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    The Rhythm Rocket – Another ‘proper’ Rock’n’Roll Club

The Rhythm Rocket – Another ‘proper’ Rock’n’Roll Club

I’ve written about it on here before, and I’ll write about it every time we’re lucky enough to come across another example, but we love a proper rock’n’roll club. What do I mean ‘proper’? I mean a venue where the sole aim is to play good music, loudly, where there’s room to dance, a […]

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    Roger Mayne at the Photographers’ Gallery – and then Gin

Roger Mayne at the Photographers’ Gallery – and then Gin

I’ve written before about the Photographers’ Gallery in Soho and it remains a favourite spot as the exhibitions there are invariably fascinating, whatever the theme. What’s more the cafe’s pretty good and the shop has far too many photographic goodies to be kind to anyone’s wallet. However, when their lens turns to one of […]

A Rockabilly’s Dream Find

Do you ever have that collector’s dream? You know, the one where you suddenly stumble upon a massive collection of one of the things you love at an affordable price, and you’re torn between the sheer excitement of exploring the haul and a slight panic that you can’t carry it all away. For me, […]

When I Grow Up I Want My Own Record Shop

For any collector of recorded music, on whatever format, being given the keys to your own record shop sounds like a dream come true. But what’s it actually like when that dream drops in your lap, and how do you set about making a record shop work without compromising every principle that made the […]

Timewarp Below Euston

For our last Hidden London tour of 2016, we headed for Euston – hardly where you would expect to find ‘lost’ stations given how central it is to the rail network both above and below ground. However, it’s Euston’s key role in the growth of transport both in and out of, and within, London […]

A Small Town Underground – Hidden London Again

I’ve known about the wartime ‘deep shelters’ beneath London’s tube network, but I’ve always doubted that I’d ever get the chance to explore one. Now, thanks to the London Transport Museum’s Hidden London programme, that’s another experience ticked off my somewhat bizarre bucket list.

As ever, let’s start with a bit of history. By late […]

A Couple of Gems from the Lake District

Much as it’s redolent of classic British holidays from the 20th Century and before, it would be disloyal to the thrust of this blog if I turned it into a catalogue of tea shops, waterfalls and nice walks that we’d encountered during our week there. Nevertheless, our wanderings took us to a couple of […]

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    Maps and the 20th Century – Drawing the Line at the British Library

Maps and the 20th Century – Drawing the Line at the British Library

For anyone fascinated by how the world looked earlier in the 20th Century, maps are an absorbing and reliable window into the past. Pour over any old Ordnance Survey map, and one can discern the shape and size of the towns our midcentury forebears lived in, the routes of the A-roads they drove their […]

Meanderings in Morecambe

A journey north, far beyond our usual patch, and an unusually free-flowing M6, recently gave us the chance to drop in on Morecambe, a town I’ve long wanted to visit for two reasons, both embedded firmly in mid 20th Century culture but in very different ways.

First stop was the Midland Hotel, a moderne […]

The Fashion & Textile Museum – Clothing the Past

Sadly, I’m too late to publicise the Fashion & Textile Museum’s ‘Jazz Age’ exhibition as it’s in its final few days, but that doesn’t stop me from lauding it as another example of the superb events that the Museum regularly mounts. Last year, Mrs M and friend were raving about the history of swimwear […]