British inventiveness will be celebrated with all manner of mechanical marvels, including clocks, cranes and bridges. Much of the technology on show is taken from the 19th century, with clockwork and hand-cranked amusements to delight all ages. A number of enthusiasts will also be demonstrating the latest Meccano electronic robots, who respond to voice commands. This might present a challenge for the rich accents of the West Midlands and beyond.
Meccano was the last great Victorian invention, patented by Frank Hornby in 1901, at the end of Victoria’s reign. Originally marketed as Mechanics Made Easy, the Meccano system continues to thrive. Colours, materials and factories may have changed, but the dimensions and chunky screw threads are still Victorian.
The museum is open 10am to 5pm; a great value Annual Passport Ticket allowing unlimited entry into all ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums costs £27.95 per adult, £21.50 for seniors, £16.95 for children under 18, £68 for a family of two adults and all their children and £50 for a family with one adult; under 5s free (terms and conditions apply); Passports can also be bought online in advance saving 10% and individual entry tickets are available at each museum. Activities and workshops vary day-to-day and some carry an extra charge.
For further information, contact the Ironbridge Tourist Information Centre on Tel: 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk and www.tims.org.uk. The Gorge is easily reached via the M6 and M54 motorways exiting at Telford (M54 junction 4 or 6).
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