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article imageWhat to do in Central London in late August

By Alexander Baron     Aug 16, 2011 in Entertainment
There is always plenty to do in London round the clock and all year round, but what is there to do specifically in late August?
The British Library is not a public library, but its restaurant, bookshop and especially its galleries are open to the public. Until September 25, it is hosting a free science fiction exhibition, and until September 18, an exhibition called The Worlds of Mervyn Peake. Peake was the creator of the Gormenghast Trilogy, which as the man from SongFacts tells us led Al Stewart to write Room Of Roots and Zero She Flies. This year is Peake’s centenary; details can be found here.
The Mind Sports Olympiad begins this Saturday; although the event has been scaled down in recent years, anyone interested in playing board games including backgammon, chess and scrabble will find something of interest here.
This year sees the tenth anniversary of 9/11, so there will obviously be many commemorations worldwide, especially in the United States but also in Britain. The Imperial War Museum is one of many institutions involved in these efforts – from August 26. Details can be found here.
The Notting Hill Carnival will be held as usual over the August Bank Holiday, Sunday and Monday, this year on the 28th-29th. Thirty years ago, there was, allegedly, a plot to bomb it, but although this so-called plot was reported widely by the gutter press at the time, it was dismissed by the Metropolitan Police as fantasy, which is hardly surprising when one learns who was behind it. However, although the Carnival is family oriented and there is a heavy police presence, an event of this size is a magnet for pickpockets and sometimes for organised gangs of “steamers”, so if you decide to attend, leave your jewellery at home, and don’t flash the cash. Hopefully, with most Londoners having had their fill of rioting, and most of the trouble-makers and looters either already locked up or on the police radar, this year will see record attendance and no more than the odd arrest or two. Details of the Carnival can be found here and here.
More about British library, Mervyn Peake, Notting Hill Carnival, Imperial War Museum, MindSports Olympiad
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