Tea at Wellington Barracks..

Morning surprise!

In London recently I happened to be staying in Westminster and on an early morning stroll to clear my jetlag I found myself on Birdcage Walk. Wait a minute! that's the Guard's Division HQ at Wellington Barracks... and... that is a Toy Soldier Shop!

Famous Guardsman!

I needed no invitation. The shop, run by a splendid gentleman named David was empty at that time in the morning and he and I fell to chatting. I think he recognized quickly that I had not stepped off a tour bus and seemed to know a little about the enormous quantities of collectors figures on display in the numerous cabinets.

Sudan meets 20th century outside

Would you like to stay for tea? Eh, yes please! Biccie? Ooh, don't mind if I do David thanks awfully!

Armoured car in the grounds of the barracks

Having swapped stories about Toy Soldier collecting versus Wargaming for a while I took my leave and ventured down into the bowels of the Museum of the Guards Division.

Scots Fusilier Guards at the Alma 1854..difficult to photograph

What a treat! You can imagine that by the standards of British Regimental Museums this one is a bit special.

Defending Hougoumont 1815

Signed documents from General George Monck and Charles II were just the start. It contained pretty much the entire history of the British Army with so many wonderful items on display and a team of very knowledgeable curators.

And a little teaser to leave you with.... I have saved all of the 1685-1714 stuff for another post including the Storming of the Schellenberg diorama.

Coldstream Guard on the outside wall

I will let these few pix do the talking but if you every get the opportunity to visit, it is well worth the £6 entry fee.. well, for the likes of us it is!