A new app for iPhone (and Appley variants thereof) takes listeners on an audiovisual tour of Bloomsbury. Not the bookish, bonking Bloomsbury of V. Woolf and chums, but the gory medical heritage of this deceptively quiescent quarter.
The tour (which actually starts outside of Bloomsbury in Lincoln’s Inn Fields), covers around three miles, taking up to two hours to complete. Audio and video files explore the history of medicine in London, while GPS tracks your progress around town.
Is it any good? Of course – it’s written, devised and part-presented by Richard Barnett, author of the peerless Medical London book. While the tour is designed for use on the streets, the app contains enough visuals to satisfy armchair explorers. Access to the Wellcome’s archives (and cash) ensures a high quality of production and content and, in contrast to the bloodthirsty title, the tone is respectful, even scholarly. All this adds up to the most carefully crafted London tour app we’ve yet seen.
If headphones and screens ain’t your thing, watch out for a series of human-led walks around medical Bloomsbury in October.
Blood, Guts, Brains and Babies is available from the iTunes App store now, for free (search for ‘Wellcome’).