England is one of the interesting places in the world. Our group trip was organized to travel in several locations in London. We started off by visiting the Bank of England Museum; the Museum location is in the City of London inside the Bank of England. To get to this place, we used the Bartholomew-lane that is found off Thread needle Street. To locate the lane, we identified two other landmarks, Bank tube station, and Bank Junior. We planned to visit on a weekday when the museum was open.
A tour guide was arranged to take us through the museum and explain to us the historical importance of the various aspects of the museum, including why it was built and how it has progressed over the years to its current state. We gained deeper insights about the operations that have been happening in the past. We asked several questions, and answers were provided for the various issues. Key areas our group touched on were: How are operations carried out in the museum? What are the artifacts in the museum? What are the cultures of the English people as evident from the museum? And what are the benefits of having such a museum? According to the information obtained in class, the management decided to make its collection and display to the world for views in the1980s, and this is how the museum was created. The museum was officially opened in 1994 and named as the Bank of England Museum. Before its opening in 1994 however, it faced many challenges, including the 1986 fire that resulted in 18 months reconstruction and rebuilding.
The Bank of England Museum is a big building measuring up to 1,000 square meters. The museum has many displays relevant to the banking system and economic structures that have helped shape the healthy banking system that the UK has, and many countries learn from. The exhibits range from collections dating back to 1694 when the Bank of England was started by modern-day groups. We visited several displays in the building, more specifically, the office that was constructed in the 18th century. According to information in various sources, the office had been reconstructed to suit its uses. The displays significantly carry the history of the Bank and have been organized in a chronological manner. A just view will give one image in chronological order from the display of the inter-war period to the rebuilding that has taken place to date. We were walked through the exhibits and various parts of the building that reflect the changes that have occurred in the bank, including the various technological advancements. The modern technology being used is constantly evolving to meet the ever-changing demands of the English economy, which is changing with globalization and multinational operations.
2. Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum is the second place we visited during our group tour. The Imperial War Museum is located in south London, very close to Lambeth Road. The goal of visiting this site is to have an understanding of modern wars that the United Kingdom played a role in through visual representations of current war and the experience of the war. The Imperial War Museum was established to serve as a remembrance and documentation of the military experiences, including the social implications of Britains war efforts in the Second World War. The Museum was first opened in 1920 and had its location moved several times before finally settling in its permanent locations in Southward. Interest in the Museum fluctuated over the period of war, but its expansion continued to flourish.
Understanding the key factors that both influenced and took place during WW II was the main aim of visiting the site, what happened and some of the memories that are still kept in the museum. There were several questions that we obtained their answers, and this helped in building my historical knowledge concerning the war. We discovered that many documents were found throughout history with information that is being used to bring a correlation of what happened during the past years and current years. There were recorded several videos, films as well as oral historical artifacts. The tour guide took us through the history of WW II and the events that were recorded in the archives. We visited the art collection that was located in the library where more historical documents were stored. We were then taken through the archival system that the Museum has in place, including how information displays are maintained, particularly those about oral history. The Museum has two individuals who give narrations of oral history at the Museum; in case one is not present the other co-worker can fill in the position.
Besides information maintenance, we were told that there is a system that ensures that money in the site is being managed properly to facilitate the smooth operation of the Imperial War Museum. The government provides that there are set funds allocated to the Museum that are used to maintain and run the Museum to ensure that the Museum continues running for the foreseeable future. The experience was epic and exciting; I learned a lot of information that has not been published in books and information that cannot be found on websites.
3. House of Parliament
The third place we visited was the House of Parliament. The features, the location the manner in which events are being conducted at this site made the tour more exciting. The House of Parliament is also referred to as a place of Westminster where two legislative houses have the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The UK parliamentary system has been a source of influence for other governmental systems across the world. Visiting the birthplace of the parliamentary system was one of the most intriguing experiences I have had to date. Big Ben and the Clock Tower are some of the outstanding features we visited. The books we read in class define the Big Ben as an elegant clock tower that has a light that illuminates during parliamentary sittings. Visiting the Clock Tower, was one of my favorite experiences, it is an architecturally beautiful monument.
Other places that we visited include the Norman Porch, Lord Chamber, the Members Lobby, Aye Lobby St. Stephens Hall and the Royal Galley. After the tour, we learned more information about parliamentary sessions. Including, how they conduct and how activities are coordinated to ensure that there is a smooth running of the premises. As mentioned earlier, we learned that there are two houses, the House of the Lords and the House of the Commons, we were told about how the two houses conduct activities and ensure that power is equally divided between the two houses to make sure that no house steps on the others responsibility. We understood more history about the several iconic features in London. More information about how the settings are conducted was further elaborated, and this helped us to understand more details about the place, information that cannot be found on books and websites.
Oxford Street, the famous street in the west end of London, is located in the City of Westminster. We expected to see close similarities between the events happening in Oxford Street to events being conducted in Wall Street. We found out that the street is the busiest shopping center in Europe with more than half a million visitors on daily basis. Unlike other areas in Europe, traffic in this place has been regulated and only restricted to taxis and buses. There are various historical accounts of the origins of Oxford Street how it developed to become the booming High Street it is today. The street carries with it historical significance, particularly in relation to the Second World War. We learned that Oxford Street was a center for developing bombs as well as a residential area. Some of the damages that were caused by the war include property loss or severe damage. An example of this was the John Lewis building, which was severely affected by the activities of World War II. Apart from the usual business, we learned about several events taking place in the area that are related to maintaining the history of the site. During the tour, our expectations were met having seen unique and outstanding features on the street some we had learned regarding the appearance of the street in books and other academic sources.
In conclusion, the trip to London was adventurous; the places we visited were very informative. Learning and discovering new ideas about the four places made the trip memorable. Each place had more surprises and more information than what we had learned in class. The idea of trips is often for entertainment, but this one offered us both show, from an excellent adventure in a new climate to a platform of learning and acquiring more historical knowledge. More information about London is found in the four places we visited and this resulted in the tour being more impactful than I thought it would turn out before visiting.
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