Monday, January 19, 2009

Virtue Windows at the Maritime Museum

When friends arrived from the coast they’d heard about these stained glass windows on display at the local Maritime Museum. Apparently made for the Baltic Exchange building that was destroyed by a bomb in 1992, they're designed to impress the public with the fiancial house's lofty 'mission statement', in five panels with allegorical figures and a curved ‘half dome’.

The 'virtues' represented: Truth, Faith, Hope, Fortitude and Justice, had me thinking about the how they'd be represented in today's financial institutions : Spin, No Accountability, Government Bail Outs, Directors Bonuses and Pension Cuts - not virtues at all, really.

The museum staff practise their own virtues, though. My friend was in a wheelchair and as soon as we arrived one of the ‘Meeters and Greeters’ team at reception stepped forward to conduct us to a glass-sided lift and make sure we got up to the right level. When we left she was there again to ask about the visit and to remind us to drop in again.

It’s free to go into the museum and see the windows, with their story on plaques attached to the walls.

It’s a good museum for children and adults, filled with paintings and artefacts connected with Britsh naval history. My favourite item is the coat that Admiral Nelson wore at Waterloo, with a bullet hole in the shoulder. The Museum's very elegant, light and airy, situated at the bottom of Greenwich Park.

About the exhibition:


Graeme K Talboys said...


I came upon your blog by virtue of the fact I have a blog search set up for the main character of my current crop of novels. Her name is Charlie Cornelius and she used to live just up the road from Greenwich in Deptford.

It has been a nostalgiac trip wandering through your blog, seeing places I have not seen for a very long time. My mother used to take me to Kew and to Greenwich when I was a small child - subsequent trips to London tended either to be straight to Notting Hill in the early 70s or, later, for the RA Summer Exhibition and anything within easy walking distance. I haven't been back for a long time now.

Thank you for sharing.

Sheila Cornelius said...

Thanks, Graeme, and good luck with finding a publisher for your fiction. Great name for your heroine. It certainly influenced me when it came to deciding on marriage for the second time. (Cornelius, I mean, not Charlie, although that's OK too)