FESTIVE FUN IN IRONBRIDGE
By Ann Evans
Photos courtesy of Ironbridge Gorge Museums.
If you’re looking for a fun family day out between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, you could take a trip to Ironbridge in Shropshire where six of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums will be open daily from 10am-4pm.
This is fascinating World Heritage Site with so much to discover – and experience for yourself. You can step back to Victorian times at Blists Hill Victorian village. Here you’ll find a stunning display of sight and sound in the visitor centre as massive images are projected on nine metre high walls telling the harsh reality of life during the mining and hot metal industries.
Exchange some money in the town’s bank for pre-decimal token coins and spend them in the sweet shop or the fried fish shop, or in the New Inn Public House. As you explore the town, you’ll love the period shops and no doubt be invited into the cosy cottages of the resident Victorians for a chat around the fireside about their daily life.
If you appreciate fine china, then head over to Coalport China Museum and enjoy magnificent china displayed in the very buildings in which it was first produced. There’s even a special gallery especially for children to discover the secrets of how china was made.
Walk through galleries and period room settings adorned with beautiful tiles at Jackfield Tile Museum. Displays include tiles from a London hospital children’s ward intricately painted with scenes from nursery rhymes. And don’t miss the John Scott Gallery which houses a world-class collection of British decorative tiles from designers such as Pugin, Dresser, Morris, De Morgan and Bawden.
Youngsters can let their imagination go wild at Enginuity Design and Technology Centre, as they become a design engineer for the day. They will be able to play with huge interactive exhibits, x-ray everyday objects to see how they are made, control a ‘river’ to generate electricity and compete against a robot.
Plus of course there’s the town of Ironbridge itself to explore and enjoy, including the impressive Iron Bridge cast in 1779 which spans the River Severn. Take a walk across, enjoy the stunning views and imagine life in this area 300 years ago at the start of the Industrial Revolution. Visit the free exhibition inside the original Tollhouse and discover the secrets of how the bridge was built.
Please note these museums will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Day. For further information, contact the Ironbridge Tourist Information Centre on 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk