The Museum of Classic Sci-Fi

The drive from Penrith to Allendale was an adventure in itself, and the Museum of Classic Sci-Fi was one of those surprising, eccentric gems you find in the oddest of places.

It’s fitting that a museum with a lot of Dr Who memorabilia should pack so much into a relatively tiny space. This is just a sample of what they’ve got, and doesn’t include any of the promotional announcements by Davros!

If your in the Allendale area, you should definitely drop in. Check opening times though.

Taking a Trip to the Lawnmower Museum

Something different for this video. The lawnmower museum is in Southport, and I’ve been meaning to go for years. It’s in the back of a hardware store, and packed with mowers and related paraphernalia. I highly recommend it as an example of an eccentric little museum hidden in an unexpected place.

There are few models of lawnmowers out there, but Zoom On Models from Hong Kong do make a resin kit of one of the land speed mowers. It’s on the long list of kits I’d like to get and build one day, and if some kind soul buys me one, I promise I’ll donate the finished product to the museum.

People’s History museum

People’s History museum, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

I never visited the People’s History museum before it was rebuilt, so I can’t say how it’s changed. The main museum is in the new section with the old "Pump Room" given over to rotating displays.

The first floor is dedicated to the peoples’ struggle before 1945, so you get the start of unions, the Chartists and Levellers and, of course, the Peterloo Massacre. Interesting fact, Tom Paine’s body is missing. Dug up and intended to be taken back to Britain it disappeared en route, possibly left in a pub.

The second floor covers Labour history since 1945, with lots of badges, Spitting Image puppets and the like.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff, with interactive bits and lots of original banners. However the descriptions read like they’re aimed at children. So I ended up with a feeling of patronising information overload.

There wasn’t much going on in the Pump Room, perhaps it’s between exhibitions. There’s also them Left Bank cafe on the ground floor, which I didn’t get the chance to try out and the archive centre in the basement.

All in all the museum covers lots of interesting stuff- I’ve found some things to follow up on- but it did feel like I was being talked down to. If you have little ones you want to radicalise I recommend it. If you want something more then maybe you need the archive section.

USS Intrepid returns to Manhattan a year and a bit too late

The floating museum that is the World War 2 aircraft carrier USS Intrepid has returned to its berth in the Hudson river off Manhattan. After Harry told me about it I really wanted to go and check it out when I was over there last year, so Skippy and I headed off in search of it and were disappointed to find it wasn’t there. We did get a few interesting pictures and drink some nice beers though, so it wasn’t a complete loss.