As the London Bridge business community springs back to life, we check in with some of our favourite neighbourhood gems to see what’s in store for visitors looking forward to rediscovering the area post-lockdown. This week we speak to Monica and Sarah at The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret ahead of their opening on July 25th. The Old Operating Theatre’s Lockdown Experience Although the past 3 months have been challenging for the museum, we’ve had the opportunity to make lots of new friends in the digital world who we’re looking forward to working with in person and welcoming to the museum when we reopen. The support from our community has been brilliant; we’ve received lots of great feedback from those who have been participating in our weekly social activities, like the #MondayChallenge jigsaw puzzle, of getting active with our Victorian Parlour Games. Earlier in July, we also found out our shop had been shortlisted for a Museums + Heritage Award, which we’re really excited about! Shortly after this we launched our online shop, thanks to many individuals who generously donated towards the cost. The shop has a great selection of bespoke products and gifts, and all sales go towards supporting the upkeep of the museum. In April we also took part in the first National Oddity Championships on Twitter which was great fun and a great way to keep the spirit of the museum alive while our doors have been closed. The competition saw 17 museums and heritage sites across the country put forward a quirky item from their collection to compete for the title and brought together thousands of people who voted and supported our entry, including many well known authors, bloggers and other ambassadors. What can visitors look forward to? Visitors can look forward to the full Old Operating Theatre experience! The 45 minute tour gives a unique insight into the history of medicine and surgery, complete with free wifi and a brand new QR code trail. Each group will also receive a free local history map of the local area for visitors to explore London Bridge. We are also planning to offer a longer local history staff-led tour, and a live evening Victorian Surgery demonstration. Stay tuned! Which place in London Bridge are you looking forward to visiting again the most? The Old Op team are very proud of the local area, its community, history, neighbourhood and vibrancy. We can’t wait be out and about again, visiting the Science Gallery London, grabbing a coffee down Bermondsey Street, lunch from Borough Market, admiring the view of Southwark Cathedral, and of course, supporting the many public houses in the area! Tickets are available to book now for July 25th onwards. Opening Hours: Saturday 10.30am – 5pm Sunday 10.30am – 5pm The Old Operating Theatre have taken care to ensure the way we reopen is in line with Government Guidance and sector specific advice to make it a safe and enjoyable visit for you, as well as a positive environment for our team. You can read more about our Covid-19 Safe Opening here.
Tag: Old Operating Theatre
The Old Operating Theatre Halloween Extravaganza: Victorian Surgery & The Rude Mechanicals Get ready for an unforgettable night! Grab a drink from the Apothecary Wine Bar and enjoy exclusive access to the museum and collection before you’re treated to a Victorian Speed Surgery Demonstration followed by an immersive art and musical performance by the Rude Mechanicals Duo. Find out more Tickets: £20.00 *Access is through a 52-step spiral staircase.
Housed in the attic of the early eighteenth-century church of the old St Thomas’ Hospital, this atmospheric museum offers a unique insight into the history of medicine and surgery. The Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garrett hosts a series of themed evening talks and Q&As on fascinatlingly morbid topics ranging from the fear of ressurection to the bubonic plague… Click here to see current talks.
The annual Valentine’s Day horror screening returns to the Old Operating Theatre. “Completely horrible” – Time Magazine. The British Board of Film Classification originally intended to ban ‘Mad Love’ (1935); a deranged inspection of Grand Guignol villainy. An accomplished but lustful surgeon (Peter Lorre in arguably his greatest performance) is driven to psychotic behaviour over his perverse obsession with an actress. A hugely successful example of 1930’s horror at its most unhinged and portentously Germanic, this tale of madness, murder, dismemberment and forced love is also a wicked, penetrative chunk of psychological study. The film will be preceded by an introduction by Gareth Miles. Doors will open at 6:30 PM. Tickets: £12.00
Join Kirsty Chilton, assistant curator and museum researcher at The Old Operating Theatre, for a fascinating talk: The Fear of Being Buried Alive: A Georgian & Victorian Perspective Book tickets At a time when levels of consciousness were poorly understood, determining when someone was actually dead was an imperfect science. It still can be. The fear of being buried alive and of a desperate struggle to free yourself from your own grave was always present and retains it’s power today. This is a talk about some of the possible – and probable – incidences of people being buried alive or escaping from their own grave in the 18th and 19th century, and some ways to protect yourself from this fate… Doors will open at 6:30 PM. The talk will begin at 7:00 PM. Tickets: £12.00 *Access is through a 52-step spiral staircase. Please, visit our Visiting Us page for further details on access.
For one night only the Old Operating Theatre Museum’s Herb Garret will transform itself to accommodate a very special Mad Hatter’s Tea Party! It would be only appropriate that this experience will have specialty teas, including herbal ones inspired by the Herb Garret. In addition, guests will be able to choose from a range of amazing homemade baked goods and savoury treats to nibble on. While in the Museum, guests will be welcomed to follow the white rabbit to learn about 19th century insane remedies to cure everything and listen to an alternative take of Alice Adventures in Wonderland in the Operating Theatre. An imaginative experience that promises to be unforgettable. Limited spaces available Price: £25 *Access to the museum is through a 52-step spiral staircase.
The Old Operating Theatre & Herb Garret hosts a talk by author Ruth Richardson on the topic of death and the body in 19th century England. Before 1832 dissection was a feared and hated punishment for murder. The 1832 Anatomy Act requisitioned instead the corpses of the poor, transferring the penalty from murder to poverty. The Anatomy Act contributed to the terrible fear of the Victorian workhouse and influences attitudes towards death even today. This talk by author Ruth Richardson analyses the subject drawing on many disciplines to explore the fundamental issues of folklore and science, life and death and the political struggles surrounding ownership of the body in the 19th century. ‘A heartfelt dilemma whose history is movingly explored….Passionate, powerful and elegant’. Roy Porter, The Guardian. April 26th. Doors will open at 6:30 PM. Tickets
The Science Gallery’s new season BLOOD: Life Uncut launches on the 27th July with installations in three different venues around London Bridge that will reveal the essential, expressive and the visceral nature of blood, by telling personal and provocative stories of this vital, life-affirming fluid that connects us all. Blood Equality at Guy’s Chapel and the ‘Heamotel’ on Guy’s Campus, King’s College London, will be open until Sunday 30 July and The Body is a Big Place at the Old Operating Theatre will be on view until 17 August. In addition, a roaming performing team, the Blood Bikers, will travel by bike between London and Tower bridges, stopping to gather stories, share messages, and stage ideas inspired by blood. This is the first phase of the BLOOD: Life Uncut season, which runs until mid-August, and will be followed by the second phase that includes an exhibition, installations, workshops and performances that will take place across London Bridge and Peckham from September until November. This season is a collaboration with Science Gallery Melbourne who launched their season last night. Partnering with Nite Art for their launch event, the iconic Old Quad of The University of Melbourne was illuminated by Jordan Eagles’ Blood Equality-Illuminations. Check out the #BLOOD17 coverage at @scigallerymel and @scigallerylon on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and see full listings on the joint microsite here.