Places to Visit

Getting American Arty at the RA

My love for popular culture of the mid 20th Century doesn’t often take me through the portals of the Royal Academy, which I always think of as the home of ‘serious’ art, but Mrs M and I found ourselves making a beeline there during an Easter break in London to catch a feast of […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Blown Away at Atomic

Having missed the first two Atomic Vintage Festivals because it was just too far to make in a day, our relocation to within striking distance looked like failing us thanks to a diary clash until a waterlogged site forced the organisers to delay the event from April to August. Even then, the weekend dawned […]

Not Quite Hidden London

The beauty of the Hidden London tours run by the London Transport Museum is that, along with the places you can’t get to, like disused tube stations or the wartime deep tunnel air raid shelters, they can take you to places that you pass regularly, even know and admire, but that are inaccessible to […]