Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Day Two: around Euston

After keeping myself awake yesterday afternoon when I arrived, I found it difficult to get to sleep at night. I eventually succeeded just after midnight and slept until 5.30am - not too far off my usual pattern, so I'm very happy with that.
From Euston Station. Wesley half way down on left

My goal for today was to familiarise myself with Euston Station and where I need to go tomorrow to catch my train. That proved to be very easy. The British Rail section of the station is a straight walk of no more than 200 metres from my hotel.

The platforms are displayed, there is a waiting room and announcements. It is an oddly twentieth century scene - people milling around staring at a board, waiting for information to change.

I then went for a walk around the local area - enjoying once again the fun of exploring a London precinct. Euston itself is open and inviting. People, cars and buses move easily. The trees are stark and interesting.

You come across interesting little pockets of park or squares.

Nineteenth century buildings mix it with ingenious 21st century bike racks and twentieth century brickwork.

Everywhere there are tributes to people, events or associations. Stevenson, of rocket fame, still attracts floral tributes.

This association, formed under the 1911 National Insurance Act, lasted until 1948, had offices at 30 Euston Square and provided benefits to members through a partnership of about 14 associations.

Just as my hotel promotes values derived from Methodism, Friends House, opposite Euston Station, promotes Quaker values of sustainability, responsibility and friendship through its cafe and meeting rooms.The banners hanging outside say "Quakers lead by faith to build a fairer world".

To keep up the theme of service in this area, the Royal Society of General Practitioners has its headquarters here, accessed through a grand set of gates and sharing its building with a rather trendy cafe.
There are also creative hole-in-the -wall pit-stops.
I stumbled across The Wellcome Collection on Euston Road. Set up to house and display some of the collection of Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936), entrepreneur, philanthropist and collector of scientific and medical curios this is a stunning museum and library with a popular cafe and great shop.

There is a permanent exhibition from his medical collection, a gallery of art inspired by contemporary medical issues and a large temporary exhibition gallery. The exhibition of the moment is on Electricity: The Spark of Life.

Photos were not allowed, but I enjoyed the Spark of Life exhibition, which featured a wonderful range of equipment demonstrating the history of electricity - from  early specimens and images of electric fish, early experiments with electricity, to sections of the first trans-Atlantic cable, original books, industrial and domestic equipment and devices. It was a treasure-trove. I'd have loved to have had access to this when I was studying electricity as part of my Matriculation Physics course over 50 years ago.

Back at the hotel I had a late lunch of mushroom and soft cheese burger with chips - thrice cooked. it was truly delicious.

Off to the Lakes District tomorrow where the adventure ramps up.

1 comment:

  1. So interesting to read that Quaker motto! This part of Upper Canada was settled by several Quaker groups, and I would say that fairness is one of the core Canadian values, so it's interesting to make that link!

    I really love this background photo, btw. What a gorgeous sky!