And it's half term! Beloved and I took a few days off to spend with LittleBit this week.
On Monday, we went to the Museum of Policing in Cheshire, at Warrington, where volunteers Peter and Mary kindly showed us around. Better guides, I have never met, anywhere. They were fantastic with LittleBit, extraordinarily knowledgeable, fun, friendly and just lovely. We went into a Tardis, sat in a police car and tried on different uniforms!
We were able to see their collection of confiscated weapons including a shotgun disguised as a walking cane, and they told us a story of some young lads who broke a house window to steal some katana from a window ledge... yup! They've been telling this story for a few years now, and it turns out, it was our house! We do remember that, and now they know who it was! They're pleased to know that we no longer display the swords on the window sill!
It's a hidden gem that we stumbled across by accident, and it's within a working police station, so you do need to book an appointment first, but it's absolutely worth a visit, and we'll definitely be going back!
One of the buildings to explore is the earliest railway station. It's no longer in use, but it's close enough to the still in use today railway line that the trains do go past (although not through) it still.
Another building contains trains themselves, and they had a steam train running short trips while we were there - this isn't on every day, so if it's your thing (it is a really short trip & there is an extra charge for it) please do check in advance. There's an interactive area, aimed mainly at children, but there is a sectioned off area for over 18s only - it's £5 for twenty minutes... and it's an adult ball pool. We didn't have a go, maybe next time? There's also an interactive example of a pulley system, where you can have a go at lifting a mini up - both girls managed it!
Building 5 is outside of the main complex and across a not very busy - but still live - road. There's a zebra crossing and it's very close, it's the air and space building. With cars, planes, a very large Belvedere twin rotor helicopter, a power boat, and even a motorcycle for use with a wheelchair!
One of my favourite parts of the day though, was in the first building, towards the back, on the ground floor - they have a large area sectioned off to show what a cotton mill would have looked like - the demonstration, where they explain the process from cotton being imported right through to the final woven fabric - talking about the history of the industrial revolution, lasts around 20-30 minutes and is absolutely worth watching.
We had a fabulous day. The only downside we found all day, was how busy the trains were. We had two children with us, and had to stand the whole way home, and there were at least 5 cyclists, with bikes, just in our carriage, but having seen the Blackpool train a little earlier than ours, quite frankly we were lucky to get on at all. Some people didn't get on that one, and those that did were packed on like sardines - and we caught the train home on a weeknight before 5pm. Next time, we'll stay out for tea and get a later train home, or head home earlier - but you really do need a full day - which we had, and still didn't see everything, and we only managed one museum - so we'll have to go into Manchester for the Natural History Museum, the Manchester Metropolitan Police Museum (who have events on at half term) and the Art Gallery on other days!
As previously mentioned, I am participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) again this year. So blogging may take a back seat, plus, I am spending two (non consecutive) weeks in Birmingham for work in November. I shall endeavour to provide photos of Birmingham while I'm there.
I will still be attending regional write-ins when I'm at home though, and on Friday (30th October) the Chester Wrimos held our Meet & Greet session, where we have a social gathering and discuss what we hope to achieve and what we can expect to happen during our regular write ins (basically, a session where we meet up, and all write at the same time, in the same place, but have each other for both company and moral support. As we meet in a pub, this often includes food [which is cheap] and sometimes alcohol is taken, although the bar do serve teas, coffees and soft drinks too.)
It was lovely to catch up with people I haven't seen since last year, and also to meet people who are new and want to give it a go.
Zoo Member's Day:
As promised, a few more photos from Chester Zoo this weekend: