It has been a rather bleak and miserable day here today. I had already planned to take the children to Bury Transport museum and it turned out to be a good decision!
We headed up the M60 to Bury and arrived just after 10am. It was wet and windy so I was glad I had chosen an indoor place for us to visit today. The museum isn’t as big as the Museum of Transport in Manchester we visited a few months ago but I thought the children might enjoy it. Damian’s parents live in Ramsbottom so another 20 minutes drive and we popped in to see them.
The museum is well set out with lots of things to keep young eyes occupied. There are buses, steam engines, bikes, trucks and an old fire engine to have a good look at. There are also two small gallery areas that are interactive. One has a history of transport in the area which is quite interesting to look at how things have changed. There are also opportunities to interact with some of the displays too; there was a bridge making one and another looking at cogs and gears. There are also a couple of TV’s that tell different stories, but we didn’t get chance to sit and watch these.
The other gallery is more focused on trains and has a range of model trains set up as well as various station benches etc which the children took great delight in sitting on. There is also the front of a bus that the children can pretend to drive and a dressing up area which they both made good use of, trying on the hats then running back to drive the bus whilst wearing them.
The museum isn’t big at all and you could probably finish a visit in 45-60 minutes if you were going as an adult. The children quite enjoyed the bus and dressing up areas and we spent over 90 minutes there I think. There is also a manager’s office which we discovered and Mr D took great delight in telling me it was the Fat Controllers office. Both the children were intrigued by the type writer and the old style phone and had a good look and explore of them.
The museum is well maintained and there is a decent amount to see to pass away an hour. It was freezing in there though and I was regretting now having my gloves and fleece with me. The children were beginning to look a bit cold so we headed into the manager’s office which was heated! Once we had warmed up we took one last look around the main area downstairs and headed back to Mr D’s favourite, the fire engine where he took great delight in pointing out the ladder and bells.
Entry to the museum is £3.50, but I think you get free entry if you travel on the East Lancs Railway. The trains only run at weekend at this time of year however.
The museum was quiet, I think we were the only visitors there this morning so the children had the run of the place to have a good look around. There was a lot of wows when they saw how big the wheels on the steam roller and steam engines were!
I’m not sure I’d travel to Bury just for the museum, but as we were tying it in with a visit to the children’s grandparents it worked for us. It’s worth a look I guess if you’re in the town anyway or live closer than we do. I always think Bury is quite an expensive place to drive to to visit, parking seems much higher than other towns so the petrol, plus parking plus entry fee to the museum means that it isn’t somewhere we will head back to in the near future, especially when the Manchester Transport Museum is much cheaper and parking is free. That said if you’re more local it is probably more cost effective and the Bury Transport Museum is very accessible for pushchairs etc and the children certainly enjoyed it.
I was also absolutely freezing and was still cold when I arrived at Damian’s parents, despite having the car heating on full for the drive there! If you do go on a colder day make sure you wrap up warm.