Remembrance Sunday is coming up, so what better time to publish this post?
Welcome to Woodhorn! This place is pretty special to me for a few reasons, but the day before my birthday (as we were driving down to Newcastle for Disney on Ice) I wanted to take the opportunity to see the iconic ceramic Poppies from the Tower of London installation, which are on tour, before they left the fantastic North East Colliery Museum.
First, I must give the museum itself the credit it deserves. Before this visit I had been thrice as I used to live nearby and it was a fun date day for Jake and I in our early days (almost 4 years ago!). Not only that but I have a family history of colliery workers in mines just like this but elsewhere in the North East so I really appreciate and enjoy seeing and learning about that world.
Situated beside the QE (Queen Elizabeth) Lake, Ashington, the museum is free to visit. Originally a real working coal mine, the site is still home to many of the buildings and machines. There is also an amazing museum, The Cutter, with such wonderful exhibitions but those photos will feature in a separate blog post otherwise this would have gone on forever haha.
I could talk all about this place for ages, describing the atmosphere and feeling of standing where such brave, hardworking men made a living and a lot even sadly lost their lives, but I want you to go and experience it for yourself.Because we had arrived for opening time and most people ran straight for the Poppies, our walk around the museum and pit buildings was a lot more relaxing and thought provoking without anyone else being in them with us. There are great boards of information to explain more about each place, though we mustn't have read carefully enough when entering the 'Capell Fan House' haha - It was a pretty funny situation but terrifying at the time! When you enter the area is dark but there is a board with a button to push...I'm one of those people who push buttons straight away...and so set of a blue flashing light and a very loud fan. Cue running and screaming from Mam and I, as she hadn't seen me press the button, followed by a member of staff trying to stifle her laugh as she spotted us across the pit yard!
After making our way around the buildings, museum and gift shop (it has an awesome one with lots of super cool artwork, books and other interesting coal mining related nick naks), we made our way around to take a few quick snaps of the poppies before leaving.It was lovely to be able to see them as not everyone can easily get to London, which I think is forgotten a lot. I'll leave you with a couple photos of those and would love for you to tell me if there is anywhere like Woodhorn near you! Do you have a mining family? Have you gotten to experience the Poppy sculpture?