Legends from our own lunchtimes

Saturday, September 22, 2012


"Open House London is your chance to explore hundreds of inspiring buildings in London for free" said the brochure of this weekend's event, but a quick calculation had us dividing that number by the two days of the weekend to come up with fifty each day, and further mathematics brought it down to tens per hour, so a little sifting needed doing.

Jules was appointed chief sifter, and after a good deal of doing so produced a list of four buildings worthy of our presence and an itinerary to go with it.

The Bank of England on this fine sunny morning was to be our first stop.   We arrived a polite time after the doors were opened to find ourselves standing in a line which was even longer than the one for the iPhone released earlier in the week.  If one were to study the above photograph very carefully, one can just make out a red light at the intersection, just a few hundred people ahead, between us and it.  When eventually we reached that point, travelling at a rate of twenty-five persons per ten minutes, we had just a further one and a half city blocks and two and a half hours to wait before reaching the entrance.  At that point we suspected that we may not quite make the other buildings on our schedule this day.

The Bank of England is only open to the public on four occasions each year, or at least bits of it that are normally not open to the public are.  If one is fortunate enough to decide to visit on one of those four days, and if perchance the day does not bring with it precipitation, one may even be allowed to traipse through the office of the governor himself, and accompanied by a nice lady guide and a rather large "no photos allowed please sir," security guard,  that is exactly what we did.

Of course by the time we had finished being enthralled by the banter of our guide to say nothing of the countless artefacts and historical snippets, sufficient time had elapsed for us to abandon all hope of visiting any other building that day, but we'd already had our money's worth even in the absence of any samples being handed out.

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