The Materials and Objects display
A while ago we visited The Tate Modern to discover how artists around the world have used diverse materials and embraced new and unusual materials and methods.
If you’d like to discover what treasures are held in Tate Modern collection, visit
for International modern and contemporary art
Sitting on the edge of Epping Forest, on the London/Essex border, is the London suburb of Chingford. It is host to an array of urban and countryside heritage.
Originally the whole parish of Chingford lay within the ancient Forest of Essex. The Domesday figures for swine-pastures show that Chingford was well-wooded in the 11th century, although the parish had a considerable amount of arable land, which was increased by subsequent forest clearance. Chingford’s woodland is still similar in size to its area of woodland in the 1640’s.
Epping Forest and Chingford Plain became popular with day-trippers in Victorian times. As London’s largest open space, Epping Forest is a registered charity managed by the City of London.
Spend some time in “The View” learning the story and history of the forest.
Then visit the listed buildings on the edge of Epping Forest, including the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge.
The town of Chingford began as a scattered farming community. Comprising of three forest hamlets, the inhabitants of Chingford had the ancient right to pasture cattle, branded with their mark, a crowned ‘G’, within the forest.
There has been a parish church in Chingford since Norman times. The present Old Church building dates from the late 13th century. However the church building had to be abandoned in the 1840’s as it was in such a bad state of repair. The Reverend Robert Boothby Heathcote decided to build, at his own expense, a new church on Chingford Green. The new Church on the Green, designed by Lewis Vulliamy, was built in 1844 and established the prominence of the Chingford Green hamlet .
During Victorian times nearby Walthamstow and Leyton experienced a surge in urbanisation, but Chingford remained an agricultural parish until the arrival of the Great Eastern Railway.
The Chingford Green conservation area includes a variety of interesting buildings showing Chingford’s development over two hundred years from a small rural community to a suburb of modern London.
The Chingford Treasure Hunt
We were lucky enough to see The Simon and Garfunkel Story at the Lyric Theatre in London.
The show includes film footage from the 1960s to accompany their story from childhood friends to international performers.
Catch the show at at the Lyric Theatre on Monday 25th June and Monday 23rd July 2018 or at The Orchard Theatre on Monday 17th September 2018.
Our team met in a coffee shop in the city of London one sunny Sunday morning. We were about to travel back in time to New York in 1935 to solve a murder of a notorious gangster and, hopefully, find his treasure.
This is the new Escape Game in London by Clue Adventures in association with Locked 60 Escape Games.
Arriving at a nearby pub we were greeted and lead downstairs to The Chop Palace Bar, where Dutch Schultz has been killed. Dutch may have been hated, but he wasn’t stupid. He’d made sure to hide his stash. Our mission was to find out who killed Dutch, find his will and locate his hidden treasure.
Rather than a locked room to escape from, we needed to complete our task and escape the police. We had just 60 minutes and the clock was ticking.
The game is nonlinear, so we all speed off in different directions, coming together as small groups to solve things. The game is packed with puzzles in keeping with the theme. It’s not lock heavy, and there are some nice props. And, as with Clue Adventures other games, guessing doesn’t help.
As this game is set in a real pub, hints are not given by screens, walkie talkies or ipads. If you need help, you have to bribe the barman. Luckily we were supplied with a fistful of dollars just in case.
As usual, at least two of the team purposely ignored the money, insisting we could get by without hints. They were wrong.
But we did only needed a couple of nudges in the right direction.
And yes, we solved the murder, located the will and found the treasure four minutes before the police arrived. Unfortunately our victory photo was a little blurry.
Bookings are being taken to Gangsters Treasure at weekends only until 30th June 2018.
It didn’t seem that long ago that my intrepid team of investigators were dispatched to UCL Museums to solve a fiendish murder mystery. Now our help was needed again.
This time a young curator had disappeared.
The next few hours were spent combing the UCL museums, searching for clues. The team visited the Grant Museum of Zoology and discovered the suspect Doris Mackinnon. They moved on to the Petrie Museum where Violette LaFleur came under suspicion. On to the UCL Art Museum where Winifred Knights was implicated. Dr Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was the final name in the frame, found in the pop-up pathology museum.
This event was more of a treasure hunt than a murder mystery. At each location the team answered clues and found letters that feed into a larger puzzle.
Yes, my team found the answers to all the clues and the names of all the suspects, as well as the room codes, but we failed to win the final prize.
A fun night out that ended with burgers, wraps and ice creams outside UCL.
There are many ways to make big money.
Sure, you could study hard and get a well paid job. Or you could start your own multi-million pound business.
But both of those sound like hard work.
How about becoming a high paid footballer (looking at you Lionel Messi) or an actor such as Mark Wahlberg?
Or how about just winning the lottery?……
Dreaming of Big Money
It had been a gruelling drive to Manchester for a Business Mastermind retreat. We’d been under pressure to make it in time. However, roadworks, traffic jams and imposed speed restrictions meant the journey, which started as a 4 hour drive, ended up taking nearly 6 hours.
We finally arrived, exhausted, and in need of a toilet, but luckily in time for the first event. The weekend proceedings kicked off with a team building escape room at Lucardo.
With the number of business owners taking part, the group needed to split across two rooms. This meant not everyone would get to play the same game. The girls elected to play Lucardo’s The Dream room, which was ranked their hardest room. Meanwhile the boys got to play Lucardo’s Espionage.
Lucardo: The Dream
Appropriately enough, given this was a business event, The Dream involved us finding the key to riches. Although, in this case it was not by implementing business strategy, but by finding the winning numbers to the lottery.
Plot: Your dreams are always happy and delightful, but tonight something is going wrong. Your wildest dreams of finding the magic numbers are slowly slipping away, through a whirlwind of riddles, puzzles and illusions. Can you solve your way out of this dream before your chances get lost in the subconscious forever? Be aware, things may not be as they appear…
To enter the room we were put to sleep. Wearing eye masks, we were lead into the room and left to explore the world of dreams. Our aim was to find the winning combination for the lottery.
Removing the masks we found ourselves in a strange room that looked a little like a child’s playroom. A playroom, but the kind that would appear in a dream. Yes it was full of games, but there were things that were out of place. Chairs stuck to the walls. Things hanging from the ceiling……
The game is non-linear, so we were able to explore and find things in what felt like a random order. The room was very lock heavy. I assumed this was in keeping with the theme – find the combination of balls to win the lottery. However, having spoken to the boys, it appears that Lucardo rooms are lock heavy.
I’d asked about the lighting levels before we went in. Sometimes a room is dusky and trying to see to input combinations is difficult in low lighting. The Games Master, Mathew, had said there was a bit of darkness but not everyone needed to experience this. Finding the room in dusk (again in keeping with sleep) was not a surprise, but we were all experiencing it, so………….and then I found the light switch!
We set about searching the room and found a number of codes. With so many locks, most codes needed to be tried in multiple places to find the right lock. There was also a clever mechanical puzzle that tied into the lottery theme really well. That kept the team busy for quite a while.
And yes we found the dark place. By then we all wanted to experience it.
The two end puzzles looked easy and turned out to be anything but. One we had tried to solve in a variety of ways throughout the game. Our unique attempts probably had the GM laughing, as it could not be solved until we had unlocked props available later in the game.
We escaped with 1.06 minutes on the clock.
Plot: The year is 1938, just prior to the outbreak of WWII. You and your team are part of the newly founded British Secret Intelligence Service. The War Office has had a number of classified documents stolen, which are thought to be held in a secret enemy bunker. Intelligence tells us the guards change every hour. Your Mission: crack the bunker security codes and recover the documents before the guards change.
Espionage has been described by other bloggers as the easiest game. The boys team escaped the room with 8.45 minutes to spare.
The main feedback was that there were a lot of padlocks in the room. Also, some of them felt cheated by the ending. Instead of “escaping”, the Games Master walked through the exit door, then led them out of the entrance.
However, they all enjoyed the game and were looking forward to playing more escape rooms in the future.
Treasure Hunts in London
Treasure Hunts in London offers a range of self guided treasure hunts, as well as fully managed experiences, throughout London.
Taking part is easy. Start by downloading the free ClueKeeper app for your mobile device on the App Store or Google Play. Then decide which Treasure Hunts in London self guided hunt you want to experience. There are currently five to choose from
The ClueKeeper app gives you the clues and provide hints along the way. Once you have the answer, submit it on your smartphone or tablet. ClueKeeper will tell you where to go next. You can even use the hunts as walking tours using the skip answer function.
All the treasure hunts have been carefully planned so they offer a wide range of clues. Some clues are harder than others so it appeals to all skill levels.
Discover mysterious alleyways and hidden parks as well as famous landmarks as you explore the city. Find out some of the history of the area.
We recommend teams of 4, but teams can be 2 to 6 players. And you only need one app per team.