Monday, July 18, 2011

Museum Visit.

Today we found somewhere brand spanking new.

I'll gloss quickly over the fact that I have lived here in the area since I was 12 years old and have never even seen this place, let alone stepped inside it.

I'll move swiftly on and conveniently forget that for the past 3 years I've been taking Chelsea to the Orthodontist not 20 metres away from this certain place.

I'll try to ignore the fact that there are brown tourist signs directing you to this particular place en route by car that I've driven past many times, and a whopping big advertising sign right outside its gates.

How observant do I feel?!

We did have a bit of a giggle about it though :)

Putting all that to one side, we have had a fabulous day.

It started off with a little prickly tricky mini-moment when Callum (6 years old) locked himself in my bedroom whilst having a protest about going to the museum.  It didn't take long to talk him around though, humour often works wonders and he was soon feeling much better about our outing.  He was still a bit tired as he had to be woken up to enable us to get to the museum on time, and a tired Callum = a grumpy Callum.

We arrived at the museum and (after lots of shaking heads and cries of "I can't believe we've never seen it before...!"), we were pleasantly surprised at what lurked beyond the doors.

The lady that greeted us was very pleasant.  She introduced herself and seemed to have a very relaxed way about her - the kind that we home-edders like :)  She didn't stress about the different ages (8 months to 15 years), but instead just happily set about talking about the exhibits and for the most, the kids lapped it up.  We were taken around the various rooms...

The John Lethbridge exhibition:


john lethbridge


There is a display of artefacts from the shipwreck of the Slot ter Hooge off the island of Porto Santo in 1724. They had eluded John Lethridge, and were instead recovered by Robert Stenuit.

dutch coins
Dutch Coins

Silver Bullion

Spanish Coins

The Notable Newtonians Exhibition includes artefacts and pictures of some of the characters through history connected with Newton Abbot. These included film stars and explorers, lady barristers and theatre designers.

Museum trip

Photography in this section was a little tricky as it was bright light and glass cabinets, but there was this telescope, used by Sir Samuel Baker during his expedition to discover the source of the "White Nile" in 1863.


The Great Western Railways exhibition room was a huge surprise. It was every child's dream with it's switches, dials, and levers to play with...

train room



bell ringing

always one

museum edited

All of the children got the opportunity to be really hands on in this room, with bells to ring, and trains to control via a computer, it was all action (and very noisy!).  This visit has inspired an interest in Isambard Kingdom Brunel, so we are going to read more about him to add to our "Famous People, Past and Present" file, and the children want to do the town trail, so that's something to sort out soon.

The Sights and Sounds Exhibition showed off historic exhibits linked to Newton Abbot.  There is a 2500 year old carved wooden figure that was discovered in 1867 whilst digging ball clay at a site in Kingsteignton.  There are only six other examples of such a carving known to be in existence.


There were also these items on display...

Bronze age spear

Child's Leather Moccasins

Victorian valentines card
Victorian Valentines Card
Hand Sewn Soft Doll, on sale at Liberty's in London to raise money for  the Polish Community during the Second World War.

small doll

We are definitely glad we went along (yes, even Callum said he enjoyed it a lot), and best of all it's free entry (although donations are obviously welcome).

We had a little tootle around town and checked out a charity shop or three. This time I had a very specific idea what I was looking for. Things I can paint and decorate. I ended up with a coffee pot set that I'm totally in love with. I am going to add a few decals to it and change it a little, although the original blue colouring will stay the same as it's the exact colour I want for my kitchen walls. 4 cups and saucers, coffee pot, sugar bowl and milk jug for £5.95, without a chip or crack in sight, it's in pristine condition and I wanted it as soon as my eyes fell upon it. I will do a before and after photo session once decorated.

I also bought an old version of the board game Hullabaloo home too, it's already given us a giggle or three. I took this photo and just love the snapshot of what was happening at the time...


I'm playing too
"Look Mama, I'm playing too!"

Don't look mama thats cheating
"Now stop looking Mama, that's cheating!"
And finally I shall leave you with our caterpillar friends on Day 6...

caterpillars day 6
Definitely getting hairier!
Tomorrow we shall be learning about mummification, and meal planning....

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