Bank of England Museum; England’s Financial History.
The Bank of England is in Threadneedle Street, in the Finance area of London. It’s known as the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street. It covers 3 ½ acres of land.
At the side of it is the Bank of England Museum which is interesting for all ages. There are lots of activities, like keeping a ball in a cylinder central to balance the economy. No I couldn’t do it!
There are around 400,000 gold bars in the Bank’s Gold Vaults. The Bank of England is the 2nd largest keeper of gold in the world.
New York’s Federal Reserve is the largest.
In the Museum is a glass case with a gold bar in it. It weighs 13kg, which is heavy! You can put your hand inside the case and try to lift the bar.
No you don’t get to keep it if you lift it. Don’t be silly!
We passed a huge glass case full of hundreds of £1 coins. There are display cases showing step by step how the coins are made.
My favourite thing to see was an old film of the Bank being rebuilt on its present site, made between 1936 and 1939. Demolition started in 1925, with building work carried on in sectors so that business carried on as usual.
The completed new, and much bigger building was finished in 1939.
No safety equipment was used, and no streets below were closed. People just got out of the way if cranes lifted loads up and down. And nobody was injured.
Men worked high up, wearing flat caps and no gloves, even when spreading hot tar.
We saw one man wearing a suit and tie and smoking a pipe, but most of the men wore tattered, torn jackets and trousers.
It was a different world!
Parties of schoolchildren were fascinated by everything they saw.
It’s a great place to visit when you go to London. And there are a lot of other things to see within a short walking distance.
Photos are permitted, without flash.
Bank of England Museum
Entrance in Bartholomew Lane
Open 10am-5pm Monday to Friday.
There is a telephone number. It says you can leave a message and somebody will call you back. But nobody does. You might as well just turn up!
020 7601 5545