School holiday of rock


Blue whale, magic door or lump of rock? This isn’t a playground game, but the alternatives, during my summer holidays in the late sixties, offered by the Natural History, Science and Geological Museums respectively in South Kensington – a 49 bus ride from the stop outside Tooting Bec Station.
However many visits we made as kids there, I don’t think I was ever destined to become a scientist.
I liked the idea of a door which opened the moment you walked near it and the ball you could never touch, but this indicated to me that I was unlikely to be called on to walk on the Moon, split an atom or discover fire.
Similarly, I marvelled at the blue whale and the dodo in the Natural History Museum, but with the extinction of one and not enough maggots in my mum’s fridge to capture the other, I was never going to make it as the next David Attenborough or Jacques Cousteau.
This left the Geological Museum, which we went in to escape the rain. You can only look at a few pieces of sedimentary rock when the risk of pneumonia becomes very attractive. Now closed (I rest my case) , but part of the Natural History Museum, if you don’t fancy it, its memory lives on through The Flintstones. Or take an umbrella.
The rock museum gets the last laugh as there is no Museum for Paper & Scissors.

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