Children and families from across Swindon are invited to travel back in time this summer and explore the town’s rich histories.
From dinosaurs to Anglo Saxon warriors, from Victorian games to an air raid experience, Swindon Museums are inviting families and communities across Swindon to get hands-on with history and find out more about Swindon’s past.
The Time Travellers programme is run jointly by STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery and Lydiard House Museum.
Mags Parker, Learning and Engagement Officer for Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, said: “This is a unique and exciting opportunity for us to share Swindon’s rich historic collections and for families to get hands-on with history.
"How often do you get to hold a 200 million-year-old dinosaur bone, or dress up in Stone Age costume? By physically getting involved with history, we can get a real sense of what it felt like to live in past times.”
Cllr Marina Strinkovsky, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Heritage, Art and Culture, said: “There is so much history in Swindon, and it’s wonderful that kids can get up close and personal with it.
"The best way to get excited about the past is to be involved in it, and nothing is as much fun as dressing up – although handling a real mammoth tooth might come close!
“Our wonderful Museums and Libraries teams have put together so many opportunities for families to immerse themselves in the lives of other people, you’d struggle to fit it all in. Luckily we have our Kids for Quid offer running and there’s no better time to take advantage of it.”
Each week during the summer holidays, families can choose to travel back to two different time periods. Events will take place across the summer at Steam, Lydiard House Museum and Swindon Central Library.
Sessions offer chances to see and hold real artefacts from the past, to dress up in historic costume, and to take part in art and craft activities, with a range of hands-on activities to try in each session.
Families will receive a special Time Travel Passport and can get their passport stamped in each time period they visit. Activities encourage friends and families to work together and are suitable for ages six and above. All sessions must be booked online in advance.
Swindon Museum and Art Gallery are running the following sessions at Swindon Central Library:
- On Thursday, 3 August, visitors can find out if they could have survived the Stone Age, hold real Stone Age tools, try cave painting and Stone Age costumes and get up close with real mammoth teeth.
- On Thursday, 17 August, children and families can meet the Anglo-Saxons. Visitors to the library will be able to see the possessions of an Anglo-Saxon warrior found in Swindon, create an early medieval coin, and have a go at every-day tasks from 1,200 years ago.
- On Thursday, 31 August, visitors can unearth Swindon’s ancient stories by becoming a trainee archaeologist. They can even get hands-on with real objects unearthed by archaeologists in Swindon and have a go at finding artefacts in the Dig! pit.
On Wednesdays throughout the summer, visitors to Steam will be able to experience a Second World War air raid.
The warden will be on hand to take people into the safety of the shelter after the siren is sounded where they can experience the sounds of the Blitz and the darkness of the shelter, whilst imagining how they would have passed the time overnight. This event is for over-sevens only.
Lydiard House Museum sessions are on Thursdays 10 and 24 August. Families can find out what it was like to be a Victorian child living at Lydiard House, by getting hands-on with domestic items that would have been used in the House and playing with Victorian toys, just like young Vernon (later sixth Viscount Bolingbroke) would have played with.
Be the first to comment on this article