My Vintage London - vintage photographer Claire Pursglove
Claire Pursglove: The Rivoli Ballroom (pictured) near me in Brockley is just beautiful. You can really imagine yourself in a beautiful gown, gliding around the dance floor with a handsome beau. One day! I also love going to the old theatres in London, with their glorious original interiors and squeaky seats. I recently went to see The 39 Steps at The Criterion, which is a perfect example. It was a great show too.
The Vintage Guide to London: What’s the one thing one has to do or see in London?
Claire Pursglove: I became a friend of the Imperial War Museum this year, and recommend that as a must see. As well as all their regular attractions they put on a lot of interesting temporary exhibitions, such as their recent one on food during WWII. I love looking through all the photographs and artefacts there, and have promised myself I must go to their new Explore History Centre and lose a day or two looking through the archives.
I think it’s great that they have all the tanks and planes etc there too – a great reminder to people like me (who may have romanticised WWII somewhat) that this period wasn’t all romances with G.I.’s and Blitz spirit.
A lesser known museum that is also worth a visit is the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill. It opened in 1901 and was founded by Victorian tea trader Frederick John Horniman to hold his collection of natural history, cultural artefacts and musical instruments. As well as all the anthropological stuff they have a lovely little aquarium, and beautiful gardens to stroll around.