Half Term Day Out at Black Country Living Museum
Now the Half Term is over and all the kids have returned to school I am reminiscing over a fantastic weeks holiday with the kids. During the holidays we had various days planned, in between working and the kids being in holiday club. With the weather forecast to be cool, dry but sunny for the next week we attempted to make the most of the unseasonably nice weather and headed out with the kids on my days off work.
Where We Visited
Back in the summer (just before my return to blogging) I took the kids on a day out with 2 of their friends to Black Country Living Museum. It was a great day out, but myself, alone with 4 kids was a very hectic day. Thankfully with the entry price of the tickets to this attraction it includes unlimited free returns for 12 months, so during the first weekend of the holiday we headed back with the Hubby in tow and I was able to enjoy this wonderful attraction more!
At the Black Country Living Museum you get a fantastic insight into life of the Black Country population around the Georgian Era (1830’s), how people lived, how people worked, how a school day was construction for children that were lucky enough to have an education and a look into the various industries that existed. All based on site in Dudley, West Midlands, this 26 acre attraction absolutely boasts a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Upon first entry into the museum you cannot be helped just standing at the visitors entrance and standing in awe of the vastness of the size of the place. Everything is really spaced out and it’s great to see how the company turned what was a derelict land into something so great. To make the museum the success it is today, various buildings and iconic features of the Black Country have been relocated to the site.
First we headed for the Vehicle Display garage before jumping on board a converted electric bus and enjoying a short journey down into the main part of the attraction.
We couldn’t help but be mightily impressed with the transport availability here to help you feel being more a part of the attraction. A number of busses have been converted to run on electricity (trolleybus) making them much nicer on the environment within the attraction. Then during the course of the day you will see different transport options are available, you can see and ride on the museums 2 trams, 3 trolley busses or they’re 4 motor buses.
From getting off the trolleybus we arrived into the main part of the town, including a high street, canal, side streets for visiting various homes and getting a great feel for life in the Black Country.
Within the main part of the town there a small number of streets you can walk, each street is packed with so many interesting places to see. You can visit many shops, such as; Hobbs & Sons Fish & Chip Shop where you can purchase lunch, Veals Baker’s Shop where you can buy a number of tasty cakes and biscuits to try and even get a drink over at the Bottle & Glass Inn.
There are many more interactive businesses to visit, where you can buy small gifts but also talk to the staff manning the store about the types of products they would supply back in the Georgian Era. Over in the Emile Doo Chemist shop the kids were show how tablets were made and dispensed by the towns pharmacist.
On your walk around the town you can also bump into and interact with the towns people of the museum, either homeowners, mothers, constable, business owners or school teacher.
A very short walk from the town is the towns Dockside, here you will find the Anchor Forge, displaying a range of Anchors which were manufactured or repaired by Isiah Preston’s of Cradley Heath in the early 1900’s. You will also come cross the Rolling Mill and at time demonstrations will take place, showing how the people working in this mill reshaped steel and iron bars.
Back in the main part of the Dockside you will come across the workshop which maintained the thousands of barges which worked the Black Country canals. You can take a look into the workshops but also stand abroad 2 of the barges moored up and find out how living conditions were like for people (and families) working/living on the waterways.
There is no shortage of activities to enjoy at Black Country Living Muesum, your children can get grubby shovelling coal into sacks to be used in the homes and businesses of the town, visit the towns funfair and enjoy a ride on the swings, Helter Skelter or try their luck at the Hook-a-duck.
Back within the town you will no doubt walk along the Cobbled Stone Street just by the Bottle & Glass Inn and where you will find the back-to-back houses. On the street here you will find more activities, the street games. Your children (and big kids too) will enjoy a go of skipping, ring and hoop and egg and cup.
During your visit you will come across various other timed events, happening throughout the day. From an experience enjoying a lesson at the towns Infant School, St James’s School to watching a Charlie Chaplin silent movie in the Limelight Cinema.
Away From The Town
On our walk back up to the main entrance of the museum there is still plenty more to see, from a visit to the Workers Institute, Towns playground, Underground Mine, Brook Pit Shaft (mine craft and shaft, situated in its original location) and various other homes. Homes include the Tilted Cottage, Toll Cottage, Pitt’s Cottage (a self built home by the Pitt Family) and the Cast Iron Houses.
In these homes you were able to walk inside and get a feel for the size of the property and its land. There were various towns folk around letting you know more about the families who originally lived in the homes and the types of lives they led and food that they ate.
Overall we had a very enjoyable and informative day, we arrived shortly after opening and left just before closing. We enjoyed as much as we could possibly fit in during our visit and we are pleased we have our 12 month unlimited return tickets (included in the original admission price) so we can return again later in the year and enjoy our day again!
Disclosure: We purchased our own tickets for Black Country Living Museum and was not asked to write about our visit. We just enjoyed it that much I wanted to share.