Tuesday, 19 November 2013

sherlock holmes museum

Two of us went to the Sherlock Holmes Museum on Friday 5th April; we had tried the day before but didn't go through with it because the queue was so long (though we did instead on that day visit the Sherlock Holmes pub, off Northumberland Avenue, with its replica of Holmes's study upstairs, preserved from the Festival of Britain; you could just look in, and I wouldn't have liked to have made a special or long trip to see it). We got there soon after it opened when we went back on the Friday, though by the time we left the queue outside was substantial.

The Sherlock Holmes Museum I was surprisingly pleased with. It was a little expensive, given that it's very low-maintenance - largely an unstaffed recreation of the apartments at 221b, and an easy tourist moneyspinner - but neither of us were bored, and I did find it quite evocative. The thing which was most striking was - and I think this was accurately representative - how little private space to themselves both Dr Watson and Mr Holmes would have had living in such a place, yet there's certainly nothing in the books to suggest that these were unusually restricted dwelling places for men of their wealth and standing in that era.

The second thing I will remember longest from that visit will be the younger member of the party pointing at something in the shop and asking what it was, and I had to explain that it was a telephone with an actual dial, and demonstrate how it worked. I felt very old.

And later that day, we also popped into Tate Modern. It's good to live in London.