The Topp Twins – an exhibition

The Topp Twins – an exhibition for New Zealand is an exhibition celebrating New Zealand entertainers Lynda and Jools Topp.

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Dame Lynda Topp and Dame Jools Topp are a openly lesbian, folk singing, comedy sister duo that have been entertaining New Zealand audiences for over 40 years.

They often perform as their celebrated characters, such as Camp Mother and Camp Leader, typical kiwi blokes Ken and Ken, the Gingham Sisters, Westie girls Raylene and Brenda, bowling ladies Mavis and Lorna, and socialites Prue and Dilly.

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Camp Leader and Camp Mother

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Ken and Ken

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The Gingham Sisters

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Raylene and Brenda

Prue-Dilly

Prue and Dilly

The exhibition, which was designed by Te Manawa Museum in Palmerston North, explores the Topp Twins early family life, their political activism, their contribution to New Zealand music and entertainment, and how they created their characters.

It includes costumes and memorabilia from the Topp Twins personal collection, interviews and archival footage, and a replica of their touring caravan.

There is also the opportunity for guests to dress up in replica costumes of Camp Mother & Camp Leader, The Gingham Sisters, Raylene & Brenda, Ken & Ken, and Prue & Dilly.

The exhibition, which is on until 22nd September, is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm on the ground floor of the National Library, Corner Molesworth & Aitken St, Wellington.

It is expected to tour other New Zealand venues.

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National Library of India

The National Library of India in Kolkata is the largest library in India and is the nation’s library of public record.

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The National Library of India, which is located within the 30-acre (12 hectare) Belvedere Estate opened on 1 February 1953.

Prior to this it was known as the Imperial Library, which formed in 1891. In 1903 the Imperial Library amalgamated with the Calcutta Public Library (formed 1836) and opened at Metcalfe Hall. After the independence the Imperial Library become the National Library of India and moved to the Belvedere Estate.

Belvedere House was the former palace for the Viceroy of India, and later the Governor of Bengal.

The library has a collection containing over 2.2 million books, over 86,000 maps, and over 3,200 manuscripts. Its shelf space stretches over 45 kilometres.

The National Library is located on Belvedere Road, Block A, Alipore, Kolkata.

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Parliament Buildings

You really can’t visit New Zealand’s Capital City without visiting Parliament Buildings.

Parliament Gates

Parliament Gates

Parliament Buildings, located on the corner of Lambton Quay and Molesworth Street, consists of Parliament House, The Beehive, the Parliamentary Library and Bowen House.

The Beehive, Parliament House , Parliamentary Library

The Beehive, Parliament, Parliamentary Library

The main building is Parliament House, which houses the Debating Chamber, Speaker’s Office, various committee rooms and the Grand Hall.

Construction begun on this Edwardian neo-classical building in 1914, following a fire in 1907 that destroyed the previous wooden buildings.

The Beehive is 72 metres high, with 14 floors (2 of which are underground). Construction was completed between 1969 and 1979.  The Cabinet room is located on the top floor, with the Prime Minister’s and staff’s offices on the two floors before. The other floors house other ministers and function rooms. Also the country’s National Crisis Management Centre is located in the basement of the building.

Bowen House, The Beehive, Parliament House

Bowen House, The Beehive, Parliament House

The New Zealand Parliamentary Library, which was built between 1883 and 1899 in Victorian Gothic style, is the oldest building in the Parliament grounds.

The Parliamentary Library

The Parliamentary Library

Across the road from The Beehive is Bowen House, which holds Members of Parliament’s offices and support staff’s offices. It is connected to Parliament by an underground walkway that runs underneath Bowen Street.

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Bowen House

Parliament offer free, daily, one hour guided tours which depart on the hour from the Visitor Centre between 10am and 4pm. The Visitor Centre, which is located in the foyer of the Beehive is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 9:30am to 5pm, weekends.

Free tours of Parliament depart from Visitors Centre

Free tours of Parliament depart from Visitors Centre

You must leave bags, coats, cameras, phones and other electronic devices in the secure storage area in the Visitor Centre, so it pays to arrive before your desired tour time to check in your personal belongings.

Prior to the tour a 12 minute documentary outlining some of Parliament’s highlights is screened.

The tour takes in the Grand Hall, one of the select committee rooms, the debating chamber (if parliament is not in session). Each tour varies depending on the current operations at Parliament. The guides are very knowledgable and enthusiastic about Parliament’s history.

If the House is in session you can watch the politicians go at it from the public galleries. Just talk to guide about watching from the public galleries.

Auckland Central City Library

Auckland Central City Library is one of 55 library branches in the Auckland region. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, the City Central Library was originally housed in Auckland Art Gallery building.

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The public library was originally housed in the Auckland Art Gallery bulding

The public library, which opened in its Lorne Street premises in 1971, offers all the services that one would expect a library to offer – books, DVDs, newspapers, magazines, e-books, audio books, meeting rooms, computer facilities, research facilities, free Wi-Fi.

One service that many Aucklanders are unaware of is the excellent exhibitions put on by the Sir George Grey Special Collections. These exhibitions are free for residents and visitors to Auckland to enjoy. The exhibition room, which is located on level two of the library is open weekdays from 9am – 5pm, weekends 10am – 4pm. Please note the Sir George Grey Special Collections is closed on Sundays so access to staff and the wider Sir George Grey Collection will not be possible but visitors will still be able to visit the exhibit room.

The room hosts themed exhibitions with items from the Sir George Grey Collections. Currently until 12 October 2014, there is “It’ll be over by Christmas” World War 1914 – 1918: An Exhibition.

Anzac Day first anniversary programme, 25 April 1916

Anzac Day first anniversary programme, 25 April 1916

This exhibition, which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and is part of the WW100 programme, depicts New Zealand’s involvement during the First World War, both at the front and at home.

The one room exhibition is divided into 15 display cases that includes books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and personal items from soldiers serving during the War.

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Charles Hartley’s certificate of discharge, 1919

Souvenir programme for Grand Concert held in aid of the Belgian Relief Fund, 17 November 1914

Souvenir programme for Grand Concert held in aid of the Belgian Relief Fund, 17 November 1914

 

Essential Details:

World War 1914 – 1918: An exhibiton

“It’ll be over by Christmas”

Until 12 October, weekdays 9am – 5pm, weekends 10am – 4pm

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Level 2, Central City Libary

 

City Central Library

44-46 Lorne Street

Main library

Monday to Friday: 9am – 8pm

Saturday: 10am – 4pm

Sunday: 10am – 4pm