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Winston Churchill’s Britain at War Experience

The Second World War, blitzed

Written by . Published on September 15th 2011.

Winston Churchill’s Britain at War Experience

WINSTON Churchill’s Britain at War Experience museum attempts to capture a realistic exploration of the daily experiences and hardships of the people working and living in Britain during World War II.

The museum promises to deliver an experience you can see, feel and breathe, while the displays are authentic and informative, the presentation is at best amateurish.

As you enter, a lift takes you down into an old London underground air raid shelter, where you are transported to war-torn Britain to view film footage of first hand accounts of those years. The atmosphere is dark and foggy with a distinct smell of damp in the air, creating a more vivid experience of life during the Blitz. 

Entering into the main exhibition, the recreated scenes lack some imagination and it is clear the place is in need of maintenance. Interesting newspaper articles and letters from the period line the walls, interspersed with cabinets of genuine wartime artefacts’ and memorabilia from the Second World War.

A BBC radio exhibition allows visitors to enter and listen to the recordings of influential figures from the period such as Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler.

While educational, the experience is most suited to family days out and school trips, the museums hands-on approach allows children to dress up in old wartime uniforms and gas masks, huddle in the Anderson shelter and listen to the noises of an air raid overhead, then sit underneath a Morrison Shelter. 

The tour finishes with a recreation of the Blitz, lights, smoke and sound effects, accompanied by random limbs of mannequins strewn in various positions that are used to create a somewhat disappointing experience of the aftermath of a bomb explosion.

The museum promises to deliver an experience you can see, feel and breathe, while the displays are authentic and informative, the presentation is at best amateurish. 

At £12.50 per adult and £5.50 per child, you would expect a lot more for your money, but for those broadly interested in war and the history Britain, or want to give the kids a small taste of what life was like during these unforgettable years will find the experience enjoyable.


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