Necropolis Line

London has several transport links, but did you know that there was one that used to carry dead people and their mourners?

The London Necropolis Railway was opened in 1854 and carried coffins from the Waterloo station to Brookwood cemetery. There were separate hearse cars for Anglicans and Dissenters, and three classes of carriage for the living and the dead.

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A First Class corpse received a higher level of customer care and nicely decorated carriage. Trains ran straight into the cemetery grounds, there were two stations, each for different parts of the cemetery, North for Dissenters and South for Anglicans, adjacent to the corresponding chapels. The South Station was licensed and in addition for funeral parties, offered afternoon tea to visitors strolling in the cemetery, it also operated as a pub, which did much to reconcile the locals to the giant cemetery on their doorstep.

Brookwood received the dead from overcrowded London parishes, in a series of subdivisions, many of which resemble old-fashioned churchyards with their hedges and lynch-gates. As well as accomodating Anglicans and Dissenters, Brookwood was one of the first cemeteries in Britain to offer burial facilities to Muslims and Sikhs.

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The two stations in the cemetery were demolished during the 1960s and the ruins later caught fire. The tracks were long since lifted away to be melted or reused elsewhere. In London, the entrance building to the private station at 121 Westminster Bridge Road remains largely intact, but the name Necropolis Cemetery Station that was once inscribed is no longer there.

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I love living in London, so many unusual things to discover that make a weirdo like me very happy!

Elle. xx

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Hunterian Museum

Hello y’all fellow weirdos! It’s been a while since my last post, my apologies, but life here in London is crazy. Anyway, I’m always on the lookout for unordinary places to visit…and believe me, here in London there are loads of them! Lucky me!

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Finally I had the chance to visit the Hunterian Museum, which is the home of the biggest collection of human and animal anatomical and pathological specimens I’ve ever seen in my life.

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All those little jars filled with your fears, because yes, if you are like me and suffer from entomophobia (aka insectophobia), then you might have some problems. Trust me, this is the closest I can be to a (dead) insect, although the iridescent beetles were too cute.

 

If you are into medicine and surgery, or if you are an all-round weirdo like myself, you might find the section they have regarding surgery history very fascinating. Cases full of old medical devices that make you cringe when thinking of their use.

Here you can also admire the skeleton of Charles Byrne – the Irish giant, well preserved foetuses, deformities, bizarre animals and so on. This museum is a treasure for the curious minds and even if you don’t have a “medical background” it definitely worth the visit, is free and the gift shop is adorable, here you will find tiny glow-in-the-dark skeletons, skeleton t-shirts and a lot of interesting books.

The Hunterian Museum
Royal College of Surgeons
35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3PE

Elle. xx

Kensal Green Cemetery

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When I’m in a very bad mood I usually go and have a walk in a cemetery, and luckily for me, the Kensal Green Cemetery is just around the corner from wher I live.

Founded as the General Cemetery of All Souls, Kensal Green Cemetery was the first of the “Magnificent Seven” garden-style cemeteries in London. The others are: West Norwood Cemetery, Highgate Cemetery, Abney Park Cemetery, Nunhead Cemetery, Brompton Cemetery and Tower Hamlets Cemetery… which I’m planning to visit them all.

The gothic architecture gives to this place a very suggestive atmosphere, moreover the grey sky and the biting wind added a scary undertone to this experience. Indeed I couldn’t visit the entire place as it was rainy and the muddy ground didn’t help, but definitely will pay another visit again, as I said is just around the corner.

The Friends of Kensal Green, an organistation involved in the preservation of the cemetery, offer guided tours every Sunday afternoon from the beginning of March to the end of October and the first and third Sunday of the month in November, December, January and February. At the end of the tour there will be tea and biscuits inside the Dissenters’ Chapel. –Here– all the infos you might need.

A big, important thing is that The Weirdo is finally on YouTube! Here’s my very first video, but to be honest I’m still trying to understand how this whole thing works (including the editing program!) Hope you will enjoy it! Of course, remember to subscribe if you don’t want to miss my weird adventures here in London!

Elle. x

New city, new life


Hey y’all fellow weirdos! 

I’ve finally moved to London and at the moment the situation is complete madness! I’m on an emotional roller coaster as a Super Bowl speaker would say! 

Getting a room here is even crazier but apparently I found one that is in a very lovely area and there’s also an old victorian cemetery very close to the house. Talking about cemeteries, the first place I’ve been to since my moving, has been my beloved Golders Green Crematorium which is like home for me, but more importantly I’ve seen my dearest friend Eric, who also happens to work at the Crematorium. I didn’t tell him anything about my moving so I tried to organize a little surprise. See, even a weirdo like me can do this kind of nice things, especially if they’re directed to an amazing friend ❤️ 

This is mainly a little post to update you all, just a quick chitchat between fellow weirdos and to let you know that the blog is still open and that there will be new interesting posts as soon as I’m all settled. 

Elle. xx

Disguised Weapons!

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” should work for people and…for weapons! Some of the most dangerous weapons are those disguised as everyday items.

In 1945 a man gave a pair of spring-loaded spiked binoculars as a gift to his former fiancée after she left him. They inspired a scene in the 1959 film Horrors of the Black Museum.

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I can’t even count all the times that in a spy-movie a shotgun disguised as an umbrella appears, the last movie that I’ve seen with a weapon like this is Kingsman (which is also a  pretty cool movie).

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Girls are sooo obsessed with make-up and, personally, a make-up item that I always carry with me is lipstick. Of course this is not the kind of lipstick I would use on my face on a daily basis!

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Most of the good ol’ fashioned  gangsters used to have a double bladed signet ring, that eventually would leave some ugly scars on the face of the victim.

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The Crime Museum’s collections contain many other cleverly designed weapons seized by the Metropolitan Police. For the very first time a huge collection of never-before-seen objects from the Metropolitan Police’s Crime Museum (or Black Museum as it was once called) are on public display at the Museum of London until the 10th of April 2016. an interesting journey through some of the UK’s most famous cases from Jack the Ripper and Dr. Crippen to  the Krays, the Great Train Robbery, the Spaghetti House Siege, espionage and the Cold War. It’s a chance you can’t miss as the Crime Museum’s collection, located at New Scotland Yard, is not open to the public.

Museum of London – The Crime Museum Uncovered

150 London Wall

London EC2Y 5HN

Source: The Crime Museum Uncovered

Elle. xx

 

Mould juice…on the rocks!

When Alexander Fleming was born, antibiotics did not exist. Minor infections often proved fatal and a quarter of all hospital patients died of gangrene after surgery.

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When Fleming enrolled as a medical student at St Mary’s in 1900 he dreamed of becoming a surgeon, but luckily for us, he was given a temporary position in the Inoculation Department, where he remained until his death.

One day in 1922, Fleming was hunched over his bacteria cultures as usual, despite suffering from a nasty cold. A drop of snot landed on his Petri dish, which led to his discovery of the antiseptic properties of mucus, saliva and tears. In September 1928, Alexander Fleming made another discovery that changed the course of medical history, when one of his cultures was contaminated with mould from a lab downstairs, Fleming hit on the healing properties of fungus, and effectively invented penicillin.

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Fleming’s assistant Stuart Craddock ate some of this “mould juice” to prove that it was not poisonous, Craddock claimed that it tasted like Stilton, prompting a flurry of sensational headlines about mouldy cheese being a miracle cure for disease.

 Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum

St Mary’s Hospital, Praed Street, W2

London

Jack The Ripper: A Recap.

This is going to be the longest post ever! I’ve tried to keep it short but as you might imagine there’s always a lot to say about the most famous serial killer: Jack the Ripper. So, sit tight, grab a cuppa and enjoy!

Five murders are known to have been committed by the Ripper, but two others were once thought to have been his work as well. Emma Smith, who lived in Spitalfields, was attacked in the early hours of 3 April 1888. She said she had been assaulted by four men, but could or would not identify them. She died the next day.

Four months later, the body of Martha Tabram was found on a staircase, her throat and stomach had been stabbed with something sharp like a bayonet. Earlier that night, she and another prostitute had been seen in the company of two soldiers, they were then arrested but the second prostitute failed (or refused) to identify either her own or the other woman’s partner.

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