On Saturday 19th and Sunday, 20th September,2015 many buildings that are not generally open to the public let you see inside their walls.

Some buildings are only open on one of the days.

There’s a staggering choice but I would recommend Lloyds Register of Shipping    71 Fenchurch Street, EC 3 which was completed in 1901 by Thomas Colcutt in the style of a 16th century Italian Palazzo with interior decoration of a standard which is difficult to see elsewhere in London.

P1030322 (Large)

P1000095 (Large)P1000106 (Large)P1000107 (Large)Attached to it is the modern part completed in 2000 by Rogers, Stirk, Harbour which has allowed Lloyds Register to expand considerably.

037 (2) (Large)Lloyds Register’s sole purpose is to assess risk.  When it was founded it originally assessed the risk of losing a ship due to its condition.  The assessment gave a letter to the condition of the ship’s hull using only the vowels (A,E,I,O,U) and its masts and superstructure using the figures 1,2,3.

If a ship gains the coveted assessment A1 at Lloyds it will be cheaper to insure than one with a lower category as a ship with a lower category is deemed to be a higher risk.

Time has moved on and Lloyds Register assesses the risk, to airliners, oil refineries and nuclear power stations.

If you have to queue before entry there will be stewards (I will be one on the Saturday afternoon) handing out fact sheets about the building.

I’m sure that the fact sheets will be comprehensive but are probably unlikely to mention that the great-grandfather and grandfather of T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) both worked for Lloyds Register.