This year we hit the City of Westminster, on Saturday leaving Embankment staton we walked to Whitehall Place, following a route I took daily when I worked in the Old War Office Building. It was my first 'proper' job, a senior librarian said to me, "Are you interested in this?" I was, trying make sense of the UDC (Universal Decimal Classification) letters and numbers I inked on the spine of books, the special classifications for military and for regimental histories, the hand written dictionary catalogue arranged by British Museum library 1909 rules. I was interested enough to be sent to Liverpool library school to study for the then Library Association exams., to still belong to CILIP LA's successor, to be a member of the LA Dewey classification Committee and specialise in Cat'n'Class.
This memorial to the Tank Regiment was a surprise to me, the Old War Office Building is to the right, so clean today compared with the sooty building in the sixties.
We started our visit in part of the Admiralty building, sadly cameras weren't allowed so couldn't show the views over Horse Guards or the paintings. The queues for entry into Admiralty House were long, I had made an error in not bringing knitting or crochet to pass the time, instead we lunched at Waterstones before jumping on a bus to the Westminster Archives in St Ann's Street, not so much for the building but to compare and contrast the facilities offered at the Archive where I volunteer. What a difference, a purpose built building with a reading room with so much space, interesting exhibition of historical artefacts including G. F. Handel's rates bill, a conservation department and a Conservator whose work we were shown. I suspect I will go back for research into my paternal family history. Nothing to do with the building but excellent hospitality from the volunteers for this well organised tours.
Although not a good photo Open House is about buildings so I show this window in the Reàding Room which reflects this historical city.
On Sunday we made just one visit to the Methodist Central Hall near Parliament Square, on emerging from Westminster tube the Battle of Britain fly past of spitfires and hurricanes looped over, such timing. The whole area was busy, the congregation, so smart in uniform or Sunday best was streaming out of Westminster Abbey after the Battle of Britain service whilst the Queen Elizabeth conference centre was hosting an event for the London Fashion Show. All this and sunshine made for a great atmosphere.