Today we are going to Hand and Lock and then the V& A Clothworkers. Hand in Lock is where lots of work is done for official uniforms. It is much smaller than I expected. My group gets to go in first. We sit in a small reception room and talk about what they do. There are samples all over the walls.
The lady points out a piece that was done for Kate Moss' fashion collection.
Then we see a workroom where people are designing stuff on computers. She shows us an old epaulet and a new one being made for the next coronation.
They need a five year lead time to make them. There is a wall of gold trims.
We go into another workroom where ladies are stitching by hand and by machine. Another girl is setting up towels to be monogrammed. We hear a talk by the head designer. He gives us a very accurate description of the process of making royal badges. We get to ask questions and he is very patient and shows up just how things are done. I ask about the string padding and he show us some. (It's just string!)
After Hand and Lock, Janet and I are free until the bus leaves at 1. We are near Oxford street which has great shopping.
We see a great bakery but it isn't open yet. Rats.
We go on and see Liberty of London. Wow.
We have to go in there. I thought it was just a fabric store. Oh, no, it is much more. We go up to the fabric floor and I find some William Morris fabric.
We see Christmas decorations. This is a fun shop.
The lady at Hank and Lock had the coolest shoes on. They were painted leather Dr. Martens. So we look for them and find a couple of interesting shoe stores. Maybe we'll come back when we have more time. Would Dr. Martens look weird on an old lady? (Probably)
Then it is time to meet the bus and go to the storage facility for the V & A.
This is where all the embroidery not on display is kept. Security is very tight. We have to give them our passport numbers and get a wrist band and wait for someone to take us up. We get to see very famous stuff. Again Master Cabinetmaker finds some secret drawers in one of the caskets. Cool.
We are pooped. What an exciting day. But after we eat something, Janet says, Let's go to Harrods. So we do! We walk by the Dead Animal Zoo (Museum of Natural History).
Then we see it all lit up - Harrods! Wow.
We walk through Harrods looking for the food court. Wow. Unbelievable jewelry. We find the food court and Wow.
It is all amazing. I find lots of chocolate covered orange peel. It costs the earth but I have to get some. Wow.