Greenwich

July 9th, 2006 | by Charlotte |

Went to Greenwich today for the National Maritime Museum, but I found other interesting places.

There aren’t many original London pie shops left. They sell mash (packet mashed potato), pies, jellied eels and liquor (parsley sauce).

Goddard's Pie Shop window

Jellied eels outside Goddard’s Pie Shop

Goddard’s Pie Shop

I had a chicken and mushroom pie, gravy and mash. It wasn’t bad, although I can’ t remember the last time I had reconstituted mashed potatoes. I’ve certainly never eaten them in a restaurant. The movement to fresh ingredients in modern cuisine can only have come from people who had to eat reconstituted potato in their youth.

Wanted a London Pride beer (coincidentally the name of London’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gra) but they only had Fiddler’s Elbow. Cute label.

goddardspie

The inside of the pie shop probably hadn’t changed for 110 years.

Inside Goddard’s Pie Shop

Down the road from the pie shop was the Cutty Sark, a fast tea clipper.

Cutty Sark

Down the road from the Cutty Sark was the Royal Naval College. It’s not part of the navy anymore, but I don’t know how they could have parted with it. Imagine going to college here.

Royal Naval College

Royal Naval College near Painted Hall

I am told by a reputable source that there are 300 naked breasts on the ceiling of the Painted Hall. It was painted by James Thornhill to be a dining room for naval pensioners but they never got to use it. Perhaps they were worried about the effects of so many boobies? 😉

Painted Hall entrance

Painted Hall

Turned on my 60CS GPS as I walked towards the Royal Observatory. There was a cache 300m away. The joy of geocaching is that you get guided to places you wouldn’t have found any other way. Here’s a Henry Moore sculpture Man on a Knife Edge, that my cache search took me past.

Henry Moore sculpture Man on a Knife Edge

The geocache in question was Prime Meridian cache. Not to give too much of its position away, but I wasn’t ‘stumped’ for a moment! 😉

Cache found, it was time to go to the true prime meridian. Longitude Zero at the Royal Observatory. It’s up on a hill. On the way up, I looked back at the National Maritime Museum and the Millennium Dome. (Why haven’t I been to the Millennium Dome? It’s not open. They’re refurbishing it into a sports stadium.)

National Maritime Museum and Millennium Dome

Here are the official British measurements, at the Royal Observatory.

British measurements at the Royal Observatory

A view of the Observatory from below.

Royal Observatory

Proof I was at Longitude Zero.

The Prime Meridian

It kind of ruins the romance to realise I cross over the prime meridian, from the eastern hemisphere to the western hemisphere and back again, each day when I take the Tube to work!

Now for the reason I went to Greenwich. The National Maritime Museum. You’re not supposed to take photos of the inside, so I took photos of the entrance.

National Maritime Museum entrance

National Maritime Museum side

There’s plenty of modern exhibits at the museum. Here’s a harrier jump jet.

Harrier Jump Jet

Here’s a maritime teddy in the shop. Want one, Mum?

National Maritime Museum teddy

You’re not supposed to take photos inside, but…no one was watching so I took this one. See the back of a galleon on the far wall. The rest of the galleon was scuppered.

Inside the National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum is divided into sections, such as Trade (including slavery!), and Migration, which focuses on cruise liners, and where I found the following distance measurement to Australia.

Distance to Sydney

There were other fascinating sections that I didn’t photograph. The creepiest was the Titanic section, which had a rusted recreation of a Titanic porthole, and showed videos taken of the wreck and toys, shoes and tickets from the survivors.

The most moving was the Shackleton display, with scenes from the Shackleton movie and artefacts from the journey.

Nelson has a whole display all to himself, centred on the jacket, waistcoat and stockings he was wearing when he was fatally shot. It’s fairly gruesome. The bloodstains on his stockings (not Nelson’s but his secretary John Scott who was killed an hour before) and the bloodstains on the jacket and waistcoat (definitely Nelson’s) are clearly visible, and so is the hole in the left shoulder left by the musket ball. He must have been bending over when he was shot, because it looks like the ball barely clipped the top of his shoulder. His breeches are cut open, as they were removed when Nelson was still alive.

There’s also a letter by Nelson, the first he wrote after losing his right arm (he was right handed so his left handed writing is predictably terrible).

I was lucky enough to attend several presentations, one by ‘Isambard Kingdom Brunel’ (love the incredibly tall top hat) and another about the journey taken from Egypt by Cleopatra’s Needle. (Must go and see it!)

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