Museum Director, Clare Grist Taylor, on why the Museum needs some down time to refresh, repair and reinvigorate.
While many of us are arriving back at work after a festive break refreshed and ready to greet the New Year, spare a thought for the Museum’s engines, which have just finished the year running flat out at our marathon four-day Steam Up.
Visitors always love to see our engines in steam, and we love showing them off, but we have to balance working them hard with the recognition that, from time to time, they also need some time off for repair and recovery. And it’s not only the engines that need some TLC: the infrastructure that supports them and the historical buildings that enclose them also need to be looked after.
That’s why we’ve decided to introduce Winter opening hours for January and February this year. We’ll still be open Wednesday-Sunday – as well as every day during the February half term – but a couple of extra days a week for the next two months will help us to carry out the essential maintenance we need to keep the Museum and our collection in top condition. When we are open, we’ll be opening our doors earlier, at 10.00am rather than 11.00am (see details below).
We’re also closing the ever-popular Waterworks Railway until February half term to work on our engine, Thomas Wicksteed, and also the track. While the Railway is out of commission, we’ll be running our pumping engines every weekend. And keep an eye out on social media for some extra family fun activities, starting this Sunday (7th January) and next (14th) with songs and storytime sessions for the under-eights with Musical Mark.
The Railway will be back, raring to go, on 11th February, ready to run every day during our Spectacular Science Half term special.
Winter opening hours, January-February 2018:
Wednesday – Friday: 10.00am – 3.00pm
Weekends and daily during school holidays: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Pre-booked school and group parties are welcome at any time.