March 22, 1971

Days 3-6 London Included sightseeing takes in all the major landmarks and fun spots. Two evenings, choice theater tickets are reserved for a pair of hit shows. Any evening, you’re a welcome guest at three private clubs. The rest of the time, it’s …

Days 3-6 London Included sightseeing takes in all the major landmarks and fun spots.  Two evenings, choice theater tickets are reserved for a pair of hit shows.  Any evening, you’re a welcome guest at three private clubs.  The rest of the time, it’s up to you.  Trips to the country, an evening pub crawl, shopping, dining out and nightclubs are just a few suggestions.

The next morning we were up early for a 7:30 Breakfast and then we began a very full day –

First we went to “Old Bailey” where we got into the visitors gallery in Court Room number One (High Court of Justice), We saw a murder trial in progress. A “red judge” (because of scarlet robe) was presiding – The barristers all had black robes even the female wore a wig – When the judge failed to follow the barrister in his plea & questioned him the barrister replied “I put it poorly, My Lord” – Our two attorneys got a real kick out of this – when an officer discovered Jim & Earl were attorneys he took us down stairs for a better look around in the Guild Hall – which is London’s Town Hall – This was a real treat and great experience for  all of us – Such a friendly reception

The statue of “The Lady of Justice” that tops the dome of the Central Criminal Court is a real work of art – She is known at “Old Bailey” as simply “The Lady” – She is not blindfolded –

From here we went to St. Paul’s Cathedral – There we saw the tombs of Lord Nelson as well as Sir Christopher Wren, the Duke of Wellington – We  made the trip up into the dome to hear the Whispering Wall & viewed the Stone Galleries.  St. Paul is the patron saint of London & there has been such a cathederal since 605 A.D.  It is the largest cathedral in England & is the resident church of the Dean of the Church of England –


We had lunch at “Ye Olde Cheshyre [Cheshire] Cheese” Pub – it is on Fleet Street & was once the haunt of Johnson & Boswell.  In 1667 it was rebuilt & is just as typical as a Pub could be – It was a wonderful lunch – Scotch Roast Beef Yorkshire Pudding & Horse Radish sauce – A crowded, loud & friendly place – Sawdust on the floor



The sun had come out & it was bright & warmer so we paused for a visit of Home of Samuel Johnson – famous for his hatred of hypocrisy – was one of England’s most brilliant conversationalists of the time & was made famous by his biography written by James Boswell – He loved to eat, drink & talk!

Then off to visit the Old Curiousity Shop that was immortalized by Charles Dickens as the home of Little Nell –


From here a trip to London’s famous Silver Vaults – Lots of looking but little buying – Malissa did get a piece of Wedgewood –

Back to the Hotel for a quick bath & change of clothes – Had a drink at the “Pub” to celebrate Earl’s birthday – Then off to the Swiss Air Building for dinner & then to the theatre to see “Girl in my Soup” with Charles Tingwell and Karen Kessey – The Theatre was the Comedy Theatre & it is just off Piccadilly Circus

After the Theatre we took a walk to see the Public Buildings on their “Light-up Night” beautiful – But before long we decided we’d had a full day & couldn’t take in another thing so it was back on the subway to our Hotel

Epilogue:  In 1972, on a return trip to London, Dad took me back to Old Bailey to learn the outcome of the murder trial.  I hadn’t been able to get the girl accused of stabbing her boyfriend out of my mind.  As I was transcribing this entry, I realized I didn’t remember what we found out – only that we visited a very out-of-the-way records room armed with the date of the trial and the name of the defendant. Sounds just like what I like to do now.   But then I thought to consult Mom’s 1972 journal.  I knew I could count on you, Mom!  We learned that the defendant had been acquitted – and we were all glad.    


Volume labeled “The Pennsylvania Lawyer’s Diary 1971”, used as travel journal by Elizabeth W. Ruffner, for a trip taken in March-April 1971; held by Malissa  Ruffner, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Baltimore, MD; 2011.

For background information on this series of posts, see Spring Break, 1971.

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