Review of Redbridge Museum.
Location: Ilford Central Library
Open: Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-4pm
The Redbridge Museum is part of Ilford Library. I had walked past it before, not bothering to go in because I thought it would be small and just for little kids. How wrong was I!
It looks small but is not. It is in fact a very comprehensive tour of Redbridge from the 1930s to the present day. This story is told through many stands with information boards with stunning authentic artefacts, usually in sealed cabinets. Each information board tells a story through the eyes of a person, for example there is 'A Soldier's Story' and 'An Evacuee's story'. These would be accompanied by perhaps ration books, hats, artefacts retrieved from bombings or whatever is relevant. Other stands include about Barnardos, about Winston Churchill (once MP for Woodford) and some of the companies that started here, like Ilford Ltd. or Howards.
Along the way are interesting mock-ups of an old classroom, an Edwardian living room and a 1930s kitchen. There is the interesting centrepiece of some church windows and an actual cart that was used to repair lights between tram lines down Ilford High Road before the trams disappeared.
It is not written for children in particular, although there are things for children to do along the way, like quizzes. It is not written in a patronising way, but quite interesting if you enjoy reading about history.
There are things to hear by picking up a handset and listening to stories or sounds, things to smell, e.g. what it smelt like at the time e.g. burning coals or the smell on wash day, which add to the atmosphere. There are touch screens with information.
I enjoyed it. If you are interested in History, then visit. The only thing that I got confused about was when I was asked to 'click here' while using a touch screen.
Review (C) Nigel 14 July 2001
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