Going into the Imperial War Museum London I had my bag checked. Then, during my wander around the museum, I stopped in front of a small display dedicated to terrorism. It consisted of a pile of parcels and a suitcase. War in the twenty first century has a vague quality, which seems to slip past huge fifteen inch naval guns mounted at the entrance.
The Imperial War Museum was conceived during the First World War, and opened in 1920, at Sydenham Hill, before moving to Kensington in 1924, and finally to its present building, the former Bethlehem Hospital, in 1936. The original aim to commemorate World War One, has been superceded by an exploration of modern warfare as a whole. The Museum now has a number of branches - HMS Belfast exploring naval history, Imperial War Museum Duxford dedicated to aviation, the Cabinet War Rooms, which preserve Britain's war time headquarters, and the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, displaying the museum's collections to a northern audience. The variability of modern war is well represented. There are plenty of items and displays dedicated to the kind of national war which used armies, aircraft and ships. There are also displays on the type of war that followed on, the hidden Cold War of subversion, intelligence gathering, and nuclear posturing; and terrorist wars represented by that pile of parcels and a suitcase.
Opening Times: Please use contact details below.
Address: Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ
Directions: The museum is in Lambeth Road in south London, within walking distance of the mainline stations at Waterloo and London Bridge. The closest Underground stations are Elephant and Castle and Lambeth North. There is no dedicated car parking available, and the museum is within the London Congestion Charge Zone. Use of public transport is recommended.
Access: The museum is fully wheelchair accessible, and all staff dealing with visitors have received disability awareness training. There are audio guides, induction loops, large print guides, magnifying sheets and touching of the exhibits in the Large Exhibits Gallery is permitted for people with visual impairment.
telephone: 020 7416 5000
fax: 020 7416 5374