First up was Ships, Clocks and Stars, a serious, or at least vaguely sensible, exhibition at the National Maritime Museum about The Quest for Longitude. Not that all the ideas put forward to The Board of Longitude by various characters in the years 1714 to 1828 were entirely sensible when viewed with modern eyes, but there you go.Read more about it here and see more of the ideas put forward to the Board here. There's also a blog here, although I'm not sure whether it'll be further updated now the exhibitions are over.
After a scrummy lunch at the Museum's cafe, I walked up the big hill to the Royal Observatory. A bunch of steampunk artists and crafters had taken over the historic Flamsteed House with their own ideas on how to find Longitude. The main culprits were: Robert Rankin, Lady Raygun, Herr Döktor, Doctor Geof, Emilly Ladybird, Major Thaddeus Tinker, Lady Elsie, Yomi Ayeni and Citizen Griffdawg. Not that their ideas were any less (or more!) eccentric than the originals...
The more historically presented rooms in the house were used to show off a range of costumes and headgear with a Longitudinal theme:
Of which this was my favourite:
We were guided through the rooms by extracts from The Rime of the Ancient Commodore, which explaind that to find out where you are, the best thing to do is to ask the local animals -- or a kiwi bird -- because they always know where they are, until eventually we reached the display areas, which were being used to both showcase steampunk art and design and to give new interpretations on some of the permanent exhibits, which had been re-labelled for the occasion:
Having explored the exhibition as much as I could, I walked back down the hill to the Museum, and a very large ship-in-a-bottle:
There was just time for a quick whiz round the shop, before I headed off towards the Geoffrye Museum, via that shop of wonder known as Nauticalia. But that's another story...
And here are some links to what other people thought about Longitude Punk'd...