Children step back to Victorian times at Bradford Industrial Museum

Gabby Lock, 8, with Nicola Fox, who helps her decorate a dolly peg during the Victorian-themed family activities at Bradford Industrial Museum

Amelia Wilkinson 10 decorates a dolly peg during the Victorian-themed family activities at Bradford Industrial Museum

Lynn Bray with Amelia Lock, 3, and Emily Shepherd, 4, at the Victorian themed family activities at Bradford Industrial Museum

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

FAMILIES enjoyed an opportunity to step back into Victorian times at Bradford Industrial Museum yesterday.

Children attending a free drop-in day at the Bradford Council-run attraction in Eccleshill, organised in conjunction with the Mythical Maze Summer Reading Challenge across the district's libraries, took part in storytelling sessions and made Victorian peg dolls with a mythical twist.

Visitors also had the chance to sample some of the museum's regular exhibits, such as meeting Nellie the steam engine, and join in a hands-on rug-making session with the West Riding Ruggers, a community group based at the former mill site.

Rebecca Dawson, learning and support officer for Bradford Council, said: "We organise specific family days to accommodate everyone, and today is all about engaging families and allowing them to enjoy themselves.

"We work closely with the libraries on their mythical maze summer reading challenge, and we've tied in activities such as the Victorian peg dolls.

"They are being given mythical costumes, so it's very much the Victorian era meeting the ancient world.

"There is also a lot of the museum's machinery in operation, like the print gallery, the textiles weaving and looming, and our blacksmith.

"People get a glimpse into Bradford's past, and children understand the type of recreational activities they might have done back then.

"We want to encourage families with a four year-old, 14 year-old, mum, and grandma to be able to come along and know this is somewhere they can visit together."

Lynn Bray, from Pudsey, who attended with four children she acts as a childminder for, said: "We came last year and really enjoyed it, we also come for the Victorian Market later in the year.

"The children really enjoy it, and love looking at machinery like the old cars. It's interesting and really occupies them."

David Lambert, from Wortley, said his two children, Chloe and Daniel, enjoyed learning about Bradford's industrial past.

"It's great for children to be able to understand the history of where they live and get a flavour of days gone by," he said.

"Events like this are great for keeping them entertained during the holidays, and they love it."

Getting to grips with making her Victorian peg doll, nine year-old Eleanor Fullingham, from Shipley, said: "We're trying to make them look a bit mythical, with their faces and hair. I enjoy making the dresses for them the most."

The drop-in day is repeated on Wednesday, August 27, from 11am to 3pm, and more information on the Industrial Museum is available at www.bradfordmuseums.org.

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