retrospectively great expectations

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Great Expectation (London St)In its short lifetime of 169 years, 33 London street has hosted diverse cultural activities – institute, theatre, church then pub

Local authoress Ms Mary Russell Mitford laid the foundation stone of the “New Hall” in 1842. Contemporary writing refers to the New Hall as either the “Literary, Scientific and Mechanics Institute” or the “Theatre Royal”.¬† The Institute appears to be part of a social movement that started in Wales to ensure adults of all classes, probably men, had the opportunity to learn about the arts and sciences. It provided a place they could go that had useful stuff like a library and events, for example plays

At the building’s opening in 1843 Charles Dickens read from his work. Some sources say he read from “Great Expectations” and others “Pickwick papers”

The building is later refered to as “The primitive methodist chapel” I wasn’t able to find clear, confirmed dates for this, or a reason why the Institute moved out of the building

Now it’s a public house and hotel named after the Dickens’ book¬† “Great Expectations”. The ground floor of the pub still has a library room

retrospectively great expectations
rate wendys scribble

2 bits of lovely banter on “retrospectively great expectations”

  1. Sarah writes:

    Interesting. I never went inside the building. Is it nice inside? I always found the permanant greenery outside sort of strange…like perma-Christmas Carol.

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    wendy writes

    I’ll pop in an take some photos next time I’m downtown.

    I remember it as a ‘pastiche’, some bits with low beams like a small country pub, most rooms knocked-through into open plan but the ‘niche’s created by the rooms still exist. One niche has high ceilings and is full of old books…. there’s also a bit which is like a dickens ‘theme park’ fake oldfashioned shop-fronts…. rather wierd…

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