News

My Week Gresham College professor Doug McWilliams, whose day job is running the Centre for Economic and Business Research, has a habit in his lectures of dropping in factual nuggets that send a shiver down your spine, And as the theme of the series is how the world has to change under the impact of the biggest-ever economic shock – the rapid rise of Asia – he has lots of material.

Kids out

From Wet and Wild at the Science Museum (0171-938 8000), to Something Beastly at Hampton Court Palace (0181-781 9500, left), there's something to satisfy all ages and tastes during this week's half-term. The Imperial War Museum (0171-416 5000), invites young'uns to enter the top secret world of espionage - assume a false identity, grab a fake passport and send classified information by morse code, while the Museum of London goes further back in time for its celebration of Tudor London (0171-600 3699). An altogether more grisly event is at The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garrett (0171-955 4791), where today at 2.30pm, children can relive the dread of surgery before anaesthetics, when the patient's only relief from the ordeal was the speed of the surgeon's blade. Nasty. Meanwhile, Wimbledon's Polka Theatre (0181-543 4888) rises to the occasion, as ever, with a new version of Aesop's fable, The Hare and the Tortoise.

Opera site dig reveals Saxon London

The first Saxon London was much more substantial than historians had thought, according to research being carried out following excavations at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. David Keys, Archaeological Correspondent, explains the city of Lundenwic.

Visual arts: You don't have to be mad to work here... but it helps

The Bethlehem Royal Hospital not only gave the world a new word for lunatic asylum, it even advertised its wares with a pair of matching stone madmen outside. Not exactly PC. But then, says Tom Lubbock, earlier centuries were under fewer delusions about the human condition than we are today.

Black History

It is 10 years since Black History month was created by the London Strategic Policy Unit to raise the profile of black people in the arts. The Museum of London is organising a number of events to celebrate: Saturday will see the first conference to trace black writing in London from its early origins through to today's industry.

Carnival doesn't have to end today

At dusk tonight, the cacophony of tin whistles and calypso will fade to a murmur, marking the end of the 33rd Notting Hill Carnival. The steel drums will be packed up, the sound systems dismantled and the glittering costumes taken off to be mothballed.

Obituary: Phyllis Pearsall

The memorial of Phyllis Pearsall (Mrs A-Z as she was known) is in many millions of homes and businesses throughout the UK and abroad. Mao had his little red book, she had her A-Zs, the first of which appeared in 1936.

Letter: A hearty burial

Sir: The Church in medieval England had no problem with how to bury a person in two places at once ("Priests puzzle over double burial", 26 April). They simply cut out the heart and buried it in one church, and buried the body in another. The beautiful gravestone from the heart burial of Joanna, wife of Fulke de St Edmond who was Sheriff of the City of London in 1289-90, found in the church of St Swithin London Stone, in Cannon Street in the City, is exhibited in the medieval gallery of the Museum of London. She is shown holding her heart.

Behind the scenes

You can probably recall the scene, against the atmospheric backdrop of a seething, darkly gothic cityscape a solitary tiny old lady (right) potters along a gloomy street to the door of her lace-curtained cottage. The Ladykillers is one of those classics of British cinema whose location perfectly conveys the black comedy's sense of impending - albeit unrealised - menace. But where was it filmed? A new exhibition at the Museum of London reveals all. "London on Film" examines the hundred years of film-making in the capital. While The Ladykillers was in fact set in a now demolished part of north London, other areas of the city have masqueraded as more exotic locations. Who would have guessed that the St Petersburg recently seen on screen in Goldeneye was in reality the classical frontage of Somerset House in the Strand or that the 1946 version of Great Expectations made inventive use of the ruins of the bomb-damaged City. Similarly, during the 1930s, motorists on London's new North Orbital ring road would have caught tantalising glimpses of the Indian Raj settings in North West Frontier and the space-age city of Things to Come at Denham Studios.

'Prices are going to go mad'

Whitefriars was the Wedgwood of the glass world. Then it went bust. Two books later, it's set for a major revival.

OBITUARY:Arthur Trotman

Arthur Trotman was one of the leading members of a generation which saw the conservation of museum objects change from a craft into a science. Having started by learning the skills at the workshop bench, at his retirement in 1986 he had become one of the principal exponents of a discipline practised in well-equipped laboratories and taught in universities at degree level.

Feeding the Cockney soul

Once upon a time eels, pie and mash was a staple diet of workers in London's East End, with over 200 shops to choose from; now you have to search to find one. Matthew Brace has a mouthful

METRO CHOICE: Eel meat again

London's an oddly old-fashioned place. Take pie and mash shops: these undiluted manifestations of Victorian working-class life would be easy meat to the burger chains in the Home Counties. Yet in east and south- east London several survive and thrive, supplying costermongers and marketgoers with wedges of mash, bowlfuls of stewed eels, ladles of parsley liquor, and meat pies fresh from the oven. Often their interiors have changed little in more than 50 years, and feature magnificent tiling, rudimentary wooden benches, and marble-topped tables. About time, then, that these gems were recorded. So Chris Clunn has travelled the capital, photographing the shops, their staff and their customers. The results can be seen from Monday in an exhibition at the Museum of London. An accompanying book is to be published by the museum (priced £9.95). It relates the story of London's three great pie and mash dynasties - the Cookes, the Manzes and the Kellys - a tale as intricate as the life-cycle of the eels they sell.

PICKINGS FROM TIME AND TIDE

Britain's river beaches conceal thousands of pieces of our past. Madeleine Marsh meets the enthusiasts for whom raking through mud has its own romantic rewards

Child's play

Steven Poole tells how to turn your little `luvvies' into drama lovers during half-term

From Ridley Road to Radlett

Images from Jewish food shops capture a way of life that is fast disapp earing. Phil Harriss reports
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