Getting in for free

This weekend is London Open House.  It's an annual event that lets the public get inside buildings across the city for free.  It's not just a chance to take a peek inside famous buildings though. Eco homes open their doors as well as cultural temples and workplaces.

I signed up to help them out about a month ago.

Even though I've lived in London for 7 years I've always missed the chance to have a snoop around some of the most exciting buildings - so this year I thought if I volunteered it would get into my diary and stay in my diary.

So far so good.  What next?  Well I'll tell you when it's over. I start at 10am tomorrow morning.


I spent the morning at Hoxton Hall listening to traditional music hall songs and learning about the history of the building.  I also discovered how much the building is part of the local community and met several people who had spent time there as children.   When I was at the door I met one lady who told me a ghost story (without stepping inside as she was too afraid).  Rumour has it that a young girl haunts the bulding as she fell to her death from the balcony whilst watching her mother performing on stage.

I spent the afternoon at Dr. Johnson's house;  the home of a very generous 18th century man and birthplace of the dictionary.  I learnt a huge amount of history there and spoke to lots of people that I wouldn't normally.  The next day I used my priority volunteer badge to jump the queue at the Bank of England and got to hold a bar of gold with my bare hands.  Here are a couple of photos of the queue at Dr. Johnson's and one of the words in the facsimile dictionary on display,  published in 1755.