Thursday, 23 September 2010

gas museum

I spent a very lovely hour or so today at the National Gas Museum in Leicester. I went to school in Leicester and did work experience in two museums there and even so, had no idea at all that the gas museum was there. I realise this sounds like a very odd way to spend the afternoon and I wasn't entirely sure about it myself before I went but I genuinely enjoyed myself and learnt a huge amount, which is my idea of a good day trip. It is not a huge place, there are two floors housed in the original gatehouse of the gas-works on the British Gas site. They do however have an awful lot of exhibits and information. We got there a bit early and so had to wait for it to open, the outside looks pretty abysmal, nothing worth a trip but we stuck around and it's a good job we did. First of all the curator, Dorothy, was completely wonderful. She pointed out all of the key parts of the museum, showed us an introductory video and gave us a printed tour-guide to carry around. I told her that it was a research trip for me and she gave me some supurb information and let me know which parts of the collection would be helpful. The collection of gas-related artefacts was really quite stunning and it was a bit of a revelation to see how much you can do with gas and without electricity. The kitchen was wonderful - a toaster, curling tongs and even a hairdryer on display. I would not like to revert to a life with only gas for heat, light and power but it was hugely interesting and a very useful trip in terms of research. If you happen to be near Leicester then I would recommend a visit to this wonderful little museum.

The National Gas Museum is at 195 Aylestone Road (A426) and is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12.00-4.30pm. You can get hold of the curator at or on 0116 2503190.

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