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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 30, July 29, 2007, Article 23

WAYNE'S LONDON DIARY 29 JULY, 2007

Dave Lange writes: "I enjoyed your London journal, as always. It
must be nice to be in town long enough to actually see all the many
hidden places of historic and collector interest. The few times
I've been there were always mad dashes to hit just the highlights."

Yes, it's been a very enjoyable several weeks.  I've been in London
long enough to give good directions to strangers, and be unafraid
to walk for many blocks along unknown streets with only a general
sense of "it's over this way somewhere."  Navigating the tube and
rail system has become almost second nature.  But I miss my family
very much, and will be glad when the project and my long commute is
over.  I'm looking forward to this week, when I go to Virginia Beach
with the whole crew for a beach vacation.  This issue is being
published from U.S. soil.

Regarding last week's visit to the Fitzwilliam, Howard Berlin sent
the following link to a web page with four pictures he took while
visiting there in January:  www.drberlin.com/fitz.htm

1. outside of the museum
2. the Roman temple coin cabinet
3. a group of coin cabinets atop a bookcase
4. an unusual coin cabinet shaped like a Greek amphora vase

Look for Howard's future WorldWide Coins article about his visits.

Last week I mentioned the Friday downpour in London.  All weekend
waters rose throughout England, flooding a number of areas, particularly
in the west and south.  Although the areas I visited were unaffected,
the disaster continued to spread.  It had already been an inconvenience
for Doug Saville, who was unable to go into town to buy needed packing
supplies to ship books to a client.

By Monday morning hundreds of thousands of people were affected.
Many were without power and in some areas water treatment plants had
been inundated.  The armed forces moved in to evacuate people, some
by helicopter.  As I left the office Monday evening reports stated
that the Thames could soon overflow its banks - the flooding had
become the worst in half a century.

By Tuesday morning newspapers were predicting that at many as one
million people could be affected.  The Thames was "perilously high"
but had not yet overrun its banks.  One of the areas worst hit was
the medieval town of Tewkesbury, 110 miles northwest of London,
where the cathedral and a few blocks of nearby houses where the few
parts NOT under water - the town was completely cut off.  The flooding
had now exceeded the previous benchmark,  a snowmelt-fueled flood in
1947; that flood had been the worst in 200 years.

I emailed some of my local numismatic contacts to see how they were
faring.  Fortunately, all were well.  John Andrew wrote: "It is the
worst flooding I have known in this country."

Doug Saville wrote: "We are above any risk (office and home), but if
the Thames at Caversham breaches its banks, then Reading will in parts
be under water as well as lower Caversham. The last time Caversham
was affected was in 2003. In 1947 it was a disaster area like much
of the rest of the country, I am told. Locally, we are being told
that it will be about as bad as 2003 Apparently the high risk is
between midday and late this evening when water from the hills
between Oxford and Reading seeps through the granite into the Thames..."

Phil Mernick wrote: "We have no problems with flooding as we only
live about three miles due east from the very centre of London (at
Bow) and anyway we are about 50 feet above river level!"

Christopher Eimer wrote: "Mercifully, we live on a hill in north
London and have thus been saved the misery endured by many over
these very wet summer days."

Caroline Holmes of Baldwin's wrote: "Fortunately nobody here has
been directly affected, although some relatives have had to be
relocated.  It does look now as though the water levels are
receding so hopefully the worst is now over."

By Wednesday morning about 100 houses had become flooded in Oxford
as rivers peaked.   In areas hit earlier, the water seemed to be
receding.   Although many were thankfully unaffected, our good
wishes go out to all of the people and business owners in the
flooded areas.

That's all to report from London this week, although I did pick up
two more Robert Owen notes from Simon Narbeth and began reading
John Adams' new book on the Comitia Americana medals on Thursday's
flight back to the U.S.  - more in a subsequent issue.  The London
Diary will go on hiatus for a week while I hit the beach with my
family on the U.S. side of the Atlantic.

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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