, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Less than a month after the last time, I was in London again two days ago. The purpose this time was to join (mainly professional) singers and instrumentalists to sing and play – over and over again – the European Union anthem, the Ode to Joy by Beethoven, outside Parliament, to protest the need for musicians to have freedom of movement within the EU.  On my way to a meet up point in Smith Square, I went past the media village that has been camped there for weeks.  This is only part of it, and it has recently been fenced off to the public, which now means that protesters can not easily be seen behind presenters.  We were going to do our best and loudest.

Difficult to estimate our numbers, but I reckon we were some 200 or so. Here’s a part of us.

In the middle is Simon Wallfisch, singing lustily in his fine baritone, and at the same time playing his cello, its case on his back.
Surrounded by professionals. (Photo Helen, Olive’s sister)
I’m behind the singer, Dame Sarah Connolly, the originator of this protest. (Photo Chris Mercer)
With my singer friend, Olive Simpson, thanks to whom I knew about this event. She has just brought out a book, ‘Molly’s Musings’.  Wit and whimsy. (Photo Helen, Olive’s sister)
Father Christmas has his opinion.

Apparently we were covered in German TV news bulletins, Reuters also took a story, and we could be seen on Sky News.  I watched the BBC 1 o’clock news on catch up when I got home, and certainly we could be seen and heard, very faintly, if you knew to look and listen for us.  (The banner ‘Musicians depend on freedom of movement’ was far too far away to be read though.)

But I didn’t go straight home. There were several hours before my coach back to Somerset was due to leave.  So I walked along the Embankment, and up Savoy Street to Covent Garden, and the London Transport Museum. This is housed in the old Covent Garden flower market. It would be more accurately, but cumbersomely, named the Transport in London Museum, not least because it starts in 1800.

I tried very hard not to take photos, especially as I didn’t have my camera with me, and my tablet, on which I had taken the earlier photos, was in the Museum’s cloakroom. But I didn’t succeed. I had my tiny phone on me and took lots of pictures. Fortunately the quality of the results was such that my selection here was easy to make!

A replica.  The originals will not have stayed this shiny for long, and maybe never were, given the quality of today’s paints!
Wonderful ironwork
Inside this Metropolitan Railway carriage was just like the mainline carriages I remember from childhood. Indeed the whole visit was an exercise in nostalgia.
I remember these ticket machines!
But my memory does not go quite as far back as this bus and tram! The former was used in the First World War for troops.
I do remember the trolley man putting the pole back on the catenary though.

There was a temporary exhibition of works by women poster artists.  Women were welcome to put forward their art from the outset.  I could have spent a very long time indeed in this part of the Museum, so was delighted to find that there was one copy left of the accompanying book when I asked at the end. 

Fans of ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ will understand that I was delighted to find there had been an artist called Dora Batty.
People get nostalgic about the Routemaster (left) , but I get nostalgic about the model of London double-decker red bus before that, the Regent III (centre). We used to catch the 120 as the first stage of a trip to my grandmother’s in Staines.

A final look at the lovely ironwork, before meeting Mary in the café for a cuppa, family catch-up, and lots and lots of political talk, (as by now the  Commons Brexit Withdrawal Vote had been withdrawn.)

I would hope to return to this museum in the future. I could easily have spent the double the time I did there.