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10 results for royal-mail found within the Blog

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All Aboard the Mail Rail!

Posted by fairbankguy on 4th October 2017 in Automotive | mail-rail,post-office,royal-mail,underground
The Mail Rail once transported letters and parcels from Paddington Station to as far as the Tower of London. When it closed in 2003 after more than 75 years’ service the Post Office were stuck with what to do with it. Ideas varied from converting it to a subterranean cycle lane to creating an extensive mushroom farm. But then they thought: why not open it to the public?  London’s newest attraction opened in 3 years ago and has already proved popular. Discovering a part of hidden London is always exciting and this journey under the streets of London is no exception. You travel about 1.6km along the tracks, at no great speed but enough for younge...
 

Tunnelling South

Posted by fairbankguy on 14th January 2018 in History | empire windrush,clapham,underground,tube,hidden london,blitz
Thanks to London Transport Museum’s Hidden London programme, a number of lost Tube stations and forgotten tunnels are occasionally open to the public. One such gem is Clapham South’s deep-level shelter. Descending 180 steps and 36m down you get to an engineering marvel: a series of tunnels built during World War Two to protect London’s citizens during the Blitz. At the height of the Luftwaffe’s bombing raids the Government commissioned 8 shelters, capable of holding some 64,000 citizens and well away from any potential raid. They employed miners to hand dig 2x 30m vertical shafts down. Then the miners created 2 horizontal shafts, each o...
 

500 years of Physicians

Posted by fairbankguy on 9th February 2018 in History | brutalism,lasdun,medicine,royal-college-of-physicians
It was in 1518 that King Henry VIII granted his physician Thomas Linacre the right to establish an institution that would grant licences to those with qualifications in 'physic' to practise their art. Initially this was in London and its surroundings but 5 years later their remit was extended by Act of Parliament to the whole of England. 500 years ago its membership numbered just 12; today that figure is 15,000. The Royal College of Physicians has had 5 addresses in that time. For many years they  were in Amen Corner and Warwick Lane in the City (a plaque marks their original home) but since 1964  they’ve been in Regent’s Park, surrounded by t...
 

Looking for Richard

Posted by fairbankguy on 15th August 2015 in History | mercers company,whittiington,dick whittington,lord mayor,richard,st michael paternoster royal
College Hill, a narrow lane parallel to Queen Street is one you’ve may never gone down. At the bottom of it stands St Michael Paternoster Royal. A Wren church, it was one of the last to be built after the Great Fire. It’s named after the paternosters, the ‘Our Father’ chants the priests used to utter, and the town of La Reole, in Bordeaux, which had connections with the wine trade. Now the church is the headquarters of the Mission of Seafarers but its claim to fame really lies in one of the burials, for it was here that Richard Whittington, Lord Mayor of London was buried in 1423. His house once stood next door. What we know of Dick Wh...
 

Take your Pyx

Posted by fairbankguy on 3rd February 2016 in History | goldsmiths,trial of the pyx,coinage,assay office,remembrancer
The Trial of the Pyx is an ancient ceremony that dates back to the 13th century. Its purpose is to check that all UK coinage produced at The Royal Mint is of sufficient weight and composition. The name ‘pyx’ refers to the boxes in which the coins are carried and comes form the Pyx chamber in Westminster Abbey, where important artefacts were housed. We believe there was some quality control in early medieval times but it was in the reign of Henry II (1154-89) that regular tests took place By the mid-13th century the Trial had begun to take the form we know today. Early trials were first held in Westminster until 1580, when Elizabeth I decree...
 

A Palace of Riches

Posted by Guy Fairbank on 16th December 2020 in History | richmond,surrey,henry vii,henry viii,elizabeth i,shene,sheen,tudor
Richmond-upon-Thames is one of the best places to live in London. Its riverside walks, fine views, handsome houses and hidden lanes make it an attractive place to live - it’s why some of our best-loved actors choose to call it home. 500 years ago King Henry VII thought so too, and had Richmond Palace built for himself and his young family. It had been a favourite home of royals before that, when it was originally known as Sheen Palace. In fact Edward III died there on 21 June 1377. When Anne of Bohemia, the much-loved wife of Edward’s grandson Richard II died of the plague, Richard had it pulled down. It was later rebuilt by Henry V, then comple...
 
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