Somewhat dwarfed by the architecture of Sir Christopher Wren all around them, Union flags hang, outside of The Painted Hall and The Chapel at the Old Royal Naval College and add some much needed colour to a largely white World Heritage Site.
The Painted Hall has had a colourful history; in 1806 it witnessed the laying-in-state of Admiral Nelson, it became the first National Gallery of Naval Art in 1824 and served as a rather grand dining room for trainee Royal Navy officers between 1937 and 1997.
The “Warhorse to Horsepower” exhibition at The Tank Museum tells the story of the role of the British Army’s cavalry on the Western Front during World War One and, as the title of the exhibition suggests, the transition from horse riding and horse drawn conflict into a armoured and motorised one from a rather unusual perspective; that of the horses.
The horses in the walk through exhibition are represented by rather charming models, each with its own character and voice, which guide the visitor from 1914, when horses were at the forefront of British military doctrine, to the 1920’s and 30’s, when the advantages of the tank over the horse were firmly established. It gives one a perspective on the rest of the galleries, which are largely mechanical; albeit with an eye for the human stories behind the armour.
I remember these riders quite clearly, but I never did find out what aspect of London life these men were representing in the Lord Mayor’s Procession, because I didn’t buy a programme, but it was remarkably easy to believe that the Lord Mayor would not be coming and that The City of London was under new management. Don’t they look splendid! I’m not an expert in matters of national costume, but there is something of The Great Steppe about them.
I was very impressed by this replica of Amy Johnson’s Gipsy Moth aircraft hanging from the roof from the roof of the Paragon Interchange. You can’t tell from this photograph, but “Jason” is flying over the florists, towards the railway station ticket office. In a plane just like this one, Hull born Amy Johnson flew from London to Darwin in 19 days in 1930 and this replica was made by inmates at HM Prison Hull as part of the City of Culture celebrations.
You can read more about the replica on the BBC News website.
“Portbury had a reputation for great strength and in her hey-day it was said that she could ‘pull a town down’. She also had a tendency to move off when unattended – a common problem with steam locomotives with worn parts. Thus she was usually parked between other engines in the Avonmouth shed“.
Thankfully, it looked like Portbury was under control as the locomotive reversed!