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The day I met a film star by Coral Rutterford

I was delighted recently to hear from Coral Rutterford who often send her memories of growing up in Poplar in the 1940s. Coral attended Alton Street Primary School and in 1947, the school had a very special visitor, film star Paulette Goddard.

Now largely forgotten, Goddard was an American actress who became a major star in Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s. Her most notable films were Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, and The Great Dictator.

Goddard was married for short time to Charlie Chaplin, before marrying actor Burgess Meredith in 1944.

Coral takes up the story:

The day I met a film star at school

I attended Alton Street Primary School way back in 1947 or thereabouts. I was in my final year there prior to going onto George Greens Grammar School which was located in East India Dock Rd at that time. I was 10-11 years old, my class teacher at that time asked that the next day would I wear some nice clothes and didn’t say why. I didn’t remember her request when I got home and it was forgotten.

I turned up at school next day wearing the same old maroon slip dress with a blouse that I wore all week as I didn’t have many clothes to change into every day. I did have a turquoise “best dress” and was only worn on weekends if the family went out. We were just an average working-class family, living in 2 rooms and money was tight, as it was for most people at that time, after recovering from the effects of the war still visible in the neighbourhood and still living with rationing.

It was time to assemble in the school hall as usual each morning for hymn singing and any information the headmaster wanted to pass on. Then I was pulled out of line along with other pupils in the other classes, one child each presented their class. We were all bewildered by this, I didn’t remember doing anything wrong.

Then the headmaster left the stage and went over to collect some visitors who were waiting at the back of the hall. As they made their way towards the stage a murmur of voices sounded excited and chatting was heard. The girls who had been taken aside at assembly, including me, were moved onto the stage as the special visitor made her way towards us.

She was a vision of beauty dressed in a white, long, short haired fur coat with a hood attached. Gold sandals at her feet and gold bangles on her wrist. Beautifully presented with hair and make-up. This was Paulette Goddard, a film actress who was married for a short time to Charlie Chaplin. He was a Londoner as we all were and he was famous for his acting in silent movies, portraying a short man dressed in black and wearing a bowler hat. He made several movies that made us laugh.

Once we kids got over the pleasant shock of seeing this lovely lady we were ushered up onto the stage and we stood around Paulette who was seated while the headmaster introduced her. She then spoke and advised us she was there to present food parcels to each of the pupils in the school on behalf of donations made by some Americans who realised how difficult life had been for us living in the East End during the war. Enduring continual bombing in the docklands area by Hitler’s air force, the area was flattened and there was a great loss of life that made life tough to get through each day.

Each girl who represented her class was given a parcel, it was heavy too. It contained foodstuffs, a tin of butter, some tinned meat, sugar, a big bar of chocolate, how wonderful to receive chocolate as we hadn’t seen chocolate during the war years, or any sweets at all. They stayed on ration for years after the war. Once rationing was removed and sweet shops were able to obtain stocks, they were swallowed up within hours and so we still didn’t get to buy them.

Other tinned products were included and we, as a family, were so grateful for the kindness shown to us. Other schools were included in this food parcel giveaway and they would have been as appreciative as we were.

The parents had to collect the parcel from school as it was too heavy for us kids to carry it home. It was such luxury after being so frugal during those war years, making do with bread and dripping because the food shortage was so great. We rarely saw an egg and a slice of tinned corned beef was a luxury.

After this event my uncle advised us that a photo of the event in Alton Street School was printed in the Daily Mail newspaper. It showed our group of class representatives standing around Paulette Goddard, what a memorable day for us all.

Coral’s memories is a reminder to us all that often a few everyday items can be luxuries when times are tough.

A Walk around Mudchute Park and Farm

With our increased freedom after the latest lockdown, I thought it was time to take a walk around Mudchute Park and Farm.

Mudchute have used the lockdown to start a few improvements including many of the pathways, refurbishment of the main courtyard including brand new toilets and a new water system around the whole farm.

Therefore there are parts of the farm which are closed off, however that will not spoil your visit too much because the wider park is open with many of the familiar animals in their fields and wide open spaces and woodland to enjoy.

A new part for me to look at was the memorial garden which is located near the large Ack Ack gun.

This time is usually noticable for the lambs jumping around but obviously this year that has changed.

One part of Mudchute that often get overlooked is the woodland walks which are very relaxing with plenty of birds flitting in and out of the trees.

The good news is the very good cafe is still open on Tuesday – Friday 10am-4pm and Saturday – Sunday 10am-5pm.

Mudchute Park and Farm is one of the largest inner City Farms in Europe with a wonderful collection of British rare breeds and currently home to over 100 animals and fowl. Set in 32 acres of countryside in the heart of East London, Mudchute is a community charity which runs a number of events throughout the year.

This is the first time since its inception that Mudchute has been able to undergo such refurbishment and improvements and it is hoped these works will have major positive effects for visitors to Mudchute.

Memories of the Island from Richard Jones and Ada Kay

Last year I was contacted by David Jones who had written a book about his early life and gives some real insights into a child growing up in the 1930s and 1940s.

The book entitled “Smith of Lambeth,” tells the story of how his family, paternal grandfather, Richard Jones, and his parents, brothers and sisters, left their home in Wales in the 1880s and settled on the Island. His grandfather Richard Jones, and two of his brothers, William and Edward soon showed their sporting prowess playing for Millwall Football Club who were then based on the Island. Richard later gained international honors for Wales.

David’s father’s family kept a green grocery shop on Glengall Road in which his paternal grandmother, née Skeels, worked. His mother’s family, née Draper, lived on Glengall Road. There were 11 children and their father was an itinerant dock worker. David’s parents, aunts and uncles, on both sides of my family, were born on the Island as was David in 1934. Not long afterwards, David’s immediate family moved to New Cross in South London but the Jones family maintained a large presence on the Island.

If you would like to find out more about the Jones family and life on the Island in the early 20th century, I am delighted to report that David and his family have made three videos available on YouTube which feature David’s father Richard and Auntie Ada Kay reminiscing about their life on the Island.

The videos were made in 1992 when the interviewees were in their 80s, in David’s house in Leonia, New Jersey. Richard, and Ada were on a rare holiday for both of them. The interviewer was Louise, a member of David’s family.

David’s father was born in 1904 and even remembered a  Zeppelin being shot down over the Island in the first World War. The interviews cover a wide range of subjects from Ada being run over by an horse and cart as a child to facing the blitz in the Second World War.

Listening to the memories of Richard and Ada was a reminder of how things have changed to a remarkable degree over the last century. Many of their memories of their childhood related to playing outside in the street, it is difficult for people to understand today that the streets of the Island and almost everywhere were a massive playground and entertainment area. The reason why the kids played in the streets was of course there were very few cars and the only dangers were the horse and carts but they were easily seen and avoided (although Ada did have run in with one).

The street was also the source of entertainment with various traders and tradespeople coming down the street selling their wares. Richard and Ada remember the Muffin Man, organ grinders and Aunt Sallies who were men who dressed as women to sell stuff off their barrows.

Richard in particular remembered his family involvement with Millwall Football club and the First World War and the appearance of the first motor cars on the road.

It must be remembered that the early 20th century was a world that generally happened out of doors and in the streets, there was no inside entertainment like television until later in the century. People felt more part of the community because there was constant interaction with your neighbours and people would sit on their doorsteps to keep an eye on their kids and watch the world go.

A very topical subject in the interviews were telephones, Richard and Ada did not know anyone who had a telephone in their house during their childhood and finding a phone and knowing how to use it was a major undertaking if there was an emergency. Generally if you needed a doctor or a policeman quickly, you had to send someone to fetch them.

The videos are a fascinating and entertaining insight into a world long gone and illustrates how listening to memories of the older generation you can learn about what really mattered to people which often gets overlooked in history books.

Many thanks to David and Louise for sending the links, which are listed

Video one here

Video Two here

Video Three here

If you would like a copy of David’s  book, visit Amazon here

Cubitt Town Library under threat of closure

One of my favourite old buildings on the ‘Island’ is the Cubitt Town Carnegie Library on Strattondale Street. Therefore it is with some concern that I have read that library is under threat from closure. As many people may know the ‘Island’ suffered greatly from bombing in the Second World War, one of the consequences of this was that many fine old buildings were damaged or destroyed.

One of the buildings that escaped that fate was the Cubitt Town Library on Strattondale Street. It is a pleasant surprise to come across the fine classical styled building amongst the post war houses  and modern developments.

cubitt 1212

The library is of national and international significance being part of a the chain of Carnegie Libraries. Carnegie Libraries were built with money donated by Scottish-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, it is estimated that 2509 libraries were built between 1883 and 1929. The majority (1,689) were built-in the United States, but 660 were built-in Britain and Ireland, 125 in Canada and others in Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, the Caribbean, Mauritius and Fiji. Andrew Carnegie had humble beginnings in Dunfermline before emigrating to the United States in 1848. Carnegie over the next two decades through hard work and clever investments became a very wealthy man. Carnegie never forgot his background and looked at ways to use his wealth to help people from a poor background. With his love of books and reading, Carnegie believed that establishing public libraries was a way to encourage people to aspire to move beyond their poor backgrounds. To get local support he provided the funding to build and equip the Library and the local authority provided the land and money to maintain its operation.

Painting by Rebecca Mitchell

Cubitt Town Library was built after the Mayor of Poplar heard Carnegie speak in 1902 and soon afterwards made the application and set about raising funds. It was officially opened by well known local politician Will Crooks in 1905.

dsc03195

Cubitt Town library, one of the 660 in Britain and Ireland was part of a movement that developed what we consider the modern library. One of the innovations of the libraries was the idea of open stacks that encouraged people to browse and choose books for themselves.

A Poplar Guide of 1927 relates with pride “The Cubitt Town Free Library, opened in January, 1905, in Strattondale Street, is on the ‘Open Access’ system, by which means borrowers can select their own volumes from the shelves with full satisfaction to themselves and a saving of time to all concerned: the library is open from 9 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.”

Before Carnegie libraries, in most libraries you went to the librarian at the counter and ask for books which were then retrieved from closed stacks.

It cannot be overestimated the role that libraries played in the late 19th and 20th centuries especially in poorer areas, they provided escapism and a refuge from the often harsh world outside.

Kay Everson who grew up on the Island in the 1930s remembers her visits to the library:

I loved the library and spent a lot of time there as I have always been a voracious reader and books  were a form of escapism whilst growing up. I lived in Strattondale Street so the journey to the library was easy. My one ambition at that time was to get in to the adult section to find more exciting books. My mother and my Aunt who lived upstairs in our house used to send me to get them any romance, particularly anything by Ethel M. Dell or Ruby M. Ayres.

However in the 21st century a number of Carnegie Libraries have been demolished or used for other purposes, this has led to many libraries widening their access to provide more community services. In recent times, Cubitt Town has developed a number of special and community events but this has not stopped its decline as a library.

With information available at your fingertips, one of the functions of a library has disappeared but its role as a community space is perhaps more important than ever. The isolation that many people have suffered in the pandemic reminds of the importance of community spaces that provide an opportunity to meet your old friends and get to know new friends. Libraries has always provided an important resources for local communities and Cubitt Town Library has for over a century been an oasis for many Islanders.

Tower Hamlets Council is asking for opinions about some of the proposed changes, this is an opportunity for people on the island to have their say on the library and whether they want to save this important part of Island history.

Find out more about the plans here

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Dash of Gin at Dunbar Wharf

 

One of the more interesting parts of the Dunbar Wharf post of a few weeks ago was that the building was used to store juniper berries for local Gin distilleries. Michael Murnior has sent a Gin advert from the Evening Standard from the early 1990s that tells us a lot more about Dunbar Wharf and its association with gin.

The advert follows master distiller, Hugh Williams as he checks on the juniper berries and other herbs and spices stored in the top of Dunbar Wharf. Hugh visited Dunbar Wharf, once a week for over 18 years to check that the ingredients were of the highest quality.

The article tells us it was not just juniper berries that were sent to the warehouse but ginger roots from China, angelica from Saxony, coriander from the Crimea plus six other herbs and spices.

The main ingredient was wild Italian juniper berries that were grown in the green fields of Umbria. The berries were harvested by the Scarponi family and were selected for their unique quality.

According to the article, Gordon’s had stored their natural ingredients at Dunbar Wharf for over 100 years. The air in the storage areas was perfect to keep the ingredients in top condition.

This article illustrates that many of the old warehouses were used to store all types of products from all over the world, anyone who visits the Museum of Docklands can enjoy the interesting smells that come from the many wooden beams.

Unfortunately, this long tradition at Dunbar Wharf came to an end in the late 1990s when the warehouse was redeveloped into apartments.

I am sure that when the residents in Dunbar Wharf opened up their gin over Christmas, they would little realise the remarkable history of the building related to Gordon’s.

Many thanks to Michael for sharing the fascinating adverts.

New Year Eve 2020 by L. Katiyo

Photo by L. Katiyo

It was a strange end to a strange year when the much reduced New Year Eve celebrations were played out in London.

Whilst I was tucked in bed with my cocoa, regular contributor L. Katiyo stood outside her back door to get some images from over the O2.

In a normal year, up to to 100,000 revellers usually gather on the banks of the River Thames for London’s New Year fireworks display but this year, the streets were virtually deserted as most people obeyed the capital’s lockdown rules.

Even on the Isle of Dogs, many people make their way to the riverfront to see the fireworks in Central London.

Photo by L. Katiyo

This year, the display spanned the length of the Thames, with fireworks launched from the O2 Arena and Tower Bridge and a light display on The Shard.

Photo by L. Katiyo

Up to 300 drones were used to “paint” the sky with tributes to NHS staff and notable figures from 2020.

Photo by L. Katiyo

Several images filled the sky – including the NHS logo.

Photo by L. Katiyo

There was a special mention for Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised £33m by walking in his back garden. The drones formed an outline of his figure.

Photo by L. Katiyo

There was a clenched-fist symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement.

After spending many years charting the history of the Isle of Dogs, this year’s events are a reminder that history is not just in the past but is played out in the present.

Let us hope that we can return to ‘near normal’ before the end of this year and look forward to more traditional celebrations.

Many thanks to Laureen for the photographs.

Dunbar Wharf in the the 1980s

Dunbar  Wharf 2020

Around this time last year, I wrote about Dunbar Wharf in the 1920s with the assistance of Barry Ashworth and Michael Murnoir. Limekiln Dock and especially Dunbar Wharf convey some of the atmosphere of 19th century docklands industry. The original loading doors and cast iron windows of the small, early 19th century warehouses of Dunbar Wharf in Limehouse are a reminder of how much of the riverside would have looked in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Dunbar  Wharf 2020

A few weeks ago, Michael got in touch and told me he had come across an old home movie of when he visited Dunbar Wharf in the 1980s. Michael was kind enough to send a copy of the home movie which shows Dunbar Wharf still used as offices and warehouses before the widespread development of the area.

No other part of London underwent a more rapid and radical redevelopment in the 1980s and early 1990s than the Isle of Dogs and Docklands. This development was a response to the decline and eventual closure of the docks. The creation of the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) in 1981 and designation of the area as an Enterprise Zone led to number of initiatives including the DLR which opened in 1987.

Dunbar  Wharf 2020

Dunbar Wharf was home to one of the richest men in Britain who ran a large shipping fleet with connections all over the world. The story really begins with Duncan Dunbar senior who leaves Scotland and founded a brewery in Fore Street in Limehouse in the 1790s. His career as a brewer and wine merchant was obviously very successful because when he died in 1825 he left around £ 40,000 in his will. This wealth allowed his son Duncan Dunbar Jnr who was born in Dunbar Wharf to branch out into shipping. Young Duncan’s bought his first ship in 1827 and by 1842 his fleet stood at 11 ships, over next 20 years he ordered 42 new ships.

Even into the mid 20th century, Dunbar Wharf was used for transporting products all over the world. By the 1980s, many of the docks were closed or ready to be closed and old warehouses were being eyed up developers. In the film we can see the old warehouses across from Dunbar Wharf being pulled down to be developed.

Dunbar Wharf in this period was still being used by a number of companies under the E.W. Taylor Group who were transporting goods around the UK and the world, but it was past its glory days of the 18th and 19th centuries.

One fascinating aspect of the film is to see the area before the large development of Dundee Wharf and to see Dunbar Wharf, just before it was redeveloped as flats and apartments.

The exterior and interior gives the impression that Dunbar Wharf had changed little since the 19th century with many of the original warehouse doors and fittings still there.

Dunbar Wharf overlooks Limekiln Dock which now has a bridge across,

in the 1980s this was not the case with many of the riverside industries not allowing public access to their sites.

Dunbar Wharf occupied a much larger site than the old warehouse with considerable storage areas down to the river.

Looking over towards what is now Canary Wharf, we can see the old timber yards and pier down to the river.

The only tall buildings on the Isle of Dogs at this time are the four Barkantine  tower blocks completed in the 1970s.

The old Dunbar Wharf warehouses were often used for storage and Michael shows sacks of Juniper berries being stored high in one of the warehouses. The sacks were stored for local gin distillers for up to two years, the warehouses were chosen because they tend to be airy and were the perfect temperature for the berries.

The film offers a remarkable insight into a world that was on the cusp of changing forever. Although Dunbar Wharf is now residential, it does retain much of its character and is a reminder of the large number of riverside wharves and warehouses that have largely disappeared.

Many thanks to Michael for sharing his memories.

Lumps and Bumps: Let’s Talk Cancer – 6th December 2020

 

 

Health has been uppermost on most people’s minds this year and recently I was contacted by two student-led groups at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry about a community, interactive webinar on Cancer which aims to bring awareness on the signs and symptoms of cancer as well as how to self-check and get the appropriate help.

The groups are ROCK (Reconnecting Our Community through Kindness) which has the aim of encouraging students to engage in community activities and Oncology Society (OncoSoc), which is an academic group focused on all aspects of cancer management, from primary care screening to cutting-edge research.

The event is called: “Lumps & Bumps: Let’s Talk Cancer”

The purpose of this event is to:

  • Raise awareness of cancers that affect both males and females (looking at cervical/testicular, breast, bowel and lung cancer – the online event will be segregated for males and females to allow everyone to feel comfortable )
  • Highlight the signs and symptoms of cancer
  • How to self check yourself – including live explanations
  • Who and where to go for help and advice
  • De-bunking myths surrounding cancer
  • Followed by a live Q&A with a GP

The groups hope that raising awareness on this sensitive topic will help increase the likelihood of self-checking and encourage members within the community to visit their GP early when something does not look right.

The groups make it very clear that the webinar does not replace the need for people to visit their GP if they have any concerns, but should help people be more aware of what is concerning and have more confidence to book and attend an appointment.

The webinar takes place on Zoom on the 6th of December 2020 from 2-3:30 pm.

The link to register is as follows:  https://bit.ly/LetsTalkCancer

Masks in the Past

Wandering around the Island, it is noticeable that a large number of people are wearing masks as they go about their business. Although many people at the beginning at the pandemic had considerable reservations about wearing masks, it is now accepted by most people that they do offer some protection. But what about in the past ? I decided to do some research into past outbreaks especially the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918/1919 and found some familiar themes that we are facing today.

1919

INFLUENZA PREVENTION. LONDON DOCTORS’ VIEWS

Newspapers received by the last mail from London contain reports of a conference called by the Institute of Hygiene to consider “influenzas and its Prevention.”

Sir Malcolm Morris presided.

Sir Malcolm Morris directed attention to a number of points on which light was needed. He expressed the opinion that alcohol was not essential either for the prevention or the treatment of influenza.

Speaking of the precautions recommended by the Local Government board, he said the solution of common salt and permanganate of potash for washing the nostrils and throat was a most horrible mixture. He had found a solution of colloidal silver beneficial.

Sir St. Clair Thomson said the disease was splashed on us by people talking, laughing, coughing, and sneezing at any body within ten feet of them. People known to have the disease should be isolated, Persons who in a omnibus or tube who coughed without putting up their hands, or sneezed without putting up their handkerchief should be prosecuted for indecency.

Sir Kingsley Wood said If we were to grapple with the disease we have to spend a great deal more than £50,000 a year on medical
research.

In Poplar a gargle or douche was being distributed to all who liked to apply for it, this example might well be followed by other municipalities.

Dr. Carnegie Dixon said He was afraid experience did not yet sufficiently show whether masks were useful or not. His own opinion was that they were useful.

Dr. Hector Mackenzie said The wearing of masks for the general public he considered unpractical. 

Dr. Kirkhope, of Tottenham, was inclined to think alcohol stimulated the activities of the body in resisting disease.

1919

London Times

“One of the simplest precautions,” writes the medical correspondent of the London “Times,” “is to wear a small mask made of gauze and tied
across the mouth. Those who have dared to do this have largely escaped infection because the danger germs are caught in the mask, and so do not penetrate to the throat. The mask must cover the nose.” American experience confirms this advice. One, N F. Ostberg, writing to the
newspapers, states: “I have been in the thick of the epidemic since March last year in different countries in Europe, and also in America. I have had the opportunity to judge of the efficiency of various preventives and remedies, such as antiseptics, inoculations, and drugs, and can truly say that in Europe and America these have had no effects whatever in the stamping out of the disease. A few days before my arrival in San Francisco the epidemic broke out, and it was allowed to spread without hindrance until the ravages were so bad that compulsory wearing of gauze masks was decided on. Almost immediately the progress of the influenza was stopped, the number of cases decreased daily, and after about a month the disease was stamped out and the masks abandoned.

1919

IN BRITAIN. DISEASE NOT ABATING.
THREE MONTHS’ DEATHS, 175,000.
MASKS AFFORD PROTECTION,

The influenza epidemic is Britain is not abating. There were 138 deaths in Edinburgh last week, of which 90 were from pneumonic influenza.
The “Daily Mail’s” medical correspondent estimates that the deaths from influenza last quarter of 1918, totalled 175,000, largely young adults, involving an economical loss of £130,000,000.
Doctors are increasing their belief that the, wearing of masks affords protection against the disease:,

1919

EXPERIENCE IN ENGLAND

The Fresh Wave in February was Expected : Masks Recommended when in contact with Infection

The following observations by the medical correspondent of the London Times printed on January 31,

Indications point to a fresh wave of the influenza epidemic. There is nothing surprising in this; indeed, the thing has been foretold on many occasions. What is interesting is that this new wave corresponds in time, as did the last one, with a notable break in the weather.
The new wave seems to be of considerable virulence, though whether or not it will last any length of time remains to be seen. The fact that it follows so closely upon the earlier waves may serve to limit it to quite small proportions, since presumably many persons have acquired a degree of resistance to the infection. On the other hand, optimism is dangerous and precautions should not be neglected.

The disease, as has been indicated again and again, is contact-borne. Consequently contact with persons who are affected should be avoided if possible; a mask gauze (a handkerchief serves very well) should be worn. It is better to avoid crowded places and hot places. Chills should also be avoided very carefully, but fresh air is most valuable.

Fierce controversies have raged about the use of alcohol. The facts would seem to be against those who declare that it is a useless. Indeed, the opinion of many of those who have been prescribing it recently it that it forms a most valuable aid to treatment.

1919

USB OF MASKS NOT ADVISED.
LONDON, Thursday.

In a, memorandum issued by the Local Government Board, the use of masks during the influenza epidemic is not advised. An exception Is made in the case of nurses who, it is stated, should wear goggles, as infection is receivable through the eyes.
The practice of spraying halls is said to be of doubtful value, und creates a false sense of security. The golden rule is the avoidance of fatigue, alcoholism, cold and crowds, and the gargling of the throat and nostrils with a teaspoonful of salt In a pint of warm water, adding a few potassium pormanganate crystals.

1940

Gauze Masks to Check Epidemics in London Shelters

The serious view taken by medical authorities regarding the risk of epidemics in the , coming winter is indicated in a letter to
“The Times” by T. H. Sanderson- Wells, M.D., F.R.C.S., suggesting the use of gauze masks, covering the mouth and nose in three or four layers of gauze to prevent the dissemination of germs by the infectious, and the inspiration of floating organisms by the healthy.

He is echoing the fear expressed in the “British Medical Journal” which says: “Unless effective measures are promptly taken we can foresee with the approach of winter a’ state of affairs in respect of contagious and infectious disease which may prove more devastating than the blitzkrieg.”

1943

May Order Masks As Flu Check

To prevent the spread of the influenza epidemic in Britain, everybody may be ordered to wear gas masks. The Ministries of Health,
Labour, and Aircraft Production are reported to be making special arrangements to stop the spread of infection in British war factories.
Effective preventive measures are being sought by health and medical officers in factories where production has been affected.
Some experts who consider gas masks too uncomfortable and too great a hindrance at work, suggest that gauze masks should be worn.

The Government has instructed the British Medical Research Council to proceed with tests to prove the value of the new “cold cure” — the drug patulin.

The present deathrate is 7000 a week. At the height of the 1918 epidemic the deathrate in Britain was 80,000 a week.

Controversies over wearing masks, contradictory medical advice, strange and sometimes dangerous home remedies. All this seems very familiar and an illustration that nothing is really ‘new’.   

Havering Hoard: A Bronze Age Mystery at the Museum of London Docklands from 11 Sep 2020 to 18 Apr 2021

Photo – David Parry/PA Wire

One exhibition, I was looking forward to seeing at the Museum of London Docklands is related to the Havering Hoard, although it was originally scheduled for April it is now opening in September. This major exhibition called Havering Hoard: A Bronze Age Mystery will take visitors on a journey through life in the Late Bronze Age. Artefacts from the hoard, including tools and weapons, will feature alongside objects from the museum’s collection to tell the story of the people who lived and worked during this period.

Photo – David Parry/PA Wire

Among the objects are a pair of terret rings, a rare discovery and it is believed these are the first Bronze Age examples of their kind ever to be found in the UK. These objects are believed to have been used on horse-drawn carts. The discovery of these terret rings, bracelets and copper ingots possibly originating from the Alps suggests there was a well established trade route across Europe.

Photo – David Parry/PA Wire

Buried in four separate parts, the largest Bronze Age hoard ever discovered in London provides fascinating clues about the beliefs, values and nature of a complex and little known society.

Photo – David Parry/PA Wire

The Havering Hoard is a total of 453 bronze objects dating between c.900 and c.800 which were uncovered by archaeologists from Archaeological Solutions as part of a planned archaeological excavation.

Photo – David Parry/PA Wire

This internationally significant find will be on display from September 2020 to Aptil 2021 and offers the opportunity to go back in history and find out what Late Bronze Age Havering folk got up to and how they lived.

Havering Hoard: A Bronze Age Mystery
Museum of London Docklands
11 Sep 2020 to 18 Apr 2021
Free with timed entry ticket to the museum