The Charles Dickens Exhibition at the Museum of London

Museum LondonWent for a trip to London today, two reasons, one to meet Sues friend Brian, who we hadn’t seen for ages and the other to visit the Dickens Exhibition at the Museum of London.

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It is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens this year, well on the 7th February to be exact. There are lots of exhibitions on at present along and many of his books being adapted for TV.
This is a tremendous exhibition with lots of information about the man himself and the social history of London during his lifetime.

newgate_prison_largeThere is also the original door from the Newgate Prison, a model of a stagecoach and steam train, numerous old maps and pictures of London along with manuscripts from some of his novels.
Spent around two hours here before heading of to the Lord Raglan Pub for a good meal and pint of Doombar.

 

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The exhibition is open until the 10th June 2012.
Must pay another visit to the Museum itself soon.

Opposite is a picture of a floodlit St Pauls taken as we walked back to the tube station from the pub.

Weather was mighty cold, but sunny.

Great Day Out.

News of The Squire Bassett, Kidlington

After the nice couple who had the Squire were forced out by the brewery putting up the rent a few months ago. Shame as they had turned it in to a nice pub, good food and a few groups or the landlord and regulars doing an impromptu keyboard ‘jamming’ session.
It had now returned to a dark, unwelcoming, pub with nothing good going for it. 

It was, we thought, only a matter of time before it was sold and turned into a block of flats.

BUT, now apparently the owners of either the Everest Nepalese Restaurant in Howards Street, off the Cowley Road or the Yeti Restaurant in Cowley Road has taken a TEN ?? year lease over the Squire and is turning it, or part of it, in to a Nepalese Restaurant, the pub, drinking bit, will still stay open.

Anyway more will be revealed on Friday 3rd February when it re-opens, so the sign hung outside informs.

UPDATE – Well the food looked nice, but unfortunately the £10 a head buffet was all booked and the Hobgoblin (take a look at the brewers web site here) was well and truly off, will go there soon, the menu looked extensive, but could be having the Guinness I think, shame as Hobgoblin is a nice pint..

Warhorse

Went to the Vue Cinema, next to Oxford United’s ground to see Warhorse tonight.

Warhorse PosterThe storyline is –
Dartmoor,1914: To his wife’s dismay farmer Narracott buys a thoroughbred horse rather than a plough animal, but when his teenaged son Albert trains the horse and calls him Joey, the two becoming inseparable. When his harvest fails, the farmer has to sell Joey to the British cavalry and he is shipped to France where, after a disastrous offensive he is captured by the Germans and changes hands twice more before he is found, caught in the barbed wire in No Man’s Land four years later and freed. He is returned behind British lines where Albert, now a private, has been temporarily blinded by gas, but still recognizes his beloved Joey. However, as the Armistice is declared Joey is set to be auctioned off. After all they have been through will Albert and Joey return home together?

The horses are the best ‘actors’, but definitely a film to see and on the big screen as well.

Brakspear Oxford Ale Trail 2011

Today finished the annual Brakspears Ale Trail, with a trip to O’Neills, then the Four Candles, where we had a Christmas meal and a pint for £7.95 and finished at Far From The Madding Crowd, where I picked up the free T-shirt. The ‘Thursday Night Out’ lads have been doing this through out December, but I missed one Thursday so had to catch up today. Lots of lovely pints of Oxford Gold.

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Have sent off the completed form and hopefully should be receiving details of the free trip round the Wychwood brewery in Witney where amongst others (like Hobgoblin)  Brakspear beer is brewed.

Made in Dagenham

mindWe both went to see the film ‘Made in Dagenham’ at the Vue cinema at the Oxford United stadium last night, the day it was released.

Described as “A dramatization of the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant, where female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination.”
One of the best films we have seen for a long time, a classic British drama-comedy. Well worth seeing with every emotion experienced.

Not many people in the cinema for the first showing, but I think it will become as big a hit as Calendar Girls. Couple of drinks afterwards in the Kings Arms at Sandford, nice pub, must try a meal here.

Visit to The New Theatre, Oxford

The New Theatre had an open day today, £9 each and you could wonder everywhere, back stage, dressing rooms, easily get lost. A complete rabbit warren of rooms and corridors.

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Well worth it, always wanted to see how all the scenery gets ‘lowered’ in etc. There were lots of staff on hand to answer questions, especially interesting were the lighting and mixing desks. Yea, I am a geek.

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Then finished up across the road in The grapes pub, built in 1820, possibly one of the oldest pubs in Oxford.

tn_P1000513  And a nice couple of pints of 6X.

Visit to the BT Tower

Today we visited the BT, or, as was the Post Office tower in London. A bit of history here.

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The trip was organised by BT, just had to donate some money to BT’s chosen charity and could have an hour up the tower. The weather was dry, a bit cloudy, but just OK for photo taking.

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Wembley Stadium far right                                 The London Eye

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Big Ben                                                                   Regent Park

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Afterwards we went to Treasures of Heaven exhibition at The British Museum.

And went to the Busaba Eathai,  restaurant just of the Tottenham Court Road for a nice meal, before getting home around 9.00pm.

Visit to the Site of Ascott Park

There had been an article about the two mile long Ascott Park, Historical Trail in the Oxford Mail, back at the end of March. It was a lovely day today, so we decided to go and visit.
The trail starts at the Crazy Bear Farm Shop in Stadhampton, nice coffee and fruit juices.
There are quite a few different animals to see round here including Reindeers and Llamas.

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There are around 8 newly erected signs giving information about the site.

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The Old Dovecote                                        Pretty idyllic scene

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These were believed to be the                     The Granary
Gate Piers to the house.

Apparently the original house was built in 1662, then burned down before the Dormer family could move in, although no remains can be found. But remains have been found of a house built in about 1720, but never finished for what ever reason.

Well worth a morning trip, especially in the lovely sunny weather we have been having lately.

Birthday Meal

It was my birthday today, 25th March, never thought I’d get to 40.  Just send money Smile

Never too sure where to go for a meal other than for a curry. So decided to put on the suit and go to the Woodstock Arms, Woodstock, home of several good meals previously.

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I had the Steak and Ale pie, with Old Speckled Hen ale, delicious with fresh veg and Sue had the Venison Chilli, also delicious, with Salad. Afters was chocolate pudding and crème brûlée and two coffees. Plus drinks before hand came to a very reasonable £33. Service was excellent. Well recommended.