In September 1854, an outbreak of cholera began to ravage the Soho neighborhood, but at the time most people believed that the disease was caused by miasma, bad air. John Snow was skeptical of this theory and talked to local residents to find commonalities between people affected by the outbreak, determining that the likely source was a water pump on Broad Street. He convinced local officials to remove the handle on the pump, so no one could access the water from it, and the outbreak subsided. Although he observed that the outbreak was already in decline and could have possibly ended on its own, he continued to research the outbreak and this is considered the start of epidemiology.
On our tour we visited St. James' Church, where he first shared his theory to convince officials to remove the pump handle. This church was consecrated in 1684 and is alluded to frequently in literature. Poet William Blake was baptized here, and it is the final resting place of famed anatomist John Hunter (remember my post about the Hunterian Museum from last week?).
|The church was devastated in 1940 by German bombings, but it has since been rebuilt. Here is some of the damage.|
At one point, actor Bill Nighy walked past our group but I was too slow with the realization to get the camera out. But it was the talk of the group for the next several minutes. We ended the tour at the John Snow Pub, which is next to the site of the original Broad Street pump. Unfortunately, the replica that was across the street was removed recently when a new building was constructed.
Soho is an interesting area of London, known for its bars, clubs, restaurants, and some seediness in the 60s-80s for the sex industry. Although it has been very gentrified and is a desirable place to live nowadays, you can still see some remnants of that part of its past around.
|"This is not a brothel. There are no prostitutes at this address."|
After the walk, we had lunch then headed over to the Wellcome Collection where we saw medical equipment throughout the ages, more mummified bodies (this time from South America), big pieces of tattooed skin collected by a French doctor, and an exhibit about electricity.
|"Palindrome" - exploring how the same structures have adapted differently for different purposes in different animals|
|Incredible reading room|
|Old dental equipment|
For dinner I stopped at Camden Town to go to The Cheese Bar in the Stables Market. I had heard they had great grilled cheese. I couldn't decide on just one thing because it all sounded so good.
And as if that wasn't enough dairy for me, I went across the aisle to the Cereal Killer Cafe for dessert. Here you can order bowls of cereals from all over the world, but most of them us Americans would recognize. When I was a student living here, my friends would request Lucky Charms when I would return from visits home since it existed here when they were children but disappeared from supermarkets at some point.
|Retro themed with VHS tapes comprising the front sign|
|Pick your poison|
|We both were in cat shirts! =^.^=|