Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Christmas at the Black Country Living Museum

A bit of a catch up post ... something we did a couple of weeks ago.

Back in May during this years mini holiday, we went to The Black Country Living Museum (see here), when we bought our tickets we converted them, free of charge, into a year long pass.  So when an email pinged into my box saying that the museum was celebrating Christmas through the ages it seemed like too good an opportunity not to go again and make good use of the ability to get in 'free'. 

Using our Christmas present money and an anniversary gift from Mum we booked a night in a Premier Inn close to the museum, and paid for the dogs to go into our the local kennels.

It was a lovely way to celebrate our tenth anniversary, a weekend to ourselves mooching about in lovely old houses. 

We got to see lovely old delivery vans, vehicles and buses.

Some brilliant houses. 

The outside of this one was my favourite, something about the roof to the extension slanting in the opposite direction to the main house and yet it still looking totally sturdy.  Every house had people in period costume making Christmas gifts or foods, and roaring open fires to keep them warm.

This larder was decidedly un-festive ....

... but some of the plates on the shelves gave a list of rations and recipes for wartime treats, which explained the lack of cheer.

Potato Shortbread anyone?

The facilities in all the houses were of the decidedly weather unfriendly type.  These days we simply can't imagine having to nip outside to use the loo in the cold and damp of Winter.

There were Christmas present ideas in the shops.

The rooms above the radio shop were decked out for the festive period ...

... and the table laid ready for dinner.

Paper chains and Christmas cards above the shop next door.

A lovely little vintage tree ... I would love one of those now :-)

We were wrapped up warm, but it was really a lovely day, with a chilly breeze but glorious Winter sunshine.  We were very lucky with our choice of weekend as the following Sunday the whole place was closed due to heavy snow.

New tin bath for Christmas anyone?

And here was the 'National Elf Service' building.

I loved the old enamel pots and pans in this kitchen, and I have just been lucky enough to buy a large pan, just like the one on the front left of the cooker, off EBay for a fraction of the price it would have cost me from an antique shop :-)

The old china and pots caught my eye in this shop window.

The interiors were wonderful with swathes of festive Christmas greenery.

Peeking through each doorway was a true step back in time.

Another kitchen/living room.  This one in one of the little 'back to back' houses.

And all too soon, as the chill of the late afternoon started to fill the air it was time to nip onto one of the old buses and make our way back to the entrance and the gift shop.  Where one or two  purchases might have been made  ;-)

It was a lovely way to spend time celebrating our anniversary and gave us lots of ideas for next years Challenge.

Sue xx


  1. We wish we lived a bit closer to this as it's too far for a day out and difficult to shoe-horn in a night away with various commitments. Great photos, and we will have to get there and see it all for ourselves.

  2. Lovely day out, just the sort of thing we enjoy.

  3. I really enjoyed your post Sue as for many years I taught and lived in Wolverhampton, not all that far from the Museum. Until quite recently a friend ran the photographic studio there, where visitors could dress in the costumes of the times for 'old fashioned' photographs. I believe there is also a canal boat which goes under a tunnel. It is many years now since I went but it is a marvellous repository of so many things of that era.

  4. We don't live too far from the Museum and until 7 years ago I worked in the Royal Brierley Crystal shop right next door. The shop has been demolished and the lush new Archive Centre built in it's place. It was a sad day when I had to leave. We too have an annual pass each and love to visit frequently. In the warmer weather we take a picnic to save a bit of cash but usually can be tempted to buy a coffee each. The fish and chips there are very tasty but a real luxury now that we are pensioners! Did you see the Peaky Blinders merchandise in the gift shop?

  5. Nostalgia for me, especially the 'kitchen/living room' of the back-to-back house.

    Joan (Devon)

  6. Looks like a wonderful place. Congratulations on your 10th anniversary.

  7. LOVE the Black Country Museum and Blists Hill and Beamish! Would love to go there for the WWII weekend but the Christmas themed houses look really good too. Must get there again ASAP

  8. Those photos took me back especially the skinny Christmas tree on the sideboard.

  9. We went there a few years ago when we were on holiday and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. Arilx

  10. I must go there one day, maybe 2018

  11. What a wonderful place to celebrate your anniversary.

  12. I would love to go somewhere like that. Have a Merry Christmas, Cheryl.

  13. We would love a trip there. In 1980 I was aged 16 and my parents moved to a cottage in Devon - with no bathroom at that point - we had a tin bath for months - what a faff that was in the tiny kitchen!!

  14. This is just up the road from me and just last Friday we went to a festive evening there. It was such a lovely thing to do. I'm glad you enjoyed visiting our corner of the world. It's a great place to visit. :)

  15. As a very proud Brummie, can I recommend that next time you come up to the Black Country Museum you tag on a visit to the Back to Backs in Bham city centre. Literally just 5 minutes walk from New Street Station. National Trust properties and so fascinating. Google them and see. The guides are brilliant, I've taken several people there and never had a duff guide ('duff' - not sure if word is Brummagen or not, means rubbish anyway). Surprised no one asked if your hubby's 'donnies' were cold though, seeing as how in the picture he doesn't seem to be wearing any 'mitties.'

    1. I'm hoping we can get to see the Back to Backs next year sometime, hopefully before our Black Country passes run out then we could go back again. We are NT members so it would be another cheapish day out 😊

      Michelle, from Remembering the Old Ways blog, posted photos of them on her Instagram page, they look brilliant. She said the same as you about the guides.

      As a Mancunian I know 'duff' 😉

  16. I'm from the Black Country originally and have watched the Museum grow and change as we try and visit regularly when we are back visiting the area. It's 'bostin' as the locals would say. The Bottle & Glass pub is always worth a visit and the canal tour into the underground caverns. There's a similar Museum in Telford near the Iron Bridge which is a great day out too.

  17. Isn't it a great museum.
    Happy Anniversary.
    Fondly Michelle

  18. thank you so much for sharing your museum visit! loved it!
    strange how they never over did the xmas decorations back then, they were always kept very simple.
    it seems your snows are late this year
    have a wonderful xmas & safe new year
    thanx for sharing


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