Hackneyed ideas

So anyway, you may recall a few entries back that I mentioned that I’d like to do a bit more exploring in the Bethnal Green/Hackney area. On Sunday I did just that. As neither of my entries yesterday were all that good, I’m writing this up early.

Yet another of the Mog’s friends had expressed an interest in coming to the Last Tuesday Society’s May masked ball – I honestly believe that myself, my friends and friends-of-friends have purchased approximately half the tickets sold so far, looking at the ticket numbers. When I arrived, the Last Tuesday Society’s shop was closed, so I had an entertaining wander around a dilapidated area of the canal. I like dilapidated industry, possibly because I’m unimaginably sick and twisted, and took numerous photos of eyesores.

When the Society shop reopened, I went in, picked up the ticket and paid admission to the Museum. Actually, it’s not so much a museum as a showroom for the items on sale from the shop. The collection might best be described as “bizarro.” Victorian sex aids, pickled foetuses, shrunken heads, mummified animals, unfortunately-titled books, disturbing toys and puerile stocking-fillers were among the many items on display. I had reason to doubt the authenticity of some of the exhibits (the unicorn skull, for instance). Overall, the place had that sort of “grandmother’s attic” feel, with the proviso that your grandmother is high priestess of a Satanic death cult.

A pass for photography was £5. Much as I like you folks, I don’t like you enough to spend £5 on a few snapshots. There are photos enough in the Last Tuesday Society’s own gallery:


You’re also supposed to leave your bags at the desk, although the lady at the front said I looked trustworthy. Honestly, I could make a fortune as a conman. Too damn nice, that’s my problem.

Next stop, after a short stroll, was the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood. This is a museum I’ve been meaning to go to for a while. Twenty years, in fact. It was closed when the Ma took me last time, so we went to the zoo instead. It was awesome. I saw an elephant and everything.

This time I was not to be so disappointed. Although I have to say, as the only person there not accompanied by a small child, I couldn’t help feeling a bit creepy.

Speaking of creepy, the dudes you see just there were in a display of puppetry and also my nightmares.

Equally scary was the number of toys on display that I actually used to have. I wanted to grab one of the curators and say, “Excuse me, there appears to have been some mistake, as there is no possible way that this is old enough to be a museum piece.” The plan then was to fall to my knees and start obsessively plucking out grey hairs. That being said, does anyone remember Stickle Bricks? Those were so awesome.

On the left you may see Action Man, who is clearly ready for action.

A problem with the Museum of Childhood that I should really have anticipated was the sheer number of children. I do not understand the logic of small children – they move by a sort of Brownian motion, irrespective of obstacles or other people. Worse, they have this tendency to lie flat on the floor. The number of times I have come close to nearly stepping on an errant toddler is frankly worrying for all of us.

Awful dolls' house picture marred further by the ghostly presence of Yr. Humble Chronicler.

It’s not a huge museum, and so I found I was able to get around the whole thing in less than two hours. I get the impression I’m not really the target market.

Therefore, I decided to have an aimless wander in the vague direction of the City. And such wonders I found! Such wonders, in fact, that to describe them would end up taking the word count on this entry way over the readability limit. Next time, my children, next time.



Filed under 19th century, 20th Century, Arts, Buildings and architecture, Current events, East End and Docklands, Geography, History, London, Occult, Psychogeography, Rambling on and on, Shopping, Theatre, Weird shops

8 responses to “Hackneyed ideas

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