Milestones is a perfect historic day out for all the family whatever the age.
Today we decided to go back in time and wander around the historic streets of Milestones museum. We walked from street to street on cobbles whilst walking over tramlines and seeing bikes, horses and carriages.
We visited the vintage penny arcade first where the children eagerly emptied our pockets for change to change into old penny coins, then they were away.
There are numerous different old machines where you can spend your penny’s, from a Sooty show to the grand national. Some of our favourites were the puppet shows, grab a sweet machines and some of the children’s ride on machines.
We then went to the post office where the children can get very involved in role playing. There is a large vehicle display from classic cars and motorbikes, lorries and a Romany caravan to a huge fire engine and Victorian trams, all of which are from the 1930’s and 1940’s and have been beautifully restored.
There are some very well thought out room sets from the 1930’s to the 1970’s which we all found very interesting to see how people used to live.
Just found the corner from these room sets is an air raid shelter.
Although our children did not really understand what it was, I felt quite emotional about what people went through during the 1st and 2nd world wars.
The children then jumped aboard the beautifully restored Leyland 1930’s bus where our son pretended to be the conductor whilst our daughter decided to “drive” the bus. Again this bus was spotless and nothing like our buses today. This bus would have been used a lot in World War 2 as petrol was rationed and people relied on buses to get to and from work.
Over the road from the bus is a bicycle shop where on display were some elegant Penny Farthing bikes from the 1870’s and even our 3 year old agreed that these would have taken some practice to get used to riding them.
Next to the bicycle shop is a 1940’s sweet shop, where we were all excited to visit. Back in the 2nd World War where sweets were heavily rationed, only a few sweets could be bought each week.
So we entered the shop with our old penny and our ration coupon where it was ticked off and then we could choose our sweets.
The lady behind the counter dutifully weighed them out and they were placed in a paper bag for our enjoyment.
There are a variety of shops from a saddlers to a fruit and vegetable stall where we nearly mistook the pretend food for real whilst we weighed it out in role play activities.
Among the streets is a pub. This can’t be a working pub I told myself – I was very wrong.
The Baverstock Arms is a small traditional pub in Jubilee Street and there seemed to be a very friendly atmosphere inside. The pub serves Gales Ales, soft drinks and teas and coffees at certain times throughout the day.
I wasn’t too sure about dressing up the children in Victorian clothes but we all had great fun and it just added to the entertainment of the day.
There is an impressive area which demonstrates the working force behind a steam engine. You can clearly see The Smoke Box And Boiler, The Rear Axle and The Cylinder and Motion Works in full flow. We stood for a while just watching these incredible machines.
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We entered another area where our last mission (my husbands!) was to build the Milestones version of a Viaduct Bridge and there are foam bricks identical in shape to those of a Viaduct.
Building such a bridge is rather hard on your own but we joined forces with another family and soon we had built the perfect bridge although the children made sure it didn’t stay standing for long.
Nowhere is complete without a coffee, lunch and cake and the retro café here compliments the whole atmosphere so very well. There are plenty of toilets which are immaculate and there are lifts as an alternative to stairs. The parking is plentiful and free.
For more information visit http://hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/milestones-museum