Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Black Country Living Museum

It was, of course, the prospect of seeing an old tram in action that drew me towards the Black Country Living Museum, near Dudley.

I shared my ride with a party from a local school. All seemed to be enjoying their day, as was their teacher!

No 34 is a Wolverhampton District single decker tram, built in 1919. Here it is, making rapid progress up the hill.

No 49, an open topped tram from 1909, was in the shed. More info here.

Other transport was on offer for getting around the large site. The twenty six acres are certainly worth exploring. It is quite amazing that there used to be nothing here. The museum's story is here. Everything has been recreated, or brought from elsewhere and rebuilt. Staff in period costume are on hand to chat to. It is educational for the young visitors, but us oldies are not ignored.

On the museum's website it says, "If you are old enough, you may just be looking for nostalgia and that is fine. But equally, we believe that history shouldn’t be seen as a safe haven in a fast changing and challenging world, but a catalyst for thinking and reflection about our own lives."

But, for me, visiting a place like this is indeed much about nostalgia. Now, back when I was a wee boy in the 1950s, everyone skipped! Perhaps this pic should become the 'Skip Cottage' header!

Time for a little reflection in the reconstructed Methodist chapel.

The worry is that much of what was on show in this shop can still be found in my wardrobe!

There is a small car collection too, to browse over. More details here.

The boat dock is a reminder that the canals 200 years ago were quite a different prospect than they appear today.

I ventured 'down the mine' on a guided trip. Quite daunting, I must say. We were put into family groups. I have to say a big thank you to a six year old, called Holly, and her mum, who adopted me for the tour. Actually, I think Holly was braver than I was!

All the above is just a fraction of what is on offer at Dudley. The main website is here.

This ex-Cadbury works engine stands at the entrance to the museum, whose website is here. Well presented, but I wanted to see steam in action ... and that was to be the next adventure on my trip south. Coming soon.

Photos © Skip Cottage

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