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Saturday, July 19, 2008

London Transport Museum - Rockin' Cocktails, Rockin' Stories

At the risk of sounding like an anorak, the
London Transport Museum is seriously my favourite museum in London. Admittedly I don't go to many, but it's turning into a place that's not just a collection of things (mainly trains, Tubes & buses like it used to be, before the multi million pound refurbishment) but it's a collection of stories and people's lives. Which rocks!

Cocktail recipes in London Transport Museum - Upper Deck

Last night I was there for the premiere of Cab Driver - a BBC4 documentary about London's black cabs. I'm lucky enough to know Zimena Percival, the producer & director, as she somehow persuaded me to do all manner of stupid things for her Arena documentary on the London Underground a couple of years ago.

Zimena Percival and Len Fox from BBC4's Cab Driver

So knowing Zimena and her dogged determination for finding characters (like cabbie turned counsellor Len Fox) and getting them to tell their stories rather than doing a "love fest" on the transport itself, I had a feeling that Cab Driver was going to be good. The audience in the Cubic Theatre at London Transport Museum (brill moquette on the seats) weren't disappointed. It was funny, touching, sad, informative, thoughtful, uplifting, ridiculously sweary (it was a film about cabbies), musical and basically brill. You can see it for yourself on the 26th July 2008 on BBC4.

It's the middle part of her "Transport Trilogy" made with the support of the London Transport Museum. Tonight at 9pm on BBC4 you can see a repeat of her film on London's Routemaster or double decker bus as part of Bus Night. Next Saturday, it's Cabbie Night and then on the 2nd August it's a repeat of Tube Night, with me.

But back to the Museum, they're continuing with their trend of amazing design values by working with people like Ted Baker who's produced a whole lot of T-shirts & accessories for them.

Ted Tini Cocktail - Upper Deck - London Transport Museum

There's a Ted Tini cocktail in his honour too and last night we had a few "Where 2 Guv" cocktails in discounted to £4.50 each for the Cabbie evening.

Where 2 Guv -  Upper Deck - London Transport Museum Two Where 2 Guvs and a Lychee Collins - Upper Deck - London Transport Museum

You can also buy umbrellas with "I don't go South of the River" on them.

For a museum that's about transport it's as much a museum about people and their lives and their stories. I chatted with Wendy Neville the museum's Communication Manager after the film. She was fascinated with us as bloggers (I went along with L J Rich & Anna Mondo - from Team Angel fast catching up with my Team Bank - in the recent L T Museum Flickr Scavenger Hunt) and wanted to learn more about why we did it. But for me it was great to hear about their plans for more events, more story telling (including some Carry On stars - can't wait), more travellers from the past in character, and another outing of the 1938 Art Deco Tube in August.

1938 Art Deco Tour - Riding in the Sunshine Mrs Dilys Muybridge - 1930's Metro-land Housewife - LT Museum

Of course if you like, you can still salivate over the old trains, Tube carriages, buses, horse & carts, old cabs etc etc. The iconic fonts, designs, posters, maps and signs are all there too - displayed really creatively as we found on our first Flickr Scavenger Hunt there. But I do love the human part of the museum, the cocktails, the chunky chips and the connecting with people from the past.


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