The London Studies 1 group got off to a good start for its January and February meetings with two excellent visits to the Cartoon Museum and the Marine Police Museum in Wapping.
The Cartoon Museum in Wells Street is well worth a visit and covers the early history of cartoons in the late 18th century to very recent ones. There is an excellent range of political cartoons as you would expect by the likes of Gillray, Giles and some early ones from Punch magazine. But the museum also caters for general comic art expect by the likes of Heath Robinson and great early Eagle illustrations by Frank Hamson and Frank Bellamy. The museum also has a number of special exhibitions from time to time which are included in the ticket price of £5 for seniors – well worth a visit.
The visit to the Marine Police Museum in Wapping was a bit of a surprise as it turns out it the adjacent Marine Police Marine Unit was Britain’s first police force established in 1798 well before Sir Robert Peel’s London Police service that became the Metropolitan Police. It was eventually absorbed into London's Metropolitan Police in 1839 and became known as Thames Division. The Thames River Police Museum is located in what was once the carpenter’s workshop at Wapping Police Station. Situated within the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police’s Marine Police Unit, the Museum offers visitors a unique insight into the history of the World’s first police force.
The museum traces the history of the Thames River Police from its inception in 1798 to the present day. The Museum will fascinate those interested in the history of policing or simply anyone interested in the history of the River Thames. The group had an excellent talk about the work of the Marine Police and its history from a former officer of the service – suitably embellished with stories of Victorian murders!