please empty your brain below

The Commonwealth Institute might have sent its exhibits to Bristol in 2002, but the British Empire & Commonwealth Museum in Bristol closed its doors in 2008 due to a planned relocation to London, which has not as yet happened. The director has been dismissed for (allegedly) disposing of a few of the exhibits. No-one seems to know when the move might happen, if ever.

I've vague recollections of going there in the early '80s for a Puffin Books event. Also of some multicoloured inflatable thing in the grounds that you walked through.

I always liked this building and still miss seeing all the flags that were once outside. An ex-work colleague of mine left the place where she worked with me in Richmond to take up a job as conference/events booking manager at the Commonwealth Institute. About ten years later it closed! I wonder where she works now.
Pity that one of the new apartment buildings is going to block the view of the Commonwealth building from Kensington High Street.

I went here as a kid in the 1960's, and - as well as all the the flags outside (as mentioned by John) - my other main recollection is of a gigantic golden kite from somewhere like Indonesia, suspended from one of the ceilings. I just can't remember if it was a school trip or if (as I'd much rather think) it was my late mum who took me there.
I'm away from London at the moment, but would have loved to have seen it one more time, if I was there.

I was fond of that place. Do you remember the big map with the red lights?

I'm amazed those new buildings got planning permission, especially the one blocking the view from Kensington High Street

Um, something interesting to add to Allotmentqueen's post. According to Wikipedia, "Comprehensive repair works were carried out in 2000–1, funded by the FCO, including the complete replacement of the roof by a London-based roofing company called NDM Metal Roofing & Cladding Ltd, but by this point the Trust had closed the building to the public.

In 2002, the Trust entirely closed the Commonwealth Institute building, returning some exhibits to member countries and donating the remainder to the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol. The closure of the Institute building led to controversy because of the secrecy under which it was carried out, the recent expenditure of money on repairs to the building, and the proposal by the trust to demolish the building and sell the site for residential development. Restructuring of the charity and disposal of the building cost approximately £7m in redundancies, restructuring and professional fees by July 2006."

So what the heck, exactly HAS gone on about this? I'd be very interested to know if anyone has an overview. I shall blog about this shortly, as I also took the tour.

I went a couple of times in the 70s to Puffin Club events. There were children's book displays and a chance to meet authors and Kaye Webb.

I seem to remember there was a see-through cow demonstrating its four stomachs, but I may just have hallucinated that

Although I appear to have been on the level below you, we seem to have taken the same shot, probably within seconds of each other.

It was good to step inside the building for the first time in over 40 years and although there are still doubts about the changes to the interior I think we have to be realistic and accept that in order for the building to survive, changes have to be made.

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