A TRULY VICTORIAN EVENT
By Ann Evans
Photos by Rob Tysall
Marvellous Meccano and full sized steam engines – Blists Hill Victorian Town has it all over the weekend of 20th-21st August. Blists Hill is one of Ironbridge’s ten amazing museums and the Victorian town allows you to step back in time and experience what life was like in the 1800s.
In those days of the Industrial Revolution, steam power was leading the way and you’ll be able to see an eclectic collection of steam powered machines in all their working splendour over that weekend.
The town’s working replica of Trevithick’s 1802 Coalbrookdale locomotive will be running; the original is believed to be the world’s first steam locomotive. Other Museum engines in steam will include ‘Billy’ a fantastic 1903 Wallis & Steevens steam roller, the Merry Weather fire pump and the Fielding Oil engine.
Also, a huge ploughing engine called ‘The Chief’ will be putting in an appearance over the weekend before commencing a road-run from Blists Hill Victorian Town to Onslow Park for the County Steam Show. Plus there will be a variety of visiting large scale steam engines around the Town throughout the weekend.
You’ll also find an amazing exhibition of Meccano in Blists Hill Victorian town. Meccano was the last great Victorian invention, patented by Frank Hornby in 1901 and originally called Mechanics Made Easy. Despite it being around for well over a 100 years, it’s as popular now as it ever was, with grown ups as well as youngsters.
This popular exhibition is being hosted by the Telford and Ironbridge Meccano Society (TIMS) and is sure to delight all ages. Visitors will be able to see intricate working clocks, tall cranes, sturdy bridges, working steam engines and other constructions that will amaze you – all built with the little strips of colourful metal and chunky nuts and bolts we know as Meccano.
2016 is something of an anniversary year for Meccano enthusiasts. TIMS celebrates its 25th anniversary; the invention of Meccano when it was known as Mechanics Made Easy began 115 years ago; and 2016 is also the 80th anniversary of the death of its inventor, Frank Hornby.
For further information, times, ticket prices and special deals, call the Ironbridge Tourist Information Centre on 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk.