The People’s History Museum documents the history of ordinary working people with posters, banners and artifacts.
I’ve been to this museum a few times before, sometimes for talks and sometimes to just look around it. I always manage to learn something new.
This time I was looking around with a friend’s daughter who is currently studying in Manchester. As she was originally from Manchester, but moved away as a child, this was a good place to re-introduce her to her roots. Continue reading “People’s History Museum, Manchester”
You don’t have to be a military history buff to be fascinated by the many stories told in this museum.
I’m not particularly into military history which was a bit of a problem when I was given a unit of local history to teach. The unit included lessons on the Lancashire Fusiliers which I was expected to plan myself. Fortunately Bury is home to the Lancashire Fusilier Museum so I took myself along one Saturday to do a bit of research and recce it for a potential class trip. Continue reading “Fusilier Museum, Bury”
A visit to the final home of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.
Sigmund Freud, Austrian Jew and renowned psychoanalyst, fled the Nazis and arrived in London in 1938. Until his death the following the year he lived in a large house in North London, just off Finchley Road and not far from Finchley Road underground station. Continue reading “Freud Museum”
I had just one day to explore this small city in the north of Sweden.
I only had one day in Umeå and wanted to make the most of it. I’d arrived late the evening before and though I hadn’t had chance to really take it in, I’d liked what I’d seen. Continue reading “A Sunday in Umeå”
I was only in Umeå because that was where the bus ended up and it was where I could pick up the night train back to Stockholm. I’d spent the summer walking northern Sweden’s Kungsleden trail and now I was on my way home. Continue reading “Västerbottens Museum, Umeå”
The British in India Museum is hidden away in a warehouse in Nelson (Lancashire). It’s not signposted and is difficult to spot. We drove past it several times before we spotted the sign over a side door to the warehouse reception area. As it’s closed at the weekend I’d already waited a long time for the chance to see it and so was determined not to let its camouflaged location beat me. Hardly surprising really that it ranks at one of the top five least visited museums in Britain.
The museum started life as the private collection of Henry Nelson who had served in India in the 1940s. He came home with a suitcase of souvenirs and continued to develop his collection and his interest. By 1972 he had enough to open a museum.
The museum is as museums used to be. It smells musty and is crammed with artifacts and memorabilia; everything from a tiger (complete with black and white photo taken of the party who shot it) to medals, newspaper cuttings to weapons and clothes to model soldiers. There’s a lot of information to read and even more to see. We walked round several times, each time seeing things we hadn’t noticed first time round.
Originally the museum was housed in a building in Colne and it moved to its present location a few years ago after the death of its founder. His son now runs the museum, but it is a sideline to the warehouse. The entrance is shared with the warehouse reception. The man on reception walked us through to the museum and from then on we were left to our own devices. He told us that there are a lot more artifacts in storage, but it’s a massive job searching through everything and getting it all catalogued.
Although it seemed obvious that the museum could do with a full-time curator and a new roof, as well as a bigger space, part of me hopes it will never change. There aren’t many museums left like this and visiting it is an experience in itself. And I like that I’ve been to one of the least visited museums in the country.
I wonder what the number one least visited museum is? Maybe I could go there next?
My first Friday Flickr album is from Skansen Open-Air Museum in Stockholm. It was the world’s first open-air museum and is huge. AND it has bears!
As part of being super-organised with my new website (and being super-enthusiastic) I’ve decided to have a regular feature.
Yes, just like the real bloggers.
As I have an abundance of photos that I’m slowly trying to upload to Flickr, I thought I could do myself a favour and make my Flickr albums multi-functional by using them on here.
I’m also thinking that linking my social media accounts in this way might generate more readers and be good for my SEO. I sort of understand what SEO is and why it’s important, but actually I don’t really. Pearls of wisdom in the comments section below will be welcomed.
So, onto my first Friday Flickr (drummm rollll) …
It’s an album filled with the best of my photos from Skansen, a photogenic place if ever there was one.
Skansen can be found on the outskirts of Stockholm and was the world’s first open-air museum. It was opened in 1891 and has been growing ever since.
It showcases historic buildings from the full length of Sweden and also has a zoo and an aquarium. People dressed in periodic costume demonstrate crafts from times gone by like breadmaking and glass-blowing.
But best of all, I got to see bears. Real ones! They looked so cute and cuddly. Well, except for their huge claws. I think I’m probably glad I didn’t meet any in the wild when I walked the Kungsleden.
I spent a very long day wandering round and only stopped for one quick coffee (couldn’t miss out on fika, especially when it looked like this). I saw pretty much everything except the aquarium, but felt like I was rushing. I would have liked to have taken it slower and had more time to watch the animals. Two days would have been much better, but there were so many other things to see in Stockholm and my time was running out, so I couldn’t really justify it. I’d definitely go back again though.
Click on the image below to access the Flickr album.
Selma Lagerlöf is one of Sweden’s classic authors. She lived from 1858 to 1940 and worked as a teacher until the Swedish royal family persuaded her to give up teaching and supported her financially so she could develop her writing career. (Note to self: write to Queen and ask her to support me to give up teaching so I can write full-time).
Although she’d been writing since childhood, she wasn’t published until 1890. Once published there was no stopping her and it was only five years later that the royals began supporting her along with the Swedish Academy.
She travelled and some of her novels are set in the places she visited such as Italy and Jerusalem. In 1909 she became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
I first came across her when I was researching my trip to Sweden and looking for books to read by Swedish authors who write outside of the Nordic-Noir genre (of which I’d already devoured massively).
The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, published in 1906, tells the story of a young boy who misbehaves and is rather nasty. He is shrunk by a passing elf and ends up on the back of his famly’s white goose just as it decides to join a flock of passing wild geese and migrate to the far north of Sweden.
The book is all about the adventures he has travelling the length and breadth of Sweden with the geese.
Lagerlöf was commissioned to write the book by the National Teachers’ Association and it was intended as a geography reader for schools. She spent three years researching wildlife, geography and folklore before eventually publishing the book in 1906.
Although the book was intended for children, its remit made it a useful resource for me. I learnt a lot from it, as well as enjoying the story and her style of writing. It was in this book that I first heard of Skansen, a place I made sure I visited and spent a wonderful day at when I was in Stockholm.
Selma moved to Falun in the Dalarna region of central Sweden in 1897. Consequently, the Dalarnas Museum in Falun has a permanent exhibition on her and her work, including a replica of her study.
How wonderful is this study? I want one just like it.
She lived on the hill overlooking the town on what just happened to be the street where the prison I was staying in was. I tried to find her house, but as far as I can make out it no longer exists. Which is probably why her study is in the museum.
As well as the exhibition on Selma Lagerlöf, the museum gave an interesting overview on the culture of the region.
Paintings pictured different aspects of the culture and daily life. There were some great ones of the mine in Falun.
The local traditional costume is so colourful and detailed.
Dala horses are iconic images of this region. They have been made and sold since the 17th century. Even today the genuine articles are still hand-carved and hand-painted in the traditional colours.
The horses are decorated in a folk art style known as kurbits. This style was used on material, walls, crockery … just about everything that could be painted or printed really.
But back to Selma … the more I learn about her, the more I think I have in common with her. I made a list:
We’re both teachers
We both like writing
We’re both interested in the culture, folk tales, geography and wildlife of Sweden
We’ve both been to Italy and Jerusalem
We’ve stayed on the same street in Falun
So to continue following in her tracks, I just need to: