The Developement centre students trip to the Black Country Museum
Told by Paul Scales – Development Centre Pottery Tutor
This July, Development Centre students, Staff, Volunteers & Support workers all gathered together outside Padley, ready to embark on our trip to the Black Country Museum. The trip Venue had been chosen as it provided a excellent opportunity for our students to research ideas for an upcoming exhibition regarding the industrial revolution, which Padley has been asked to take part in by the Derby Royal Hospital. There was much excitement in the air as we boarded the coach, everyone was looking forward to a fun, and of course educational day out.
The sun was shining when we arrived at the museum. We received a warm welcome & were given a lots of helpful information regarding all the interesting sights to see. We split into a number of different groups, in the hope of seeing as much of the museum as possible.
The feeling of being back in time was really authentic. All the different shops, houses & gardens were available for us to look around, it felt as if there were still people living & working there who had just popped out & might come back at any moment to continue their daily lives. There were plenty of places for us to sit, relax & soak up the atmosphere. We were all provided with packed lunches by the Development Centre kitchen, but it must be said that the old fashioned chip shop proved very tempting. After our lunch we quickly found ourselves involved in the Nailers strike, where we helped protest for workers rights. It was great to see the museum staff dressed in the clothes of the era, the acting was really convincing. Although we had split into our various groups it was quite amusing as we kept bumping into each other from time to time, even finding one of our family groups enjoying the facilities of the local Pub, no one got drunk but they raised a glass & wished us Cheers!
Some of the groups visited the coal mine, & surprisingly came out as clean as they went in (so I don’t think they were put to work). Others enjoyed a relaxing walk down the canal path enjoying the sights & looking at the different canal barges & boats. One couple visited the old church & asked the Vicar if he would be able to marry them! The group I was with nipped into the little hut like cinema & were treated to a short Laurel & Hardy silent film. Apparently the cinema had once been run as a real family business. As we came out of the cinema one of the members came up to us, excitedly exclaiming “I’ve just won a prize on hook a duck at the funfair”.
By the end of the day some of us were getting a little tired of walking, but fortunately the museums free vintage bus service was available to take back up the hill to the visitors centre.
As we travelled back to the Padley Centre we shared the stories & experiences of the trip. All in all it was agreed, we had a grand day out!