At the last minute we decided that perhaps the boys would prefer the science museum. We had a really good day, but it was very hard work and we are all very flaked. Yesterday evening I cooked tea in advance and packed up picnic lunch and breakfast. Then this morning we had a half hour walk to the station (Joel in sling,Isaac in buggy and Benjie walking) then an hour on the train to Kings Cross and 45 mins tube and walking to the museum. Then we walked around the museum for 4 and a half hours and repeated our journey in reverse! Driving to the edge of London would in some ways be easier but Joel doesn’t like being strapped in for long.
Anyway. We started off in the basement which has been specially developed for children. With hindsight we spent too long down there – it was noisy with lots of parties of school children and although there were lots of buttons to press and flashing lights to keep them busy it somehow felt a bit artificial. It was much better when we headed upstairs and the boys started to be interested in the actual exhibits rather than the “fun presentation” . Favourite things included everything to do with space (space suits, lunar landers etc) penny farthing, vintage cars, aeroplanes, early computers (Matt) a V2 (Me, just featured in a biography I’m reading) agricultural history (Isaac- tractors!) hot air balloons, paddle steamers (I began a long explanation on a model paddle steamer to which Benjie replied “oh, it’s a boat” ) Stephenson’s Rocket and other engines……… and lots more I’ve forgotten. It was so nice walking round looking at things because we wanted to, rather than because we were on a school trip and had to.
On the way home we decided that for a museum of that size to be really useful we would have to visit it often enough for it to become familiar. So we thought that ideally we would like to try a visit every 3 months, alternating the science and natural history museums. So we would visit them both twice a year. I don’t know if this is practical – we shall try it and see. It needs both of us to take them all because of the underground. To bus that far across London would take too long I think. I don’t know – might be worth trying. With all the children travelling free it’s certainly very cheap for me to take them to London myself.
Pictures to follow in due course.