A small museum in Paddington that celebrates the man who accidentally discovered penicillin is marking its 30th anniversary this month.
The Alexander Fleming Museum is, to be honest, not that amazing, being a couple of exhibition rooms, and then the Hallowed Space, where he famously left his window open in a dirty lab and discovered penicillin. The Hallowed Space is however just a recreation.
It has largely original objects, but for many years, the room was used to store nappies for the maternity ward next door, and it was only much later that the space was converted back into Fleming’s laboratory.
There’s also a video which goes into a lot more detail about his discovery, and much more importantly, mentions the work a few years later by people you’ve probably never heard of that turned an academic curiosity into a life-saving medicine.
The museum opened on 21st September 1993 – so thirty years ago this month.
It cost £2 to visit when it opened in 1993, and until recently was charging a still very modest £4 to visit, but earlier this year it became a free museum. Not a bad rate of inflation there.
It has does however limited opening hours and visits are by appointment only, with booking details here.
However, if you were to want to visit the Alexander Fleming Museum, then Thursday 21st September would be a very good day to do so.
The museum can be found around the side of St Mary’s Hospital, by the main entrance on Praed Street — look for the iron gates and big brick arch opposite Norfolk Place.
It cost £90,000 to restore the rooms, which was funded by SmithKline Beecham.