun thing was the actress walking around as a plague victim. She was great!

 

Rating: 3/5

Pros: Great special exhibition, appeals to all ages, great shop, good discussions of colonialist power, very kind staff, very cool location/ building

Cons: Hard to navigate, convoluted thematically, not the best cafe


 

Greenwich is super cool and super cute! We didn’t manage to get up to the Royal Observatory where the Prime Meridian is centred. But they have a handy green laser that shoots through the sky to show you where it is!

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It makes a nice little trip out of central London but still in near enough to be Zone 2 on the transit network.

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