We can travel for miles to uncover the history of an area, not realizing how much is on our doorstep. This is why we are starting a new blog series, Days Out, sharing with you some of the local places the Nurture Community have experienced, and recommend!
Days out as a family can be tricky for the Wilcox family; coordinating diaries and finding places that will interest both her 16 years and her 9-year-old! Co-Director Clara visited the Museum of Cannock Chase in February 2022, to see their “pop up” exhibition, all about the asylums of Staffordshire, and stayed to explore the whole museum.
You may already be aware of Cannock Chase, as the 6800 hectares of outdoor space North of Lichfield and may have already spent some time near one of its six visitor centres and the wonderful outdoor space around it. Today, Clara’s going to share why you need to add the Museum to your “to-visit list”
“The free Museum of Cannock Chase is situated on the site of the old Valley Colliery; now it not only houses some fascinating history of the local area but the gateway to the Hednesford Hills Nature Reserve. Only 15 minutes’ walk from Hednesford bus and railway station, with plenty of free parking, there is a chance to spend an educational and fun afternoon with the family.
Whilst we had plans to go for a walk after our visit, the weather had other ideas, so we spent all our time within the Museum. We were welcomed warmly by that staff, and we were encouraged to walk around the museum and take in the permanent exhibitions at our own pace. The downstairs exhibitions, of the history of the area, including famous local citizens, its industrial beginnings and how the area grew, are better suited for older children; whilst they have some interactive activities, the exhibitions are quite a text and display heavy.
The second floor brings with it a delight of imagination. Its 1940’s front room and Miner’s cottage are great for those interested in social and local history whilst the toy museum will have grown-ups reminiscing about their favourite toys from their youth. The highlight, for all of us, was within the Coal Mining Gallery, including the “miners lift” and the crawl through tunnel!
They have a small coffee shop, and gift shop on-site; whilst we didn’t sample refreshments it was great to know there was an option. They also run a range of different activities throughout the month and during the school holidays (you can find out more and book on the socials) as well purchase self-guided outdoor adventures packs.
The end result?. A lovely place to spend time with family of all ages, and you can make a day of it if you stick around and explore the local area. I’m certainly going to make sure I spread our wings a bit further across the whole of Cannock Chase for the future!”