Monday, January 03, 2011

A Bit of the Greene Holidays: Museum Stuff

Okay, so you've been following my tweets, you'll know I've spent the past few weeks in England and thought I'd share a bit of the Greene Holidays with you here.

So, today. let me tell you about our visit to the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum.  You can go at anytime or schedule an a time and you'll want more time there than you think you will.  This entrance [no my picture, it was snowing and we dashed in, so borrowed this one from Sabrina's London Diaries] can be seen if you're walking from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square [The Mall], although the road above is steps from 10 Downing Street.

Now, even though we were there for two hours, we both agreed we hadn't been there long enough.  The shop isn't huge, but I saw so many things I wanted to bring back, and ended up with none - had to think of luggage space and Christmas - although I will be shopping online :-)

The Churchill Museum is attached, seamless entrance, and has one of the most technically advanced timeline displays we've ever seen.  Read up on it before visiting so you can take advantage of all it offers.

Okay, enough of that, time for the exhibit itself.  The walking wand commentary is a must use as it gives all sorts of interesting tidbits.  For instance, I now know quite a few of the secretaries [women] were amongst those who slept below the Cabinet War Rooms, and often were caught in their jamma's walking past gorgeous military men in uniform on their way to the toilets.  There were no private facilities either.  Also, did you know that when the women married, they were no longer able to work down there?  I didn't!  Anyway, the track through the CWR puts WWII in a different light for me.

You get a close up view of the maps they used to conduct a war and it often looks like the old road maps we saw our parents and grandparents use.  The most fascinating map had to be the one showing how Europe was carved up after it all ended.  Yes, very interesting, especially considering how those general lines with a pen affected actual people.

From the very serious to the surreal.

Sir Winston Churchill, whose mother was an American, slept below ground in the CWR [reinforced against bombs - hopefully] three times and wore a velour romper [an Austin Reed "Siren Suit"] during the air raids for comfort.  That's right, the leader of Great Britain during WWII wore a one piece velour romper.  I could swear the one we saw was a claret color, but I didn't get a good picture.

So, which do you like better:  Siren Suit or Romper?

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