5th Unlock the Past Cruise – The Pre-Cruise Days

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – The Pre-Cruise Days

Well the 5th Unlock the Past cruise is underway, and as we’re stopped in port today (with internet of some sort, but it’s better than none), it has given me time to sit and write something.

But before I get too much into the cruise happenings itself, let me tell you about the two days before that started.

The Unlock the Past cruise team (myself included), arrived in London on Thursday (17th July). As it was in the morning, it gave us a chance to make our way to our hotel to dump our bags, and then go for a wander around.

The ladies of the UTP team ready for London. L-R: Helen Smith, Anthea Phillips, Alona Tester, and Rosemary Kopittke

The ladies of the UTP team ready for London
L-R: Helen Smith, Anthea Phillips, Alona Tester, and Rosemary Kopittke

For those of you who read my earlier post, you’d know that one of the things that I had hoped to achieve on my trip to was to see at least one or two of the book seats from the “Books About Town” thing that is currently on in London. There’s currently over 50 of these seats in London, with each seat being an interpretation of a different book, so I was hopeful of seeing a couple.

Well guess how many I got to see? T-W-E-L-V-E! That’s right, twelve of them. Can you believe it? I can’t! But it’s true. We (and when I say we, I mean Alan, Anthea, Rosemary and Helen and myself – the UTP team) walked all around London city for hours, and during that time, we sussed them out. So that was a highlight as you can imagine. To keep the length of this post down, I haven’t put a photo of every book seat we saw – but rather have hyperlinked to each of the Books About Town website.

1. depicts the book ‘Noughts and Crosses‘ written by Malorie Blackman
2. Sit Here At Your Own Risk depicts ‘A Brief History of Time’ by Stephen Hawking
3. Alex Rider depicts ‘Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel’ by Anthony Horowitz
4. this seat is the interpretation of ‘The Wind in the Willows‘ which was written by Kenneth Grahame
5. Wisden is an interpretation of the ‘Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack’
6. depicts ‘The Laura Marlin Mysteries‘ which was written by Lauren St John
7. this seat features images that depict ‘Brick Lane‘ which was written by Monica Ali
8. Regeneration is an interpretation of ‘Charles Dickens in Liverpool
9. ‘Fever Pitch‘ by Nick Homby is the subject of this seat
10. The Capital of the Imagination depicts ‘Peter Pan‘ which was written by J.M. Barrie
11. The Extraordinary East Wind features an interpretation of ‘Mary Poppins‘ by P.L.Travers
12. ‘Katie in London‘ by James Mayhew

Noughts and Crosses

Noughts and Crosses

aaaa

A Brief History of Time

Wind in the WIllows

Wind in the Willows

Books About Town book seat

Charles Dickens in London

Peter Pan

Peter Pan

Katie in London

Katie in London

Also on our journey around London we saw the Tower of London (from the outside) – inside will have to wait for another time, as our feet were killing us by then. But what an imposing building that is. For more about just WHAT the Tower of London is, check our wikipedia’s description. And also on our walk we made it to Postman’s Park, so we got to see the beautiful ceramic tiles detailing heroes who sacrificed their life to save others.

the Tower of London

the Tower of London

the store behind Postman's Park in London

the story behind Postman’s Park in London

tiles detailing heroes at Postman's Park, London

one of the many tiles at Postman’s Park, London
each details a hero who gave his life saving someone else

Day 2 in London started with us all being as “achy as 80 years olds” – but then again 5 hours of walking will do that you! But it didn’t stop Helen, Rosemary and myself from heading off to the Underground, and finding our way to Kew Station, and walking the kilometre or so to The National Archives for the day.

The National Archives at Kew

The National Archives at Kew

Now when a genie-tragic heads to the US they gravitate towards The Family History Library in Utah, well The National Archives in Kew has the same effect on people for those in (or visiting) the UK. Can you tell that I was excited from the picture below?

my first trip to The National Archives (apologies to Rosemary next to me)

my first trip to The National Archives (apologies to Rosemary next to me)

If you can imagine a kid in a candy store – well that was me (at least on the inside). But as it was such a BIG store, I simply didn’t get to try everything out. Still heading there was a big thrill, as it wasn’t something I had expected to get to do, and while I didn’t go with any specific research in mind, I did spend the day doing some actual research own family history which was exciting in itself.

I got to do the whole “put-your-bag-in-the-locker” thing. And the “everything-you-want-to-take-in-to-the-library-goes-in-the-clear-plastic-bag” thing. And then I headed up to level two, and set myself there.

swapping stuff from my backpack, to the see-through plastic bag at TNA

swapping stuff from my backpack, to the see-through plastic bag at TNA

my little set-up at TNA

my little set-up at TNA

After a couple of hours it was lunchtime, and Audrey Collins who I know through work, and who works at The National Archives, kindly let us have lunch with her. After a yummy lunch from the café in TNA, it was back to more searching in the afternoon.

Helen Smith, Audrey Collins, Rosemary Kopittke, and myself at TNA

Helen Smith, Audrey Collins, Rosemary Kopittke, and myself at TNA

Rosemary and Helen hit jackpot with the searching, and I have some potential new names for my Hayhurst family. I say potential, as I still need to verify it.

So all up those two ways in London were a lot of fun, and useful for family history, but I guarantee that we won’t forget the sore feet from the walking anytime soon.

As the cruise continues I shall have more to report on when I have another quiet afternoon AND internet …

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2 Responses to “5th Unlock the Past Cruise – The Pre-Cruise Days”

  1. Pauleen says:

    those seats were/are so cool! Glad you all enjoyed your TNA time.

  2. Ooh, yes, TNA! It’s a giant genie sweet shop. I love the photos of the books. Glad you had a good time, Alona. I hope your feet recovered…

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