Museums in Tower Hamlets deserted during Olympics

While the Olympic Park is buzzing cultural attractions around the East End have been left deserted. Even at the Tower of London visitors are down by more than 50 per cent.

And both the Museum of London Docklands, which is currently closed as it hosts a public German fan fest, and it’s sister attraction, The Museum of London in the City, experienced a drop in visitors leading up to the Games.

At the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green visitor numbers are down by 30 per cent.

A Museum of Childhood spokeswoman said: “It is a lot quieter than this time last year. Last August we had 9,000 people a week and figures are probably 30 per cent down.

“We’ve got a small exhibition of Olympic mascots and lots going on with Olympic themed sports games for children.

“People have been scared off by the media warning that it is going to be difficult to get around on public transport and roads, so people are staying at home or have gone away.

“We normally get a lot of people from further East and Essex but they are not coming.”

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At the Tower of London visitors were down by 56 per cent in July compared to the same time last year.

A Tower spokeswoman said: “We anticipated a drop in visitors for the Olympic period. We believe our visitors have planned their trips to the Tower either side of this busy period.

“Earlier in the year the Tower experienced higher than predicted visitor figures, up seven per cent in April and May, and it is expected numbers will return to normal post Olympics, and potentially increase next year following the extremely high media profile of the Tower and London during this time.”

Combined figures for the Museum of London Docklands and Museum of London show they had 32,975 visitors last month compared to 56,606 the same time last year.

Interim Director of the Museum of London, David Spence, said: “As anticipated, early indications suggest visitor numbers are lower than we experienced in previous summers.”

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