Trawling through a weird glossy magazine that landed in my letterbox a few weeks ago, I noticed an advert for a “unique interactive exhibition” being held nearby.
That in itself wasn’t enough to interest me, but the topic, archaeology and plans for the East London Line, most certainly did peak my interest.
The exhibition is being curated at a community type centre in Blackheath, which seemed a bit odd for a railway that won’t be going anywhere near the place, but it is moderately convenient for me to get to.
Alas, after traipsing over yesterday afternoon, the exhibition, which promised a selection of historic artefacts recovered during the construction and models (note the plural) of the stations, turned out to be one model and one glass cabinet with 6 items on show.
There was however the “interactive” display, which was a “Dummies Guide” to the railway, with a perpetually scrolling background behind the text that nearly caused me to have a seizure. I’m not sure what the elderly ladies nattering in the background over their tea and cake would have made of that!
The display also had a picture of a tunnelling shield which it claimed was related to the Thames Tunnel – only it was very obviously the wrong one, and that should have been noticed by even the most cursory of glances from a tube historian.
The sole model of the stations was of Haggerston station, which is also not the most interesting one to look at, being just a raised couple of platforms above a viaduct.
Overall, quite a disappointing display with very little to show for itself. I suspect it exists so that the ELL project managers can tick the box marked “community outreach”. It certainly doesn’t seem designed to attract visitors.
If you are in Blackheath, then pop your nose into the Age Exchange (11 Blackheath Village) for a look, but I wouldn’t expect to spend more than 5 minutes in there.