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Model railways, teddy bears, puppets, dolls' house and dollies are all at home in the many rooms of the two four-story 18th century houses that make up Pollock's Toy Museum. The museum is most famous for its collection of Victorian model theaters as its namesake, Benjamin Pollock, was one of the last publishers of toy theater sheets. A trip here makes an educational and fun outing for children as well as adults with a soft spot for nostalgia. Not to mention, children will love seeing the weird and wonderful toys of the past that have now been replaced by Pokemon and Playstations. Take a look at the ventriloquists' dolls, lead miniatures and puppets, then go and buy some at the toyshop next door.
A museum dedicated to preserving and sharing information about past and present members of the animal kingdom, the Grant Museum of Zoology is home to about 68,000 specimens. The collections here have priceless preserved skeletons and bones of now extinct species like the dodo, the Tasmanian tiger and the quagga. The museum is also home to other invaluable items like the glass models of animals by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka and the bisected animal heads of Sir Victor Negus. With a rich history dating back to 1828, the Grant Museum of Zoology is worth a visit for any inquisitive visitor.
Above Saint Thomas Church in Southwark is London's oldest surviving operating theater. Built in 1821, it was the scene of many amputations carried out with a saw and no anaesthetic. Blood would drip - or probably pour - off the wooden table and get soaked up by three inches of sawdust. One wonders what the congregation below would have thought of the screams emanating from upstairs, with the odd drip of blood seeping through the ceiling. With anesthetics unavailable, patients would often awake from their drunken state (they had a choice of passing out from either alcohol or pain) in the midst of an operation. Fortunately, the National Health Service's operating theaters have taken a leap forward, and medical students don't have such a frighteningly free reign.
This building was not always blessed with the famous address of the world's most celebrated detective, its number was changed to 221b in honor of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's creation. The rest of the museum is also very true to the fiction. You can sit in Holmes' armchair, fiddle with his scientific experiments, and examine memorabilia from his adventures. Dedicated entirely to Holmes, his fans will enjoy their money's worth.
Established in 1991, and located in a historic building, this is the only museum in the world devoted entirely to fans and to the art of fan-creation. Visitors can see more than 3000 predominantly antique fans from around the globe, all presented in their historical, cultural and economic settings. There is a new exhibition around every four months. In addition to the museum displays, there is a tranquil orangery facing a serene Japanese-style garden. The Fan Museum has received awards for outstanding contributions to both tourism and to the arts, and if you fancy an individually-designed fan of your own, it can be commissioned from the museum's highly-skilled craftspeople.