We set off to go to the Imperial War Museum North a few months ago but had car problems and had to turn back. So it was good to finally make it here! Piper has had an interest in WW1 & WW2 for such a long time so I knew it would be a hit with her. We did quite a big project a WW2 a while back now but Bailey and the girls still remember lots of it so it was good to reinforce some of that. Especially the items from the war camps-Bailey watched "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" with us a few years ago so it was humbling to see a an actual pair of striped pyjamas.
I think this was the most exciting bit for Hubby as he loves Harrier Jets!
I thought this canoe was a brilliant example of recycling/upcycling EVER. A canoe made out of discarded fuel tanks, it had been cut in half and welded together. Amazing to think that during such terrible times people can be so resourceful.
I think this was one item in the museum that I found really, quite upsetting. It is a piece of the World Trade Centre from the 9/11 attack in New York:
Not that I think other things weren't sad but as I wasn't alive during either World War is almost like reading a really sad story. But seeing this mangled piece of wreckage can put me right back in time to the moment I saw events unfolding twelve years ago. I was in my living room getting my shoes on and putting Piper's coat on, we were going to pick Bailey up from Nursery and I was pregnant with Cordelia. I remember calling hubby and work and trying to describe what I had just seen on the news. It makes me feel teary just thinking about it and I suppose that must be how people who did live through the War feel when they see things in the museum-they can remember them and so therefore relate to them much more than someone like I can. Food for thought.
When we did our WW2 project a few years ago I have to admit to learning a lot of things myself too, I became quite distressed by the war camps and Auschwitz but also fascinated. We even went along to an Anne Frank exhibition in Chester and we've read and watched the BBC documentary about Anne Frank. Even Ruben could remember some things.
This painting is called "The Death Cart" and is by an artist called Edith Birkin. It is both a shocking and fascinating painting:
Even more so when you read the artists story:
The Horrible Histories video was really good to watch as its projected through all of the central part of the museum so you don't have to sit in a small room. There was a video all about the impact of war on the local area too which was really moving.
We also went into the art gallery, I couldn't take any photos in there but there was an exhibition on entitled "Catalyst: Contemporary Art and War". It was really interesting and Bailey and I had a really good talk about how anyone can be a journalist/photographer/reporter now with smart phones.
We bought tickets to go up to the viewing platform, its just outside the entrance but still in the building, this is how high it is from below:
It seemed like a good idea at the time but I think I had forgotten how quite terrified of heights I am so when I got up there it seemed ridiculously high!!! And I did not like the mesh metal floors that you could see all the way down on (now really questioning my ability to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower next year!). The views of Salford Quays were very good though:
This tank was outside the museum and was an actual working tank that was captured by Royal Engineers in Iraq in 2003.
We had lunch in the car (it was cold!) before walking across the bridge towards the BBC media centre, we went passed the building where they filmed The Voice:
And in one of the buildings we found a tardis and two daleks in the reception!
We're pretty big Dr Who fans in this house
There was even the original Blue Peter garden, complete with a statue of Blue Peter dog Petra. My parents-in-law have a German Shepard called Petra so the children thought it was very cool.
This is the Imperial War Museum Building from the other side of the canal, its such an imposing building and was designed by Polish architect Daniel Libeskind, who was born in 1946, his family suffered a lot during WW2 and many members of his family died in the Holocaust.
The media square, we are planning a return trip here soon. We even managed to wave to Radio Six DJ Stuart Maconie-a longtime hero of Hubby-and he waved back at us!
The Lowry is just opposite the War Museum so we popped in there too, we haven't done anything about Lowry before but a friend had introduced me to his work a while ago and so it was interesting to find out more about him and his work. I think we all loved his paintings of the sea the most. Ruben thought a lot of his paintings looked very similar and the girls thought his paintings of "Anne" were a little strange. I thought his paintings seemed quite sad and he seemed a lonely man. Hubby hadn't heard of him at all before so he learnt quite a lot about him.
I really liked that they had a family gallery, that was very quiet and so we could sit and look out of the window and draw, it was very relaxing!
A really interesting and educational day out :-)