Open House London…is a simple but powerful concept: hundreds of great buildings of all types and periods open up their doors to all, completely for FREE.
This event fell on this weekend, and as I have been eyeing it for some editions now but never got round to actually going, when IanVisits wrote about it earlier in the year I made it a point to note down the day the bookings will be opened. Even with this planning I wasn’t quick enough to get tickets for all I wanted to see, but we did get to book tickets for a tour of The Royal Society building and exhibition.
The Royal Society “is a fellowship of 1400 outstanding individuals who represent all areas of science, engineering and medicine and who form a global scientific network of the highest calibre”. They are this year celebrating their 350th anniversary, so quite a lot of events are going on, amongst them an exhibition on their history, and a bigger summer science exhibition than previous years (see my experience of visiting the exhibition last year and a brief mention this year).
The tour was led by The Royal Society’s librarian. He took us through the different rooms, explaining about the numerous people whose portrait hangs on the walls. I particularly liked the one of Tim Berners-Lee (above) because it was so different. He also gave us a bit of history about the uses of the building over the years, and also to the sites the society was housed in over the year. The tour ended by being shown through major exhibits in the exhibition, highlighting what fellows of the society are celebrated for.
I didn’t know what to expect (and for some reason had forgotten that we would be given a guided tour). However it was a good introduction to what this society does. I have so far been very confused with what all the ‘Royal’ groups – Royal Academy, Royal Institution, Royal Society of this and that – do, but I think I have now got one down pat!