10 October 2012

Milestones Hampshire's Living History Museum

Milestones is an incredible museum - one of the best I have ever visited.
My photos truly don't do it justice - this is a "must see for yourself" Museum!
Re-live yesteryear - you can even dress the part!  
The fact that Milestones have collected/restored/found so many incredible parts of British history is amazing and deserves to be visited, once, twice or even three times.
See the little boy selling matches - his bare feet open to the cold.
See the bicycle that was used to deliver the goods made by Twinings, the tea and coffee merchants.
Explore the Iron and steel works of Wallace and Stevens.
Visit an old Co-Op - so very different from today's large supermarkets.
Check out the rather sad looking display from the greengrocer - only local produce an only produce in season. Forget about getting those strawberries from overseas, it just did not happen.
The firemen were offered beer to cool them down after fighting a raging fire as the equipment was not as sophisticated as the engines today.
I am sure they did not complain too much - the more beer, the better they could fight the fire!
The saddler had to offer many different types of saddles and bridles and they all hung outside of his window where you could also hitch up your horse.
The Romany Vans cost 800 pounds in the 1800's, whilst one could buy a house for 300 pounds at that time. However, they were always on the move looking for seasonal work so the van suited their lifestyle. The decoration was according to their wealth - the more decorative, the better off the family obviously was. These vans were favoured by the rich as "holiday" homes and it was quite the fashion to own one!
The ironmonger had a conglomeration of goods required in the household and it was a veritable treasure trove.
The jeweller had a very smart shop front to entice buyers into his shop - his lights outside were beautiful and one can imagine the gentry buying their wives some fancy piece of jewelry from this shop.
Just looking at all the weights and measures of those days made me feel quite tired. So many weights and so many different scales - it must have been a nightmare buying anything in a hurry.
The Sweet Shop was full of school kids so we could not even get a look in although they were selling sweets to the public.
An old gramphone shop with a very ancient TV which only worked if it was within a few miles of the broadcasting station. Those houses must have been popular at the time - imagine - "we have TV" - it would have been the talk of the day.
Camera collections, toy collections, old vacuum cleaners, old stoves and fridges - just an incredible experience of yesteryear.
As you head towards the exit, they have a huge collection of amusement arcade games - many of which still work. You put in some new coins and will be given "old" pennies which can be used to play some of the games. We tried some horse jumping, the guillotine man (horrid!) and the palm reading which was fairly accurate or so I like to think!!!
There are a number of Thornycroft vehicles on show - these were made in Basingstoke.
Looking at the curling tongs, one has to wonder what possessed these women to go through such indignities just to look "better"
Apparently all women hated the laundry days so the invention of the washing machine was very much welcomed.
If you are ever in the Basingstoke area, do pay a visit to Milestones - you will be amazed at the collections, the vintage cars and transport of the day plus the time warp displays of the various shops.
AND the Arcade Games that still work!!

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