Saturday, 1 February 2014

London Studies Feature Ben Franklin House

London Studies 24th January 2014

Our January Meeting was organised this month by Lynn and Brian Swift who used their excellent organisational skills to arrange two visits in one day to two quite different town houses in different parts of London. Both men were around in the same century with quite different backgrounds. In fact, they were born and died within six years of each other. One, Dr Samuel Johnson (left) was the author of the first complete published dictionary in Great Britain and the other, Benjamin Franklin (right), was the only man to sign all of the documents leading to the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America and was considered to be one of its founding fathers.
U3A London Studies and the Routemaster Bus
As though it had been arranged in advance, we were lucky enough to travel from Charing Cross to Dr Johnson's House along Fleet Street in one of the very few remaining Routemaster buses complete with driver and conductor. 
By sheer coincidence (or was it arranged?) the same bus took us back to Benjamin Franklin's House by the side of Charing Cross with the same conductor, this time with a different driver who had been featured in a TV documentary about the buses. Our Routemaster followed on behind one of the new TfL buses also with entry by the platform at the back.
Our Own Personal Routemaster
You can check out details of Johnson House 17 Gough Square, London, EC 4 by clicking on the link below:-

We had an excellent guide for Dr Johnson's House and an interactive tour with an actress dressed in period costume for the Benjamin Franklin House.

Our Guide 

To find out more about this extraordinary 18th Century man, click on the link below:-

After nine years of work, Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language 
was published in 1755

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
A short walk took us to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub which is one of a number of pubs in London to have been rebuilt shortly after the Great Fire of 1666. There has been a pub at this location since 1538.

After a very pleasant lunch at the Cheshire Cheese just off Fleet Street and our ride on the iconic Routemaster, we headed for 37 Craven Street, WC2 (alongside Charing Cross station), to visit BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S HOUSE.
Click here for more information 
Franklin House
House from the back
House from Craven Street
You can find out more from the link below:-
You will find all of the photographs from this excellent day out HERE.
Thanks, once again, to Lynn and Brian for their excellent organisation for a perfect day!