Friday 23 October 2020

Black Country Museum - Socially Distanced Family Day Out

 It's fair to say we haven't had that many days out this year. We're lucky to live in such a beautiful place it doesn't feel like a huge need of ours. 

But with parties being a firm no at the moment we wanted to celebrate our middle child's birthday in some way. 

All the days out at the moment have to be booked in advance, so we drew up a short list and tried to pick something we thought wouldn't be too affected by the new rules. 

I booked some tickets for the Black Country Museum, a place I've never visited but have driven past hundreds of times when I used to work up that way. Think I was more excited than the kids to be honest! 

Social distancing rules for places like this have made it really hard for them to keep going, when we got their we realised why - the numbers are so limited it felt like we'd hired the whole place to ourselves. For me it was ideal, although I do feel for the museum. 

We could look round each house that was open easily and clear signage made it easy to keep going the right way. 

It is funny going into these old houses with the children and when they see the kitchens and pantries they call out the similarities with our own - I don't think they realise yet that we might not live how the average person does in some ways! 

The only place we queued all day was to buy some fish and chips, and here we only cued for 5 minutes - which is more than fine, especially when you see the signs saying it's thirty minutes from here etc. 

Cooked in beef dripping these were some of the finest chips we have ever tasted, my mouth is watering just thinking about them! The lady in front of me in the queue was local and would go just to have the chips on a Sunday! 

One of the best bits of the day was the characters and demonstrations they did. They all stayed in character and the kids loved this, listening to their strong accents and the banter they had with each other, calling out across the street. Makes you wish that you could go all dressed up the same! 

The guy selling us a "washing machine" was particularly good and we watched another give a demonstration on how to make chain (the area was known around the world for chain making). We also spoke to a woman who was a chain maker on strike, great to learn about the history - the kids couldn't believe that women would hang their babies up in the workshop so they could work without worrying about their children! 

We finished with a lesson in the school house. The teacher was brilliant and played his part well. When he started the children hid their sweets and tried to look like they were paying attention! But again it was interesting learning about copper plate handwriting and trying to recite the alphabet backwards (something, it turns out, I can not do!).

Perfect family day out, I heartily recommend it. And if anyone is worried about going anywhere with the current guidelines this felt the safest public space I've been to, distancing adhered to, sensible precautions in place. I have a feeling that if you go now you'll honestly experience it in a quieter and calmer way than when things are normal. 

*No part of this is paid for or funded - we bought the tickets ourselves (which now mean we can go back for free up to a year later) and we felt like we got great value for money. 


  1. what a wonderful outing and one the kids will surely remember.

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  2. I live in the US but thank you for taking me on your trip. It's just the sort of place I would love to visit and I enjoyed you post. Please take care and stay safe.

  3. Sounds like it was a brilliant day out, just my sort of thing!

  4. Sounds like a great day out and education for everyone thrown in. Great photos.

  5. We have a site close to us, it's a brilliant day out. they have a building with old tech stuff, a red phone box, old telephones a fax machine, which the grandsons love. Lots of country crafts.

  6. The wife and I go every week and still have a good time

  7. What a nice day! Thanks for taking us along. Happy belated birthday to you middle child.

  8. What a fun outing!! Happy birthday to your middle child

  9. Looks like a super day out. I went many years ago and loved the place. I found myself counting the old kitchen items I still use today. Also realised I'm a bit old fashioned in some ways.


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