20 May 2013

Living in London: An outing with the Sherlock Holmes Society of London

My introduction to the Sherlock Holmes Society of London; the Journal
For a Sherlockian, there is no better place than London.  In the 19th or 21st Century, the city is all that is Sherlock Holmes.  I joined the Sherlock Holmes Society of London only a few months after arriving, and I am not disappointed.  A group of writers, scholars and enthusiasts of all ages coming together to converse in and share their interest in the Great Detective; a place where one can, in effect, "geek out".  In my first outing with the Society, I had a weekend filled with visiting parts of London I never have, meeting fellow enthusiasts, and making new friends.  

It started with an Annual General Meeting (AGM) on a Thursday.  A business meeting that didn't last long at all lead to the discovery (for me) of the existence of a Baker Street musical, and a member-performance of a Holmes radio play.  Saturday and Sunday the gathering continued with visits to Greenwich and the Cutty Sark, and an excellent London walk and pub lunch on Sunday.

The Cutty Sark is the second ship museum that I have had the pleasure of visiting (the first was Brunel's ship in Bristol).  The restoration and use of a ship as a museum has impressed me a great deal.  The glass casing shown in the picture houses the bottom of the hull of the ship, as well as gift shop and cafe.  Starting below decks we walked through the clipper ship where the ship's main cargo of tea or wool was brought to life for both adults and children.  Above deck, visitors are able to get a glimpse of life aboard a 19th Century clipper with restored living quarters for officers and seaman of all ranks.  It is impossible to visit one of these amazing museums without imagining what it was like, and how different it is from today's luxury cruise liners.  These were certainly not the lap-of-luxury; not even for the officers and captain!

The way to Greenwich was by boat along the Thames passing by Holmesian sites along the River.

We received this great companion to our trip.  Greenwich has a some scattered shoreline along the Thames and I was happy to sit and take in the view after lunch.
Sunday saw  the day begin with an excellent walk through some parts of Sherlock Holmes's London.  We passed Charing Cross Hospital (now a police station), offices of the Strand, the Lyceum Theatre (still the Lyceum today), the Bow Street police station, which was just recently shut down and other sites.  Once again I was transported to another time and could imagine Holmes and Watson dashing through the streets of  central London on one of their many adventures.  Fun outings make for a fun (and educational) weekend.  One more reason to enjoy life in London!