Seth has being doing the Lancashire Library Reading Journey this summer and one of the tasks is to ‘visit a Lancashire County Council Museum’. You can’t really get much more Lancashire than the Museum of Lancashire in Preston. We arrived this morning at about 11am and had the car park and the museum to ourselves for a while.
I love how museums have changed over the years. They’re all geared up for families with interactive elements to them. Not like when we were kids! There was enough there to keep us interested for about an hour and a half. You’d need longer if your kids are a bit older and not as inclined to dart from one exhibit to another.
As soon as went in, in ‘Lancashire through Time’, Seth spotted a set of magnifying glasses, grabbed one and away he went. He also got stuck in finding bits and pieces doing an archeological dig. There were pictures of people through the ages where you had to stick on the magnetic items of clothing.
In a lot of the exhibits there were dressing up clothes – Seth tried on a hard hat and hi-vis vest, judge and lawyer’s robes, a top hat and shirt. The novelty wore off for him but there were lots more- different soldier costumes through the ages, Victorian school clothes etc. At one point we found some stuffed toy horses where you could put on a busby hat and jacket, sit on the horse and play a drum or xylophone.
My favourite bit – although Seth hated it – was ‘Lancashire Goes to War’ and the World War One trench. It was too dark for him so we just scooted through it. It was really atmospheric and I would have liked to have a better look round and to have read some of the displays. There was an Anderson shelter but that was also dark and he wouldn’t climb in it with me. I think when he’s older, he’ll appreciate this more.
‘Lancashire at Play’ was a fun room. Posters from our seaside resorts of Morecambe, Blackpool and Fleetwood, a mirror from the ‘Hall of Mirrors’, Victorian dress up costumes, a ‘Head in the hole’ photo board. This room also housed Lancashire music memorabilia – Lancashire bands and famous bands like the Beatles that had played venues in Lancashire. (Although arguably some of the towns they played are now Greater Manchester and not Lancashire!) They also had memorabilia from comedians like Ken Dodd’s duster! I’m not really a Ken Dodd fan but he’s a Blackpool staple and when I went to see Cats a few weeks ago, I saw that he is back in Blackpool again this Autumn at The Grand.
Rory was quite happy looking round, and most impressed with a ‘Grandma glove puppet’! But by half 12 we were hungry. We decided against the Museum cafe, although it looked good we wanted a pub lunch so we headed off. After a refuel we headed to Withy Grove Park for the afternoon.
Have you been to Withy Grove Park? I spent hours on the park as a child as my grandparents lived almost backing on to it. A couple of decades later, it’s unrecognisable. It’s had such a transformation. It’s a great park for all ages and also has specialist play equipment for children with disabilities. Definitely worth a visit if you’ve never been.