At the bidding, as we may well believe of Heaven, the fatal fire stayed its course and everywhere died out. (But Popish frenzy, which wrought such horrors, is not yet quenched.) These last words were added in 1681 and finally deleted in 1850.Museum of London (free of charge) to learn some more about the fire. Thomas had a sleep in his pushchair during this. Alexander took notes and I dare say he told his class later about the things he'd seen and learned.
On our way back to Waterloo Station to catch the train home, the boys were delighted to sit at the front on the top deck of a London bus, and so was I, especially when we passed St. Paul's Cathedral at close quarters and rode down the Strand. Best of all was my lucky chance to get a visionary shot of the Thames from Waterloo Bridge with a view of the tall buildings, ancient and modern, and a rainbow over all of it!
|Emma and boys on the bus|
|St. Paul's, seen from the bus|
|Ancient and modern London, with rainbow!|
The following afternoon we walked around the Crane Park Island Nature Reserve, close to Heathrow, and found some more evidence of history in the Shot Tower, a building that may once have been used for the manufacture of lead shot for ammunition in early firearms. "Molten lead was poured through a copper sieve at the top of the hollow tower. As it fell, it formed small round pellets which cooled and hardened as they hit water in a large tank at the bottom of the tower." The inventor of this process had apparently once fallen asleep and dreamed of leaden raindrops falling on him as he lay in a field.
Next to the tower is an island in the River Crane. Between 1766 and 1928, this location was a gunpowder mill that in the mid nineteenth century had a workforce of 320: men, women and children. Several people lost their lives through this dangerous work––55 accidental explosions occurred. The ingredients of the gunpowder were sulphur, saltpetre and charcoal. Barrels of gunpowder were transported by horse and cart, van and barge to London and the docks and then it was shipped to Canada, for example, to be used against the Americans during the war of 1812.