Lucy goes around the World in 88 days: Day 41 & 42

Day 41: Thursday 7th August
Today was a quiet day after all the excitement yesterday. Miss Hannaford and I caught the bus into Hanley- the nearest small town to the hotel and we looked at some local shops and found a bakery to buy some English pastries for our lunch and afternoon tea. The rest of the day, Miss Hannaford spent working on her research, looking at all the online catalogues for the Wedgwood archive, working out which documents she wanted to see first at the Wedgwood archive next week.

Day 42: Friday 8th August
We didn’t have time last Monday to go into the actual Wedgwood Museum so we caught the bus back to Wedgwood and spent most of the day in the museum. Miss Hannaford was really excited in that she saw several pieces of Egyptian style Wedgwood that she had only ever seen in books. She was surprised at either how small they were or that they were much bigger than she ever thought. She even found pieces in the museum that she never knew existed which was really exciting for Miss Hannaford.

We did enjoy a very nice afternoon tea in the restaurant at Wedgwood. You get to drink Wedgwood tea using real Wedgwood China!

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Lucy goes around the world in 88 days: Day 40

Today Miss Hannaford and I went on a day trip back to London to visit the British Museum again. This time Miss Hannaford wanted to see the Egyptian and Ancient Greece sections of the museum. Miss Hannaford loves everything to do with Ancient Egypt!

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The Egyptian Halls are always really busy with lots of people so Miss Hannaford decided to start by visiting the Ancient Greek starting with the Parthenon Marbles. The Parthenon is the famous Greek temple of Athena in Athens, Greece. Lord Elgin had the marble decorations on the Parthenon cut off by using hand tools and he took them out of Greece to the British Museum. Greece at the time had been invaded by the Turks and they gave Elgin permission to remove the marble sculpture but now the people of Greece want their sculptures back so the ‘marbles’ have become a serious argument for many decades between the British and Greek governments. The sculptures on display came from the ends of the roof of the Parthenon and from one side just below the roof line.

The room in which the marbles are kept is exactly the same size as the real Parthenon and the marbles are arranged as they would have appeared on the Parthenon but at eye level rather than at the top of the temple.

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The next place Miss Hannaford visited was the Egyptian Hall where all the big stone sculptures are kept. Miss Hannaford’s favourite sculpture was a huge stone scarab made of granite and a piece of the beard from the Great Sphinx of Giza!

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On the upper levels of the British Museum is where all the famous Mummy’s are kept as well as their grave goods including the very famous papyrus of the book of the dead. This was the first 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle Miss Hannaford completed as a young girl. Miss Hannaford also wanted to see the famous wall painting “Hunting in the Marshes”.

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The last thing Miss Hannaford wanted to see was a bronze statue of a youth known at the museum by the nickname ‘Charlie’. When he was first discovered, archaeologists thought he was a statue of a god but later they found out that he held a room lamp off his missing arm so the poor statue started out as being treated as a god then he got demoted to furniture!

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The last poto of the day was this panorama of the Great Court of the British Museum. Miss Hannaford hopes to come back here one day on her next trip to England!

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– Lucy

Lucy goes around the world in 88 days: Day 38 & 39

Day 38: Monday 4th August
Today Miss Hannaford and I travelled from Stoke on Trent to Barlaston which is 90 minutes away by bus. Barlaston is where the Wedgwood factory and museum is located. Miss Hannaford collects a very special egyptian style Wedgwood that she is writing a book about so she needs to spend lots of time here at the factory and museum researching Wedgwood and hopefully talking to the people who made the Wedgwood she collects.

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While she was at the factory part of the site, Miss Hannaford got to make her own special piece of Wedgwood. The staff give you a blank pot and show you how to put on raised decorations around the pot. The pot will then be fired in a kiln to make it as hard as stone. Miss Hannaford applied a special border around her pot and on each side a little raised picture of Peter Rabbit from her favourite children’s book the Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.

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The rest of the time we were at the factory, Miss Hannaford and I went on the factory tour and we got to see how the real Wedgwood is made including the very expensive Wedgwood that is covered in lots of real gold!
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Day 39: Tuesday 5th August
Today we travelled into Stoke on Trent to the local historical museum. The museum is made up of 3 parts- A pottery museum, A local history museum and a museum for the Staffordshire Hoard- the largest discovery of Anglo- Saxon gold ever found!

http://youtu.be/CcriG8UIRVI

The dark ages in England is called the Dark Ages as there is very little written evidence to tell us how people lived. The hoard shows how people made beautiful objects and some of the objects have pictures on them. We know that England was broken up into little kingdoms each with their own chief or King and they lived in wooden buildings. The museum recreated one of the King’s great halls to show visitors how people lived.

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In another part of the museum, there is a display of all the local animals of Staffordshire, the county (not country) that Stoke on Trent is part of. The display reminded us of the exhibits we saw at the Natural History Museum in New York.

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In the ceramics section of the museum, Miss Hannaford did find some wonderful examples of the Egyptian Style Wedgwood she is researching.

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So it has been a really interesting few days!
– Lucy

Lucy goes around the world in 88 days: Day 36 & 37

Day 36: Saturday 2nd August
Today was another travelling day except this time we were not travelling by plane. Today we caught the train to Stoke on Trent in the Midlands of England. It took 90 minutes to travel from London to Stoke on Trent.

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The best thing about long distance trains in England is that many seats have a really good table in front of them with power points so you can recharge your phone and in our case- Miss Hannaford’s ipad so we could keep writing our blog posts!

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Day 37: Sunday 3rd of August
Since Miss Hannaford is visiting Stoke on Trent to do research starting tomorrow at the Wedgwood Ceramic factory, it was important that she spent the day, re-reading the research she has done so far so she could ask for documents that related to her research. I spent the day quietly resting after all the excitement of the past week!

– Lucy

Lucy goes around the world in 88 days: Day 35

Day 35: Friday 1st August
Miss Hannaford has really been looking forward to today. Today we went on a walking tour of all the Harry Potter film locations in London!

The tour started at the ticket turnstiles at Westminster station. This is where Mr Weasley couldn’t work out how the ticket barrier worked and Harry had to show him.
In the upcoming photos- I am going to show you the photo I took with a screen shot of the film so you know where we are.

Westminster Underground station- Order of the Phoenix

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Entrance to the toilets to access the Ministry of Magic- Deathly Hallows Part 1- the toilet entrance is just an archway on the road.

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Visitors entrance to the Ministry of Magic/ Place where Harry, Ron and Hermione hid the people they impersonated in the Ministry- Order of the Phoenix/ Deathly Hallows part 1

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The red telephone box was actually a prop and the film makers changed the metal door you can see in my photo for a wooden one because it looks better and changed it back after filming was finished!

The next location we walked to was the River Thames where the flight of the Order of the Phoenix was filmed.

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The next location we visited was the Millennium Bridge- the newest bridge over the River Thames. In the 6th film- Half Blood Prince, the Deatheaters cause the bridge to collapse!

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After the Millenium Bridge, we walked to Southwark Borough Market where the Knight Bus was filmed arriving at the Leaky Cauldron in Prisoner of Azkaban.

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Our last few stops of the day was in London’s Leadenhall Market. Here is where Harry and Hagrid are filmed talking about his list of school supplies as they are going into the Leaky Cauldron during Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone.

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It has been a wonderful walk around London following the steps of the Harry Potter film makers! It is also sad that it is our official last day in London but hopefully we will make short day visits in the coming few weeks!
– Lucy

Lucy goes around the world in 88 days: Day 34

Thursday 31st July
Today we visited Westminster Abbey. Westminister Abbey is one of the worlds oldest and most famous churches. Every King and Queen of England has been crowned here since 1066 and it also the place of famous weddings. Many famous people are buried in the abbey including Isaac Newton the man who ‘discovered’ gravity using an apple, and famous kings and queens of England including Queen Elizabeth I.
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Since the Abbey is an active church, you are not allowed to take pictures inside the Abbey so the following photos have come from the internet.

Lady Chapel- oldest part of the Abbey with a very ornate ceiling.

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Tomb of Newton
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Tomb of Queen Elizabeth I
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Miss Hannaford and I did a special tour of the Abbey with one of the Abbey staff and so we got to see a very special place in the Abbey right behind the altar- the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor. St Edward was the very first King of England and every King and Queen is crowned with St Edward’s crown while sitting in the ancient Coronation Chair which dates back to the building of the Abbey.
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Shrine of St Edward the Confessor

Coronation Chair
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After visiting the Abbey, the next place we went to was Kensington Palace. This is the palace where Prince William, Katherine and Baby Prince George live some of the time. It is also the childhood home of Queen Victoria so there is a big statue of the Queen outside of the entrance to the palace.

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Inside the palace there are several exhibitions. A really interesting exhibition was how the palace was used during the reign of King George II including actors playing the part of the King and Queen and some of the Lords and Ladies who attended their court. George II reigned as King from 1727 to 1760. I got to see how the Queen got dressed in her enormous dress! The dress is wider than the doorways so when the Queen moved from room to room- she has to go through the door sideways!

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The palace walls are covered in huge paintings that start on the wall and go all the way up and across the ceilings and there is lots of gold everywhere as it was important that the King impresses visitors to his court with his wealth and power.

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One of the other really interesting things we saw was a painting of Queen Victoria wearing a red military uniform and riding a horse inspecting the troops. The King or Queen of England is also the head of the military. Beside the painting in an exhibition case was the actual uniform Queen Victoria was wearing in the painting as well as her saddle. That uniform was over 150 years old! The photos are really dark because the objects are very old and light from a camera flash can harm very old objects by fading the colour or breaking down cloth fibres.

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It was a very busy day and we need our rest for tomorrow’s adventure!
-Lucy

Lucy goes around the world in 88 days: Day 33

Wednesday 30th July
Today Miss Hannaford achieved one of her life goals- to visit the world famous British Museum! The British Museum has one of the worlds best collections of Ancient Egyptian objects outside of Egypt as well as objects from every ancient civilisations as well as a few items from indigenous Australia.

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Among the objects we found inside the British Museum was another Moai head just like Dum Dum from New York.

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We also found huge door posts from the Palace of Xerxes. How many feet can you count on the statue?

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Here are some of the other objects in the Museum but there is so much to see that Miss Hannaford will have to come back on another day.

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To top the day off, another thing London is famous for is the red double decker buses. Miss Hannaford and I decided to use the bus to go back to the hotel and we got to sit right at the very front of the bus and we took this photo.

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It was a great, historical day and lets see what adventure we will go on tomorrow- Lucy

Lucy goes around the world in 88 days: Day 32

Tuesday 29th July

Today we got to see traditional British pomp and ceremony- the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. During summer, the changing of the guard happens everyday at 11:30am. All of the guards from one of the 5 regiments (Grenediers, Colstream, Scots, Irish or Welsh) guards all of the palaces around London for 24 hours. A guard will stand on duty for 2 hours then have 2 hours off so every guard stands on duty 12 times including at night. The weapons they are carrying are real and they are loaded. These guards are real professional soldiers not just a tourist attraction. Every tourist who comes to London goes to see the Changing of the Guard which meant we ended up a long way back from the Palace but the guards did march past us on their way to the palace.

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After the changing of the guard ceremony, Miss Hannaford and I walked to Covent Garden. Covent Garden is where all the famous theaters in London start as Miss Hannaford needed to collect her tickets to see Phantom of the Opera.
Miss Hannaford originally saw Phantom of the Opera in 1991 in Melbourne then again in Sydney in 1996. It is one of her favourite musicals and she is currently building a ‘phantom’ puppet.

http://youtu.be/OljL1W5VtcI

Also in Covent Garden is a very old and famous shop called Benjamin Pollocks Toy Theatre. They sell lots of puppet theaters in this shop including reproductions of antique cardboard theatres so Miss Hannaford has bought a few to bring back home.

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As we walked to the theatre, we saw the most amazing building- it is nearly completely covered in hanging baskets of flowers- very pretty!

Other locations we visited during the day included the Albert Memorial- a special statue dedicated to the memory of Prince Albert- husband of Queen Victoria and across the road is the Albert Hall- a very famous concert hall.

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Here are some photos of the stage of phantom of the opera at the beginning of the musical and the end of the musical. Did you know that the chandelier actually falls to the stage during the show?

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Miss Hannaford told me about her favourite memory of the show when she saw it in 1991. She went to see where the orchestra plays at the front of the stage and the conductor had written on his music the word DUCK at the point when the chandelier falls. If he didn’t duck- the chandelier would hit him! Here is what it looks like in the show-
http://youtu.be/7r_tU1323sg

So what a very interesting day- let’s see what adventures we go on tomorrow!
– Lucy

Lucy goes around the world in 88 days: Day 31

Monday 28th July
Today Miss Hannaford and I travelled 35 minutes out of London by train to Hampton Court Palace. This palace is famous because it was the main palace where Henry VIII lived as well as his daughter Queen Elizabeth I. Miss Hannaford is really interested in this period of English history called Tudor England. So much of our history was changed at this palace 500 years ago!

As you walk into the palace- you can see 8 animals holding heraldic shields representing the family crests of Henry and of his third wife Jane Seymour.

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One thing I noticed as we walked through the gatehouse was a sign on the wall. I thought someone had spelt gatehouse wrong but apparently that is how the letter U was written during the reign of Henry and Elizabeth.

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When you visit Hampton Court Palace, you are given a free audio guide machine to borrow and you can choose different tours if the palace. The first tour we chose was a tour of Henry VIII’s kitchens because we could smell delicious roasting meat in the courtyard! Henry’s kitchen is enormous! A royal court of the King, Queen, Lords and Ladies and servants is many hundreds of people so the kitchens have to be able to cook lots of food for them all! The fire place where the meat is cooked is so big that whole animals can be spit roasted!

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The next space we got to see was the Great Hall where the King and all his court would eat their feasts. Have you ever heard of the word eavesdropper- someone who listens to private conversations? That word started in this room! At the bottom of the arches on the roof of the Great Hall- at the bottom of the Eaves are little carved and painted wooden heads called Eavesdroppers.

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In one of the other rooms, we actually encountered an actor playing Henry VIII so it made our visit really interesting because the actor was expecting everyone to bow to him and call him your majesty and you can see that the ceiling in the room is covered in real gold!

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200 years after Henry VIII died, George I started to demolish Hampton Court Palace from the back and built a completely different style of palace but he ran out of money to finish demolishing the rest of the old palace so it is very strange walking through a door in Henry’s Palace into a completely different kind of palace.

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While we visited the other half of Hampton Court Palace we saw examples of the kinds of clothes people wore at the court of King George. We also ran into more actors playing Prince George and Princess Caroline who lived at the palace and they took us on a tour of the building and later gardens.

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One of the special features of the garden of Hampton Court Palace is the maze made of living plants. It was too wet and muddy to go into the maze but it was possible to take photos of how the gardeners grow the maze as they are adding to the maze right now.

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Lucy goes around the world in 88 days: Day 30

Sunday 27th July
Today Miss Hannaford and I visited one of London’s oldest and most famous landmarks- the Tower of London. The Tower of London is officially known as Her Majesty’s Palace and Fortress but it is also known as the place where the Crown Jewels are kept as well as a prison and a place where people’s heads were cut off over 500 years ago.

The Tower of London was where the Kings and Queens of England used to live which is why it looks like a castle. It has a moat that used to have water in it and once you cross the moat, you can see where the portcullis with it’s long spikes goes up and down using rope wound around a crank to stop enemies from entering the castle. When we visited, teams of volunteers were putting clay poppies into the ground of the moat for the commemoration of the centenary of World War 1 in 1914. By November 11 2014, there will be 1 poppy for every British solider killed in the First World War.

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Since the Tower of London is the place where the Crown Jewels of England are kept, there are 2 groups of soldiers guarding them. The first group come from either the Grenediers, Colstream, Irish. Scots or Welsh Guards who wear the red uniforms and actual Bearskin hats. The hats are made from real Canadian black bears. These soldiers guard all the palaces and they also serve in the British army. The other group of guards are known as Yeoman Warders. They live 24/7 at the Tower with their families and they are retired soldiers but they wear a uniform design that is 500 years old.

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The Crown Jewels are kept in the Jewel House within the grounds of the Tower of London. All the famous crowns wore by the Queen and past Kings and Queens are kept here as well as many of the objects used in the coronation.
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The most important building in the grounds of the Tower of London is the White Tower. Here is where Kings and Queens lived over many centuries. Inside the tower is a display of suits of armour belonging to all the ancient kings- queens never wore armour. We got to see armour worn by King Henry VIII, as well as many different kinds of weapons that were stored at the Tower of London.

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The photo just above shows how much a knight wearing armour could actually see- which is not very much. The exhibition designers at the the Tower of London had cut a helmet in half so you could put your face in to see what the knights could not see!

The tower is also known as a place of execution. 6 people including 3 Queens of England had their head cut off by either an axe or a sword inside the tower grounds on Tower Green while hundreds had their head cut off on the hill just behind the tower. Their heads were cut off if they had been judged and found guilty of the most serious of crimes- treason against the king. Many innocent as well as guilty people had their head cut off. One of the axes and blocks is on display in the Tower of London and a sculpture has been set up on Tower Green to remember the innocent people whose heads were cut off.

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One of the unusual things about the Tower of London is that Ravens are always kept at the Tower. The superstition is that if the ravens leave the tower, the tower will fall and the monachy will end. 300 years ago, the English King decreed that the Yeoman Warders must always keep at least 8 Ravens at the Tower of London at all times. The Ravens are allowed to go wherever they like but their flight feathers are trimmed so they can’t fly away.

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After our visit to the Tower of London, Miss Hannaford and I went on a cruise on the River Thames to the London Eye. We saw Tower Bridge again, a strange new building called the Shard and eventually the London Eye- a huge Ferris wheel on the bank of the river.

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Our last stop of the day was a ride on the London Eye! It takes 30 minutes to go all the way around the wheel and the view of London is amazing!

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It has been a very exciting day- I am really looking forward to what we are doing tomorrow!- Lucy