Outing to London – The British Museum – 19 January 2017

A good journey into London, with Darren, our excellent new driver.
Who could fail to be impressed entering The British Museum, with its
impressive Great Court, the roof designed by Norman Foster &
Partners made of 3,312 panels of glass. 'What a wonderful museum but
how to spend just a few short hours? A good start at the Sutton Hoo gallery
– amongst all the treasures of 600AD, the detail on the replica
shiny gilded helmet particularly caught our eye. On into the Roman Britain,
where there are an amazing number of highly decorative items,
including delicate silver and gold bracelets and necklaces. Objects
from the hordes of Treasure Trove found all over Britain, from the
Celts to the Anglo Saxons. Waddesdon Bequest Gallery:
the priceless, beautiful objects collected by the Rothschild family
are awe-inspiring, particularly the small prayer pendants / boxes,
which contained the most delicate 3D carvings in boxwood.'
Tricia & John Smith

'The exhibition on South African art
was very moving and thought provoking. For me one of the most
emotive things was a pair of sandals made by Gandhi and given to Jan
Smuts, who after wearing them for some years told Gandhi that he did
not consider himself worthy to stand in his shoes. Right at the
start was an example of rock painting by San Bushmen, between 1 and 3
thousand years old, showing a herd of eland with tiny bushmen in
between. The colours so vibrant, they almost seemed to be moving.
Opposite was a fabric collage, equally colourful and beautiful, made
by the present day San Bushmen. There was much art before the white
man arrived in this amazing country.'
Sue Glyn Woods

 I came across my most interesting piece in the Africa Galleries
 – "The Tree of Life", a sculpture made in Mozambique from
decommissioned weapons from the country's long Civil War, at the end
of which 7 million guns were still in the country. The Transforming
Arms into Tools project, aiming to eliminate the threat presented by
hidden weapons, was started by Bishop Sengulare.
Linda Niven

Another member visited the Drawings Gallery
with its exhibition - 'Touch', of works by Maggie Hambling, including
a triptych showing Stephen Fry falling asleep. Nearby London Review
Bookshop contained a wide selection of books and a cafe, not too
expensive for a light lunch. Another visited the Temple Church
(Knights Templar) – interesting information on the history of the
church and the Knights' involvement in the signing of the Magna
Carta, the Crusades and WW11. Dr Johnson's house
in Gough Square, with its pictures of famous acquaintances including
Boswell, Joshua Reynolds, Oliver Goldsmith & David Garrick. (50%
off tickets for NT members). Lunched at the 'Olde Cheshire Cheese',
Samuel Johnson's local pub. Then Sir John Soane's Museum
 – as it was in the time of this famous architect, with paintings by
Wm Hogarth, Canaletto, Turner, artefacts from Egypt, Rome, etc.'
Some of us lunched at Tas, a Turkish restaurant close by – delicious
food, friendly, efficient service & reasonable prices. 'Super
day in London, enhanced by a fantastic sunset en route back.'

Linda Niven (with many thanks to all who contributed to this piece)