Thursday, 15 March 2012

A suitable museum for a toddler

On an especially rainy day we had decided to visit the Newarke Houses Museum in Leicester. This museum promised to tell the history of Leicester during the 20th century – a fitting destination on a week when the Queen visited the city. It also incorporates the Royal Leicestershire Regiment Museum. Something that in itself did not sound especially riveting - especially not for women and children.

Photo from Wikipedia

Number One Son loved the museum and I and Archaeologist Husband were very engaged as well. The many staircases and multiple floors allowed Number One Son run enough to burn his energy and the museum had many different quirks and corners. It has a reconstruction of a city lane with a cobbled pavement aligned with a pub and a grocery shop. A separate cloth shop has a children’s corner with a little shop of their own to play with. The relatively dull sounding regiment museum had a reconstruction of a World War Two trench with a dark, but not too dark, corridor with the booming noises of war and a periscope.Number One Cousin was mesmerised and kept returning again and again; she really liked the periscope.

The museum also has a civil war panelled room, a space the toddlers happily ignored, but allowed the adults to learn about the siege of Leicester. The museum also has a small movie theatre showing a film of the transformation of the city centre. This made me partly sad seeing the lovely houses replaced by the Haymarket shopping centre. Naturally, if the slums of Leicester extended this near the clock tower the loss was not regrettable. But if any of the houses was like the Turkey House it was a pity since the Haymarket centre is not the most beautiful of modern buildings. The absolute hoot in the film was the 1950s vision to build a monorail to the city centre. Because of cost this remained an architect's dream.

The absolute golden nuggets are the toy and game room with a play area for children. Even if the toddlers could not run in the cute gardens there was a plenty to do for them.

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