Thursday, 14 July 2016

National Maritime Museum

I had the awesome luck the day we went to the National Maritime Museum to have a broken pencil with me (It had lead in it, but none was coming out!), so I’m probably going to miss a lot for this post. Oops!

I’m going to preface this first story with the fact that this happened a little over a week before the UK voted to remain in or leave the European Union.

The day started off veeeery interestingly. Instead of taking the tube and DLR all the way out to Greenwich, my professor decided we would take the river taxi down the Thames from Blackfriars instead. It started off as a normal, quite peaceful ride down the Thames. It didn’t take long for us to start noticing an unusual amount of police boats out. Then a (former?) tour boat with a SWAT (or the British equivalent?) team on top. And then boats with “IN” flags, and later “LEAVE”. A few of us had suspicions about what was happening, but it wasn’t till the next day that we realized we had gone through the Brexit Flotilla!!
Not the best picture of the flotilla, but you can see some of the boats here!
Once we got to Greenwich, we took a quick class picture in front of the Queen’s House and the old Royal Naval College before heading into the National Maritime Museum itself. We were given a short talk about some of the items they had selected to display for us, and were told about Lord Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar and the first man to swim the English Channel. After this, we were split into two groups and shown the library itself.

The museum’s library seemed fairly small at first, with just a single reading room open to the public. The room was split down the middle, allowing for a silent study area. There were several floors of archives behind the reading room however, which holds thousands of documents, including crew lists. Something interesting we were told on our tour is something I heard on a Titanic documentary (of all things!): the library doesn’t have all of the records that they could, as an archive in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland has them!

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