Finally, I’ve finished. The 1152 records on the medical update list are completed. It feels like I’ve amended more like 20,000 records! All I can see are pots and statues of Florence Nightingale, breast relievers and feeding bottles. Now I’m just wondering what will be waiting for me next week.
Kevin did mention a possibility of my scanning in old images off the original catalogue cards but that won’t be for another couple of weeks so, who knows.
Anyway, it was such a glorious day today (nothing like yesterday) that I went for a short wander after lunch.
The Queen’s Tower looked fantastic against the blue sky so I snapped a photograph of it in all its glory.
This is all that remains of the Imperial Institute which was started in 1888 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. It was completed in 1893 and was intended to be an institute for scientific research into things brought back from all corners of the empire. It was demolished in 1969, because it was considered not adaptable by Imperial College, which was expanding all over the square.
The Victorian Society and John Betjeman (the poet who wanted to destroy Slough) managed to save the tower. It now stands alone at the end of a large green space of super green grass. It is clad in Portland stone which explains why it looks so bright and clean. I say alone but it is surrounded by the distinctly 1970s architecture of Imperial College, London, generally sprinkled with students wandering from building to building.
At the time of the proposed demolition, there was a lot of resistance, prompting Lord Home to say:
Many will regret this change in the Kensington landscape. But it is symbolic of the needs of the times that we can no longer rest on the memorials of past greatness but must prepare for a new but different greatness of the future.
I’m not sure how that was received!
The Tower, which is now more accurately called a free standing campanile, is, sadly, no longer open to the public but, apparently, affords wonderful views of London. It houses ten bells (named after Vic & Albert’s kids) which are still rung on royal anniversaries by a group called the Ancient Society of College Youths.
Here’s a shot looking up from near the base.
It’s a bit of a shame that the building was demolished because everything else around it is decidedly Victorian. Well, everything except Imperial College which is decidedly not. To be fair, the Tower makes a wonderful counterpoint to the boring architecture of the college buildings and compliments the Science Museum, which is merely a block away.