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Sunday, 21 February 2010

Wiliam Abling continued

By some lucky happenstance Longitude was on Yesterday today - it's a quite astonishing film with a stellar cast - Michael Gambon, Ian Hart, Brian Cox, Bill Nighy, Jeremy Irons, Ian McNiece not to mention Tim "Lord Percy" McInnerny who I once saw as Hamlet and follows the travails of John Harrison who struggled for his entire life to construct an accurate chronometer that would be able to be used at sea and thus allow Britannia to rule the waves and also the struggle to restore this amazing pieces of engineering. It's down to John Harrison that the Greenwich meridian is the prime meridian. I guess as a adjunct I should mention by Civilization addiction - presently in abeyance and the realisation that such technical advances affect the development of nations, of civilizations of the world massively. I had no idea that Clerkenwell was a hotbed of watchmaking, we spotted the old Ingasol factory on our wanderings last week. It's also well known for brewing and distillation and printing. Now you see this is why I love blue plaque spotting - it points you to these areas of London that you really do have little or no idea of. All of a sudden your attention is brought to this realisation that the city that presently exists lives on top of / alongside of / around this astonishing history, this wealth that is under our feet. Clerkenwell has a long history, starting with a monastic settlement ironically by the Knights Hospitaliers of St. John who after our litle soujourn in Malta we know a little more of, it became a area of fashionable spas before blossoming in the Industrial Revolution before it's post-war fall into decrepitude....

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