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The Musical Museum

This is a place I’ve been meaning to visit for a very long time, but as it’s only open on very specific days of the week. But a couple of Saturday’s ago I managed to get there. It’s a lovely place. Somewhere that anyone in London should visit if they have any interest in musical instruments, especially the mechanical kind.

It’s small, much smaller than the one by the same name in Brussels, but it is great and I’m sure that I’ll be going again.

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It was a pub, now what is it?

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Such a shame really. Ok, it wasn’t the best pub in the world, but it was ok. It wasn’t terrible by any means. I had happy times there.

It makes me sad to see that there are so many pubs shutting down. It’s a bad sign. It says that communities aren’t finding places to be together anymore. That’s not good in any way.

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The V&A Museum of Childhood

Only the second time I’ve visited this museum, and this time I had a lot more time. It’s such a lovely place. So much there, and so many things that bring back memories of when I was a child.

If you haven’t ever visited it’s well worth it. There’s loads to see even though it’s a really small place. I’m sure I’ll be back there again in the not too distant future.

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So, that’s a micropub then

I’d never been to a ‘micropub’ before, in fact I hadn’t even heard of one. Then, whilst in Wells over the summer I found this little place called ‘Just Ales’. It was definitely smaller than a regular pub, although I’m sure I’ve been in smaller pubs in London. Anyway, it was certainly an interesting experience. I especially liked the ‘thirds’ option, where instead of having a pint or a half you can have 3 different beers in thirds glasses. It’s a good option, and I hope that more pubs make this available.

I’m not sure if the idea of a micropub is a good one or not. I’d like to try out a few more before I have a real opinion.

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Matthews Yard needs some saving

I got an email the other day about Matthews Yard. A really lovely and somewhat quirky space in the older part of Croydon. It’s being threatened by a developer who wants to turn the site into luxury apartments. Of course we really need more luxury apartments to keep on gentrifying more and more of London. Yeah, right!

So I’ve added my voice to keeping Matthews Yard going. Croydon needs more spaces like this and not a load more luxury apartments to push out local people. If you want to do the same then sign the petition here. If you want to know more about what Matthews Yard has done since 2012 when it launched, check this out.

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Resonance FM live to air at the East Tower of BBC Television centre

On Wednesday I was lucky enough to get a ticket to a completely unique event at the building site that was BBC Television Centre. Resonance FM were running an evening of live broadcast from the east tower, which is due to be demolished in a month or so.

I found it to intriguing to not grab a ticket and go along. But I didn’t exactly know what to expect. At best I’d say that I’m an occasional listener to Resonance. I enjoy it when I do listen, but I couldn’t give you a clear idea of what their schedules look like. So it was a real adventure from every perspective.

Getting there was quite easy although the entrance wasn’t entirely obvious even though Resonance had given excellent directions. Once in we had to walk through the site and up in a very slow lift to the 9th floor.

The broadcast began at 6:30 with “The World in London”, which was extremely enjoyable and I learnt a lot about the Notting Hill Carnival. It featured live music by veteran Calypsonian Alexander D Great and steel pan virtuoso Debra Romain. Following that was a live performances by Howlround: a new musique concrète commission of Robin The Fog, using sounds recorded exclusively in TV Centre. Then Encounter with John Escolme, exploring the modernist design of TV Centre with contributions from architect Arthur Hayes and tv producer Emma Cashmore. Then the Resonance Radio Orchestra with Dudley Sutton, presenting a site-specific radiophonic extravaganza featuring the cult TV actor, and that was completely amazing.

I hadn’t really appreciated just how much of an emotional resonance the site would have for me before I got there, but the experience was actually very profound, very moving for a lot of reasons that I haven’t entirely thought through as yet, but I will.

Anyway, I wanted to share the pictures and a few thoughts too. It was a special evening.