... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Tugs and tunnels

Today we had a day out to the Black Country Living Museum, to see the gathered tugs and also just because we enjoy visiting.

It's not cheap, but a day ticket does gain you readmission for the rest of the year - and,  contrary to what at least two people told us, this does not apply only if you 'gift aid' your entrance fee, although they clearly would like you to think that it does. At the very bottom of the entrance notice, however, the small print states that the same offer is available if you don't! Presumably they can't discriminate legally (it would be a bit harsh to discriminate against people who can't gift aid because they're not taxpayers, like less well off pensioners, and unemployed people).

Anyway, we bought our tickets online last night and printed them off, so were able to bypass the (quite impressively long) queues this morning. We headed straight for the tugs, and met some more CWFers for the first time, including Starcoaster, Mike the Boilerman, Cheshire Rose and Postcode. Alan and Cath were there too of course, so there was plenty of chatting to be done.

For the first time we got round to taking a trip into Dudley Tunnel - these trips are run by the Dudley Tunnel Trust and are separate from the Museum. It was very good and I do recommend it if you've not already been (You can do the tunnel trip without going to the museum).

Then it was back to the pub for more chatting, although we did also manage to fit in a wander around the shops - the hardware shop with its vast stocks of enamelware, galvanised baths and unused Beatrice stoves was my favourite; and of course to look into the cottages which I absolutely love.

This was our third visit to the museum and we still haven't been on the trolleybus or the tram. To me the BCLM is an example of what a museum should be like - long on real artefacts and mercifully short on electronic gizmos and gimmicks (Ellesmere Port take note) but with lots of enthusiastic (and mostly well informed) volunteers to talk about them. I'm looking forward to going back again.

Meanwhile, this is my favourite photo of the day:

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