Have you ever felt like you wanted to go back in time, back to the Victorian Era; back to days of pounds and shillings, horses and carts, coconut shys and penny sweet shops.
We recently did exactly that and loved every minute. I found the website for Blists Hill Victorian Town whilst researching the ‘what to do page’ on the Q Hotels site. We had never been to Telford, or its surrounding areas. In fact we had never considered visiting. Why? I am ashamed to say probably a tiny bit of ignorance, and a little of sticking to what we know and love.
Telford has so much to offer, it is full of beautiful quant villages, incredible museums, and stunning countryside, there is so much to for visiting families to see and do.
The Victorian Town is set on a 52-acre site; it really is a museum with a difference. Finding a historic attraction that has the ability to engage and educate children is fantastic. And from stepping through the door off the old train station that transports you back in time, the boys were fully engaged and engrossed in life in the late 1800s.
We started by changing our money in the village bank, the village works on old money, it is faithful to its theme and does not accept credit cards. There is the facility at the bank to change your money to old money, or you can use new money if you wish to.
We chose to embrace Victorian life and boys changed £5.00 each, they spent some time chatting to the bank manager who explained how the currency works, the value of money and how its value exchanges in relation to todays values, they discussed monthly wages, the prices of products and services and the sacrifices people would have to make to afford luxuries in the Victorian era.
To be honest, the boys would have spent longer in the bank, but I was so excited to get out and see the rest of the village, it all looked so inviting and exciting.
Blists Hill is not a tradition museum, but a perfect representation of what life would have been like in Victorian times, like walking into a perfect bubble filled with all that was good about the era.
It was wonderful to walk down the quaint village high street and visit all the beautiful shops. My favourite was the chemist, the potion collection was vast and there was a knowledgeable pharmacist on hand to tell us all about lotions and potions back in the day.
Joe was a little traumatized by the dentist’s chair, and all the gruesome looking tools and utensils the dentist would have used.
Whilst in the post office the postmaster explained how the postal service would have worked, and the haberdashery was just a dream with ribbons, tiny ladies gloves and gowns.
After spending some time meandering through the village of which there was also a working fish and chip shop, village pub with beer garden and photographers where you can dress up and get Victorian family photo, (book early as it was fully booked by the time we got to it) we wandered down through the industrial part of time, Chris and the boys enjoyed many talks about industry and trades of the time whilst I wandered round looking at the beautifully set houses and chatted with the inhabitants.
We then visited the town fair; oh it was so lovely it felt like we were in an old movie with the tradition carousel, coconut shys and fairground games. The boys loved the fairground and the wonderful people on the stalls showed them magic and card tricks and talked to them about life in Victorian times. Joe and I loved the carousel and thoroughly enjoyed people watching as we went around in the hot afternoon sun.
I must say we felt sad when it was time to leave; we loved living in a Victorian bubble, it felt so beautiful, quaint and safe. I really felt we had truly nipped back in time for the day.
If you are thinking of visiting the Victorian town the check out the website as they hold so many events focusing on specific themes of the time, such a wartime, fashion and childhood.
It would be incredible to visit one of these events to see just how the town and its fantastic towns folk embrace issues and conditions of Victorian times, to give us a feel of how Victorians dealt with issues and highlights of the time.