Last year I visited the museum and promised myself I would return and this time take in a short trip on the canal.
Considerable development on site has taken place, including the cottages that illustrate the changing living conditions for workers over a 100 year or so period as well as improvements / developments to some of the exhibitions.
The pump room is fascinating and it was just a shame that none of the engines were working. However, they do remind us of a bygone age when British engineering dominated the world and being a “skilled man” (no women of course!) gave you a degree of status in the community as well as enabling you to earn a higher level of wage.
The main exhibition hall seems to have been expanded and there is even a section for kids to build their own barge using big rubber shapes.
The most interesting exhibit for me was the one of the boy lying on his back on the barge with his legs up in the air to push the barge along in the tunnel, which many barges had to pass through (the longest in the UK is Stannage Edge on the outskirts of Huddersfield which travels under the Pennines for well over three miles).
A visit to the cottages is a must to see how the living conditions of workers changed over a hundred year period, I can even remember living in something similar to the 1950s themed room as a young boy.
A short 30 minute trip along the canal is worthwhile, if a little uneventful, but do take note of the various bridges you will pass under, some are very old (over 150 years) but have stood the test of time.
Refreshments were taken in the café and it passed the rigorous cappuccino test that I apply to all establishments. So, a very enjoyable day out in warm sunshine and under wispy clouds framed against an azure blue sky.
Photographs (c) Kindadukish 2016