Sunday, February 21, 2010

Greenwich and the last of the tall ships

Yesterday I went to visit a friend who lives in Greenwich, and we arranged to meet at the National Maritime Museum (ok, yup, that was my suggestion).

Its been a bit of time since was there last so had a quick look around before we'd decided we'd done enough and could go for a chat over tea. The special exhibition was of photos by the Melbourne born Alan Villiers of "The last of the tall ships", which was included 30 odd pictures from the 1920s and 1930s when the age of sail was finally ending.

If you follow the link you can see all the pictures (including the one above) and also a very evocative video of life on board during a storm where the deck is awash, leaving one rather soggy moggy! Maybe the day will come when sail will return, when using nothing and polluting nothing (as he says in one of the film clips) will once again be worth something.

We think of historical events being long, long ago, like the start of a good story. But after visiting the museum we climbed to the top of the hill where sits the Greenwich Observatory, home of zero degrees longitude, the prime meridian.

I was last there when smaller and younger, and though I can't remember the view it must have been very different. Where now there are shiny great buildings within which are based some of the great banks of the City of London there used to be the Port of London.

But that was before my time, and I suspect that during my visit it had been a derelict wasteland, and who knows what will be there a couple of decades from now.

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