Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Black Country Living Museum May 09

What a lovely day out we had today exploring the past and history of the Black Country. The Black Country Living Museum is situated in Dudley.

An excited Aaron was raring to go and explore this wonderful place.

Firstly we headed to the old tram line after boarding the tram we headed off for a short ride down the track.

Next we headed into the old school house. The 18th century school teacher was rather frightening none of us were brave enough to go into the 1/2 hour Victorian lesson that was on offer.

Next we headed for the coal mine, putting on our hard hats and after being given a torch we headed off for a guided tour of the mine. It was cold and dark as we headed into the mine, firstly we were told the story of the young boy Billy a mere 12 yrs old who`s job down the mine was to open and shut the doors for the pit ponies so they could come through with there loaded trailers. He was not much older than Aaron it was said he was that hungry he would eat the candle he had been given as candles were made of animal fat back then ?

Next we heard the story's of the pit ponies, the ponies lived underground and were looked after by boys not much older then young Billy. The ponies and the boys developed a wonderful relationship working so closely together. The sad tale went on. A huge fire engulfed the pit, all the ponies were sadly killed in the fire. After the fire it was ordered that after a days work down the mine the ponies were taken out and left to roam free in the fields for the rest of the day

We carried on around the mine learning how the coal was taken from the rock face sometimes being blasted away to gain access. The tour had sound effects to add to the image of life back then. It was well worth going on. After about 1/2 an hour we headed back to the surface and into the day light.

Next stop was the chippy. Wow. The chip shop was an old fashioned shop with the chips and fish cooked into the old fashioned way beef dripping. They were lovely. Next door was the old fashioned tailor shop.

Over the bridge we watched the young gosling, A canida goose had hatched many goslings and she was parading them around very proud of herself.

There were many characters around the museum including the old fashioned postman, Aaron had his photo taken with him. Next stop was the old pub, here we had an old fashioned glass of lemonade or vimto.

We explored many different styles of houses from the middle class to the poorer residents of the community. There was an area were old toys and games were played.

There was a recreation of an old silent picture house, we sat and watched the old film which starred Charlie Chaplin. This was very interesting.

We also visited the old shops buying some old fashioned boiled sweets. The old working man institute was a large interesting building as was the old chapel.

Before leaving we headed up to the filed to see the shire horse William along with his companion pony.

Walking back we had a look at the other houses on display which included the old crooked house. This house was stinking into the old mines. When the men were pulling away the coal face and taking the coal the houses above were the coal was being mined began to sink.

Another type of house of interest was the cast iron houses. These were built quickly after the war to help create homes for people in quick time.

Walking back towards the entrance / exit we visited the Black Country Car Company Museum. Here there were a range of vintage cars and motorbike on view, most in immaculate condition.

Going back into the main building as it got late we wandered through the exhibition displays which told the history of the Black Country. The Black Country is four counties within the midlands Dudley, Wolverhampton, Walsall and West Bromwich.
There were also other interesting thing to do here, Aaron had a wonderful time playing on the interactive games and computers.
This was a lovely day out yet again.

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