Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The Imperial War Museum

After our short walk over Westminster Bridge and onto Victoria Embankment, Whitehall and Parliament Square we being the "not too enthusiastic about walking for a further 10 - 15 minutes types" jumped into a taxi to The Imperial War Museum. The building is impressive and was once a hospital. Patients at the hospital included Mary Nicholson who tried to assassinate George III in 1786 and Louis Wain - famous for his cat cartoons and the architect A W N Pugin who designed the Houses of Parliament!

This was outside. It is a section of the Berlin Wall - the Cold War seems such a long time ago but of course it wasn't. The Wall came down in 1989. I remember seeing it on the news - it was a momentous time in history when people power prevailed.

Once inside the building you are in the Large Exhibits Gallery. This is an "Ole Bill" Bus and was requisitioned for use during the First World War. It was in an immaculate condition.

There were all sorts of important weapons and vehicles displayed.

Some of the machinery had images painted on them.

There were some display cases and I thought that this lady was very evocative of the 1940's.

A P-51D Mustang which has been painted to copy the aircraft of Lt. Col. J D Landers. You knew that of course, didn't you.

A Polaris A3 Missile.

A Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c.

There we have it - photographs of some of the military weapons on display in the Large Exhibits Gallery. After a good look around the collection we went to the on site cafe for some lunch before making our way to The Children's War and the 1940's house.

As you enter The Children's War exhibition there are photographs of individual children on  five small TV type screens and these photographs then transform into the adults that they are today. I found that very moving. These children from the 1940's had survived the War - children like my parents. It was also sad as it made you think about the thousands of young men who had gone to War  never to come back - so much potential gone to waste.

As you go through the Exhibition you also realise that it was a time of great solidarity - communities pulling together, to help each other - the evacuation of children from the cities to the country, women going to work in the factories and digging for victory.

More on The Children's War tomorrow.

Until next time.


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