Friday, 15 May 2009

The Great Exhibition, The Crystal Palace And A Day Out

The part of London that I live in was forested not so very long ago. There are still some substantial woods nearby and there were ancient wells too. After the Great Exhibition of 1851, the Crystal Palace, in which the exhibition had been housed, was dismantled and moved to this part of London and the area where it was relocated was renamed Crystal Palace. The park which was established at the same time that the Crystal Palace was relocated was a favourite place for Sunday afternoon walks when I was a child. Unfortunately, I never saw the Crystal Palace itself because it burned down in 1936, although its foundations could still be seen and were a reminder of a British achievement.

The Great Exhibition was an incredible success. Although only open for 6 months, it attracted more visitors than the Millennium Dome managed in a year. And this was at a time when travel was nowhere near as easy as it is today. The Great Exhibition also created a lasting legacy for the country, for with the proceeds from the entrance money a group of museums were built. Those museums were built in South Kensington and are located on Exhibition Road, named so that we should never forget where their origins were.

The museums are the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. They are world-renowned, and rightly so, and are testament to the vision of Prince Albert and his idea of an exhibition to show what man had achieved through hard work, ingenuity and innovation.

To make sure that I don't sit at home getting more and more depressed on a day that is difficult for me to cope with, I have decided to get out my Oyster card, ignore the fact that it is a miserable day and I am going to get wet while walking to the bus stop and from the Underground station, and I am going to visit one of these museums.

I haven't made up my mind which it will be yet. They all have exhibits that I want to see; I shall make my decision when I get there. And I'll let you know about my day out later.


cb said...

I love those museums. I never go as often as I intend to because I'm not very local (so no, I don't live in Knightsbridge or even Kensington!!). I used to find the V & A interminably boring as a child but it would probably be the first I'd go back to as an adult! I look forward to hearing how the day pans out.

There and Back said...

Enjoy your day.