There are a couple of 'experiences' sections: one for the First World War trenches; and, one for the London Blitz. The trench experience is a dark section where you walk through trenches towering above you with spooky sound effects and a few bodies which was really quite scary, giving an excellent impression of the claustrophobia of the tunnels and the awful moment of having to 'go over the top'. The Blitz experience is rather different as they run on a schedule and once your slot arrives, you gather in a small dark room with fellow 'blitzers' and realise you are in an air raid shelter. Then the raid starts and the room shakes and the loud and ominous sound of bombs falling really makes you jump - just imagine that for 57 nights in a row which is what happened in London in 1940! After the all clear sounds you walk out through another dark section which aims to give an idea of what it would be like to emerge from an air raid shelter into a badly damaged London. Both 'experiences' are well worth doing but worth asking about suitability for younger children.
What else? Lots of planes and guns and you can even walk through the cockpit of an old bomber. Loved seeing the elegant Spitfire and the much older bi-plane.
There are a couple of very sobering sections: one being the Holocaust Exhibition and the other the Crimes Against Humanity. The Holocaust Exhibition traces the rise of Nazism and the growing anti-semitism through to its horrific conculsion in the death camps, using a range of photos, testimony, maps and individual stories. The Crimes Against Humanity shows us some more horrors with a series of films and a timeline of endless crimes. Terrifying, sad and very important stuff. This photo shows one of the propoganda moves that were part of the Nazi war machine.
And last but not least and on a much lighter note - the shop! It's brilliant and is full of history and books and biographies, cards, toys, information, silly presents and things that bring home the wartime privations as with this tin of tea. The contents of this very small tin are the weekly tea ration in the UK during the Second World War and it's not much at all, cuppas must have been very weak!
Bye for now,