Yesterdays World: Great Yarmouth Day Out

Step back in time to experience the bygone era, Yesterdays World: Great Yarmouth will take you on a trip down memory lane. Journey through time experiencing the recreated life size shop displays and street scenes, sit in an air raid shelter or take a ride on the 19th century carousel, there is something for everyone at Yesterdays World.

Situated along the golden mile of Great Yarmouth experience an amazing 125 years of British social history magically brought back to life. Discover over 150,000 nostalgic artefacts set in 20,000sq ft of themed areas plus virtual and interactive exhibits.

The museum recaptures the past with many displays on show and fantastic memoribilia dating from the 18th century right up to the 1970’s. Discover fascinating facts from historical characters and see for yourself how life has changed since the nineteenth century. Displays include life size wax figures of King Henry VIII and his wives, also Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy in the Silent Movie Theatre. Watch classic silent movies from these famous stars. Sit in the NEW Anderson shelter display and experience a WWII air raid! Take a walk through the recreated life size street scenes and shop displays, taking in the evocative sounds and smells of past.

From the moment you step in to the Museum (before you even pay)  right through to exiting through the Victorian themed Tea Room, you are taken back into history. As you enter the Museum you can see straight away some of the superb displays with some fantastic memorabilia

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Having a go at an old arcade game
Dad has a good chat with Winston Churchill
Dad has a good chat with Winston Churchill

Once you pay for entry you take the stairs to the first floor, where you can meet King Henry vii and his wives, visit the Queen’s throne room and find out about Victorian life.

 

You then take a walk down the corridor where you can see displays of HG Wells Time Machine, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein’s monster and a fabulous collection of vintage cameras

 

Next take a walk through The Village Green and stroll through the Carpenters workshop, The Wheelwrights workshop and the Apothacary. Browse at the large selection of agricultural tools, trade bicycles and ailments. Listen to the short video in each area and experience what is was like to live in those days.

To continue the historical journey in the past, walk down the stairs and turn left onto the Station Approach. Here you can walk onto the Railway Platform and listen to the steam train arriving, look around and absorb in the atmosphere of WWII evacuees.

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Walk away from the Station Approach and look at the Victorian shop display fronts down Memory Lane, there are many artifacts to look at here like old banknotes, old toys and a tobacconist. The boys particularly enjoyed looking at the Toy Shop and was happy to see that their was brick building toys available back then.

Leaving Memory lane, walk back past the Train Station and onto Blitz street. Here you will be able to read about WW2, sit inside and air raid shelter and listen to the air raid siren or take a look at what a trench looked like.

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The best part of the tour has got to be the Carousel Parade, not only do you get to take a ride on a stunning 19th century restored carousel but you can walk inside the shops, which are full to the brim of memorabilia, and take a good look around.

The boys loved the Wall of mirrors and had so much fun standing in front of them and seeing how much their body shape changes with the different curved mirrors. Dad really enjoyed looking around the bike shop, as a cyclist he is very interested in bikes and he also enjoyed sitting down in the silent movie theatre and watching a classic Charlie Chaplin Movie.

Before you exit the museum you are taken through a Victorian style tea room, served by waiters and waitresses dressed in themed clothing, you can sit down and enjoy a cream tea before you leave. The Tea Room has been voted by local tourist as one of ’50 best places to eat by the sea’, you can visit the Tea Room at anytime and no need to walk through the museum to sit and enjoy a  tasty treat. We was served tea/coffee and cake after our walk through the museum, the waiter was friendly and the tea room was clean and comfortable. The choice of cakes was ample and they cater for children too by selling fruit juice.

The menu
The menu

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Yesterday’s World is a lovely and interesting day out, there are lots to see for all ages with many interactive displays for the children to get involved.

The Museum is currently looking for a Chief (child) Ambassador, Do you know a child under 8 that can user their imagination to help showcase the past to the visitors of the future? Take a look here for more information

Admission  Prices

  • Adult £6.95
  • Senior £5.95
  • Student £5.45
  • Special needs £5.45 ( Carer £2. 00 )
  • Child ( 4-15 years) £5.45
  • Family ticket ( 2+2) £22.80 – Extra Child £4.45

Or for what we had was a

See & Tea Ticket

  • £8.40

Enjoy the attraction for as long as long as you like and then follow it up with a slice of cake with a pot of tea or coffee

Open from 10.30 – 5.00pm

 We was supplied with family tickets for this review, photos and opinions my own.

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Defending Londons River at Tilbury Fort

Looking for somewhere to visit in Essex?

Why not have a day out at the English Heritage site Tilbury Fort!

Tilbury Fort
Taken from English Heritage site

The great artillery Fort was built in the late 17th Century to prevent hostile ships from sailing up the Thames and to prevent land attack. The fort is one of England’s  finest surviving forts from the 17th century complete with its circuit of moats and bastioned outworks still surviving. During the First World War, the fort became an important supply base for field army equipment, accommodating and supplying troops destined for the trenches.

Although not all of the fort’s buildings survived there are still the Gunpowder magazines, Guard house, North east and west bastion and the officers barracks to look around which all group around the parade ground where the troops would have drilled, trained, inspected, exercised and sometimes were punished. On the parade ground now you will see some of the army vehicles used and some anti aircraft artillery guns spotted around the paved parade. My boys loved looking at these historical artifacts and pretended that they were fighting each other across the parade.

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The foundations of the soldier barracks are clearly seen in the above picture.

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My boys were really excited to be able to touch and explore the vehicles and artillery guns and even had the chance to play with a gun on the east curtain where they could rotate and adjust the height of the gun to aim it at the passing boats on the River Thames, they even had a full view of the banks across the shore at Gravesend.

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A lot of the guns have moving parts and children are encouraged to play and explore them, this was a favourite of the boys and they spent quite a while (even though it was wet and windy) playing with them. Surrounded by the parade are lots of grassy banks that are brilliant for children to run up and down on.

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The walls surrounding the fort have openings in them which are called embrasures, these are where the artillery could fire through.

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Tilbury Fort has so many nooks and crannys to explore that it kept my boys busy for hours even in the rain! They really enjoyed exploring the magazines in the North East Bastion which were built underground and are protected by grassy mounds, within these passages were storerooms that stored shells and cartridges.

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There is an array of gunpowder barrels on display in the magazine houses which the boys likes to climb all over, so glad that they are just for show as I’m sure they would have set them off lol.

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The officers quarters still stands around the parade ground although they have been rebuilt and altered several times, inside these houses are wartime memorabilia of military items. We looked at an old kitchen stove,disposal kit, gun display, an array of gas masks, an officers bedroom (which Jak added that it was quite big) and there were a collection of manikin’s dressed in the old army uniform.

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We had a lovely day at the Fort even though we got soaked through from the torrential rain, it is definitely a place that we will be returning to in the summer, scattered around the parade ground are benches that are ideal for picnics, there is a gift shop that also sells hot and cold drinks.

If you are a big Sharpe fan you would love it here as this is the set where the TV historical drama was filmed during the Napoleonic Wars, the Fort is located half a mile away from Tilbury Town.

Costs: £4.60/ Adult,  £2.80 /Child or £12.00 for a family of 4.

Please check the website for more information on opening times

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Dover Castle come alive!

We woke up bright and early on Sunday morning ready for our trip down to the south coast to visit Dover Castle. Joseph dressed up in his very own futuristic outfit, wearing a Power Rangers body armour, a knights shield and his sword he was ready to defend the Castle if they were to be invaded whilst we was there.

King Henry ll built the Castle in the 1800s and over the next 800 years its building and defences were adapted to meet the changing demands of weapons and warfare.

We live in London, an hour and 15 minutes away from Dover, we had a smooth drive down, with no traffic and found the Castle easily. We arrived just in time for opening time which is 10.00am, we was directed to the car park by an attendant, we parked up and i went in to show our English Heritage Pass to the cashier, there is a different queue for members but i think they were a little short staffed as i had to wait a while at the members desk to be seen. We was all given our stickers to wear for entry and now we was ready to go and explore the Castle and it’s grounds.

The first place we went to visit on the grounds were the Secret Wartime Tunnels, they are guided staff and the tour takes about 50 minutes. There are 26 miles of chalk-cut tunnels beneath the castle which also house a hospital. During World War ll the tunnels crucially became Vice Admiral Bertram Ramsay’s bomb proof naval headquarters, where a handful of men and women planned there defence of the Royal Navy ships whose task it was to keep the enemy out of the straits of Dover. On May 26th, 1940 ‘Operation Dynamo’ commenced, the British Army and its allies were trapped at Dunkirk. On entering the tunnels you can immerse yourself into the drama of the daring evacuation that followed and relive the rescue. To bring the experience to life, the tunnels have light and sound effects, film presentations and radio messages played through out the tunnels and bunkers below.

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Next we took a walk up to the top of the hill where the Great Tower is, on the way up we looked around us and took in the amazing views of the Town below, it was a beautiful clear and sunny day so we could see for miles. The views are beautiful and very relaxing. On the way we passed the Roman Pharos which is a part of Dovers earlier history, built over 2000 years ago.

As we walked up a hill we walked through a tower and as Joseph was going through a Knight in his medieval clothes approached him, Joseph came running back to me, I told him that he was friendly and to go and talk to him, Knight to Knight. Joseph couldn’t believe his eyes, they talked about Joseph’s shield and he showed the Knight his Sword to which The Knight got out his sword and showed it to Joseph, they posed together for a photograph and then Joseph was asked if he wanted to train to become a knight, obviously the answer was yes, so we was told to meet in the courtyard at 12pm for a briefing from the King!

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Every weekend in July the Castle comes alive, when you visit the Great Tower you get to meet members of King Henry ll’s royal court, you get to experience medieval court life and interact with a host of characters including the King himself!

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In the court yard just next to the entrance into the Great Tower there stood a blacksmith who served the King, he was demonstrating to everyone what it was like to wear the chainmail armour, which consisted of hundreds of riveted metal rings. Under the metal armour a medieval knight wore a padded garment. The Knight would defend himself with a shield and a helmet. Joseph stood and listened to the blacksmith with much interest, he even placed his own shield against the Great Towers wall amongst the others.

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We took a self guided tour around the Great Tower, exploring the six recreated rooms, the King’s Hall, the Royal Chapel, Guests Bedchamber, Guest Hall, the Kitchen and Armoury. Once you climb up the winding stone staircase of the Great Tower you will be astounded by the panoramic views over the castle and down to the Harbour below.

 

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The favourite part of our day out had to be when Joseph met the King and bowed to him (top right above), he was starstruck and really believed that he was the real King, he was slightly worried when the King threatened to cut off peoples arms if they did not get measured up in armour to become a knight for him, he kept saying “He doesn’t mean it really, does he?” Joseph also got to sit down on the *Ahem* Royal Throne and The King himself addressed Joseph thanking him for turning up to the castle dressed ready for action.

We all had an amazing time and have come away with some lovely special memories of our day, Joseph has come away with some new stories to pass on to his classmates, he hasn’t stopped talking about the King and how he that he has to return to help the King fight. Visiting the Castle has made us look at visiting other English Heritage sites more often, we have our Handbook and are all ready planning our next visit to another Heritage site nearby.

Prices into the castle include the secret wartime tunnel tour:

Adult £14.00  Concession £15.30  Child £10.20  Family £44.20

The Castle opening times are:

29 Mar-31 Jul 10am-6pm

1-31 Aug 9.30am-6pm

1-30 Sept 10am-6pm

For all over information please visit www.english-heritage.org.uk

I was provided with a English Heritage Media Pass in order to review the Castle and one more event. NMEH2013

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