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Monday, March 29, 2010

The Victoria and Albert - Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green

The V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green is a a specialist museum of childhood. The mission of the museum is "To enable everyone, especially the young, to explore and enjoy the designed world, in particular objects made for and made by children." It has extensive collections of toys, childhood equipment and costumes, and stages a programme of temporary exhibitions.

This museum is a part of the Victoria And Albert Museum in Kensington. As you walk into the musuem, you are greeted with this huge arch made of chairs. In Victorian Britain, unusual arches made from local products were often constructed to mark special occassions.

This installation in the museum takes inspiration from the first chair arch constructed in 1877 to celebrate Queen Victoris visit to High Wycombe.

The Museum's permanent displays are arranged into three main galleries. Moving Toys, Creativity and Childhood.

Spring Toys - These toys use Spring power to move. When you stretch or compress a spring, the energy used is stored int he spring coil. When the spring is let go, the energy is released into movement. The spring bounces in and out until the energy has run out as in jack in the box.

This is Pretty Miss Emma (designed in 1977)
If you lift her left arm she walks. Lift her right arm and she talks. This was a prototype maje by Palitoy in 1977 to assess whether or not she would be a popular toy. She was!

Cowgirl and Horse - 1960 to 1970
This toy is called the Gigante Gallopa or galloping giant. Winding it up makes the horse's body open and back legs kick, causing it to move along on its wheels. Made in Italy by Quercetti

Russian Bear, 1970-1980
Winding up this clockwork bear makes it play music on its balalaika. This stringed instrument is one of the most famous in Russia.
Made in Russia

Popeye, 1929
Popeye was a popular cartoon character with his girlfriend Olive Oyl and rival Bluto. This is an early example of celluloid and metal clockwork toy made in USA

A Charlie Chaplin clockwork toy made in Germany in 1930-1940

Monkey musicians - 1870-1880
Turning the handle makes the musicians move and the organ play eight different tunes. Exclusive shops and department stores sold such luxury toys. Probably made in France

Bebe Premier Pas - 1864
This doll was advertised as the first step doll. It cries 'mama' as it glides along on its wheels. The dolls voice was made using bellows and pipes. Made in France

The Royal Wedding Charger, 1981
This is a souvenir rocking horse of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. It was made in England by artist Maggie W for Heals department store in London

Sicilican Knight - 1970
The Pupi Siciliani marionette is traditionally a wooden pupper dressed in armour unique to the island of Sicily. This example was probably sold as a tourist souvenir

The most famous Indian Puppets come from Rajasthan. The puppets are usually large colourfull marionettes controlled by very few strings, sometimes by only one attached to the puppets head.

Traditional Burmese puppets - 1920-1930
The cast includes a prince and a princess, a white horse signifying the creation of the world and an elephant.

The Teddy bear gets its name feom Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt, President of the USA from 1901 to 1909. He refused to shoot a captured bear cub in 1902. When the craze for soft toy bears took off in 1906 they became known as teddy bears.

Schuco Yes/No teddy bears 1930-1940
These bears nod or shake their heads when you move their small tail.

Dollhouses - This house was made for Mrs Bryant as a miniature record of her own home.

The small figures are the Strong Man, the Educated Man, the Rich Man, the Poor Man and the Silly Man, and the Naive Man.
Made in England by Sam Smith in 1973

A Butchers Shop

Care Bears 1980-1990
The plush soft toys ar ecalled Birthday, tenderheart and Funshine bears. Made by Kenner.

The Walking Doll - 1963 - Made in England

The Alice in Wonderland Chess Set

Worzel Gummidge and Aunt Sally - 1980
These long rag dolls were made in England by Tussell Croft. Teh characters are a scarecrow and Aunt Sally who only come alive when no adults are around

Dream Toys 2009
Sylvian Families were created in 1985 in Japan and quickly became popular all over the world. The term sylvian means of the forest. The families are all woodland or forest creatures

Newborn baby boy and girl dolls - 1995
Dolls from the Dan Dolls range made in Denmark by DHP.These dolls look so realistic.

Russian Nesting Dolls 1994
These were made in Russia by EK Latisheva.

Group of Trolls 1960
Trolls are spiteful creatures from the folk tales of Scandinavia but collecting these ones by Dam Toys of Denamrk became a real craze

Bridal Doll 1880
An elaborately dressed bridal doll probably made in France

Beauty and her trunk of possessions 1875
This doll was owned by Queen Amelia of Portugal as a child

Dolls based on characters from 'A School for Scandal' - 1920

Hino Matsuri - Japanese Girls Festival 1991
Made in Japan by Shimazu Co

And who doesn't know Barbie and Ken ??

Blythe - 1972
Blythe was only made for one year. If you pull the cord on her back her eyes change color five times.

Tressy 1979
Tressy was launched in 1964 and made in Hong Kong. these three dolls came with mix and match fashion wear. Tresys hair grows by turning a special key in her back

And here's the Batman series

Sweeney Todd puppets 1938-1945
Marionettes made in England by JD Bivkerdike. The characters of Sweeney Todd


V&A Museum of Childhood
Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9PA
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 8983 5200
Fax: +44 (0)20 8983 5225

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Trafalgar Square in London

Trafalgar Square is a square located in the heart of London, it is a major tourist attraction. Infact it is the fourth most popular tourist attraction on Earth with more than fifteen million visitors a year.

At the very centre is the Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base.

Statues and sculptures are on display in the square, and it is a site for political demonstrations. Infact when we visited the place there was a demostration by a group of girls agains human trafficking.

The square consists of a large central area which is surrounded by roadways on three sides, and has stairs leading to the National Gallery on the last end.

The statue of General Havelock in Trafalgar Square.

Trafalgar Square is home to a variery of events throughout the year. At the northeast corner of Trafalgar Square is the St. Martin-in-the-Fields - an Anglican church.

One of the fountains surrounding the Nelsons column at trafalgar Square.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The London Eye or the Millennium Wheel

The London Eye or the Millennium Wheel is an extremely large passenger-carrying Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames in Central London in the United Kingdom.

Standing at a height of 135 metres (442 ft 11 in), it is the largest Ferris wheel in Europe, and has become the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over three million people in one year.

A flight on The Merlin Entertainments London Eye will last about 30 minutes taking you to a height of 135 metres.

The height of the London Eye is 135m (equivalent to 64 red telephone boxes piled on top of each other) making it the fourth tallest structure in London after the BT Tower, Tower 42 and One Canada Square in Canary Wharf.

There are lots of performers doing their stuff near the London Eye. From Charlie Chaplin to the Queen, to English warriors to musicians - you will find them all :)


The London Eye
Minster Court
Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7JB
0870 990 8881

Opening Times

October to March : daily 10.00am - 8.00pm
April : daily 10.00am - 9.00pm
May and June : Sundays to Thursday 10.00am - 9.00pm and Friday and Saturday 10.00am - 9.30pm
July and August : daily 10.00am - 9.30pm
September : daily 10.00am - 9.00pm
Copyright The Globe Trotter.