Museum blog

Read our blog to get the lowdown from our experts and go behind the scenes at Royal Museums Greenwich.

‘Trotsky’ the bear being transferred to HMS Ajax from HMS Emperor of India in 1921

1 March 2019

There is a long history of animals and seafarers coming together at sea. Seamen often kept cats and dogs as pets or ship’s mascots, but more exotic companions such as parrots, bears and monkeys also joined the crew. Horses, mules and even elephants were transported across the sea to be used in battle, while cattle, pigs, goats and chickens on board provided a source of fresh milk, eggs and meat.

A view of Greenwich Hospital from the river (BHC1829)

11 February 2019

The Caird Library and Archive has hundreds of manuscripts and printed works related to Greenwich Hospital, but only one substantial collection of papers of a naval officer from his time as Treasurer of the Hospital.

Night sky highlights - March 2019

8 February 2019
The best of astronomy this month: By Patricia Skelton, Astronomy Education Officer (Details given are for London and may vary for other parts of the UK).

All Over Dressed

8 February 2019

2019 will see the Cutty Sark celebrate her 150th Birthday. Traditionally, during periods of celebration, ships are dressed overall by stringing international signal flags from masthead to masthead as a form of decoration. Following this tradition the Cutty Sark have commissioned a series of new signal flags to dress the ship in her 150th year.

Night sky highlights - February 2019

28 January 2019
The best of astronomy this month: By Patricia Skelton, Astronomy Education Officer (Details given are for London and may vary for other parts of the UK).

Chinon, Window to the Galaxy © John White, shortlisted for The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer, Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017.jpg

26 January 2019

The Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition has changed its entrants' lives in many ways: from the medical school drop-out who gained the confidence of his parents, to the parent who built his own observatory after becoming fascinated by his son's astronomy homework.

View of 19th century merchant vessel (BHC3594)

22 January 2019

Death was never far away for crew members on a merchant vessel in the 1860s. In 1865 one in twelve vessels reported the death of at least one member of its complement. More surprising perhaps is that births also occurred, but less often with only 1% of vessels reporting them. This study examines just over 4,000 merchant vessels’ records of births and deaths in 1865.

The pursuit of the 'Graf Spee' by HMS 'Ajax' and 'Achilles' [at the Battle of the River Plate, 13 December 1939]

8 January 2019

This month we take a look into Archive and Library item MSS/75/130/2 concerning Captain Frederick Secker Bell (1897-1973). Bell was educated at the Royal Naval Colleges at Dartmouth, Osborne, Isle of Wight and the Royal Navy Staff College at Greenwich.  He served on board the battleship HMS Canada at the battle of Jutland in 1916, received his Captaincy in December 1938 and took command of HMS Exeter a month prior to the declaration of war on September 3 1939.

Watch spring button

4 January 2019

Diaries written by English prisoners of war captured during the Napoleonic Wars frequently mention their clothing. Whilst the importance of appropriate clothing to the comfort and care of prisoners is obvious, prisoners frequently used clothing for their benefit in other, more creative, ways.

star of india.jpg

18 December 2018

Every month, Documentations Officer Claire Denham takes us behind the scenes at Cutty Sark, to give us an insight into the important daily research, documentation and maintenance work that keeps Cutty Sark preserved for many future generations to come.

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