Furnace, fire and steam

Summer school holidays 26th July – 3rd September Furnace, fire and steam inspired events mark Ironbridge Gorge Museums’ 50th anniversary

Go along to the Ironbridge Gorge Museums during the summer school holidays between 26th July and 3rd September and join in a variety of furnace, fire and steam inspired events marking the museum’s 50th anniversary and celebrating the power and innovation behind the Industrial Revolution.

At Blists Hill Victorian Town

Various steam machines will be in action on different days; get up close and personal to discover how they work. The Town’s replica of Trevithick’s Coalbrookdale 1802 locomotive and the newly restored Winding Engine will be amongst the machines in steam. On Wednesday mornings see the spectacular iron casting demonstration and blazing furnace in the Town’s Iron Foundry.

Younger visitors can follow a fun self-led family trail around the Town, take part in lessons in the Victorian School House and have a go on the Victorian Fairground.

Over at Enginuity in Coalbrookdale enamelling, pewter casting and paddleboat making workshops will take place between 10.30am and 3.15pm on different weeks. Between 26th and 30th July, and again from 7th to 13th August, you can decorate copper key rings using enamel beads and watch as they are fixed in place using high temperatures in a mini-furnace.

From 31st July to 6th August, or 14th to 20th August, try your hand at making a pewter medallion to attach to a key ring, while the paddleboat making sessions will be held from 21st August to 3rd September.

Visitors to Coalport China Museum can gain inspiration from the bottle kilns then use their creativity to sculpt a model from air-drying clay to take home. The drop-in sessions will take place between 11am and 3.30pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Young artists can also decorate ceramic money boxes or fridge magnets, and paint china flowers, every day throughout the summer school holidays.

 Information for visitors

Most of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum are open daily from 10am until 4pm; Blists Hill until 4.30pm. A great value Annual Passport Ticket allowing unlimited entry into all ten costs £25 per adult, £20 for seniors, £15 for children (16 years or under), £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 will vary from day-to-day and some additional costs will apply. For further information, call 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk.

Where to stay:

The four star Telford Hotel and Golf Resort at Madeley is a short drive from the museums, B&B for two sharing starts from around £110 per night, to book visit www.qhotels.co.uk or call 01952 429977. Or stay in the heart of Telford near the Town Park and new Southwater dining and leisure centre for evening entertainment where the Holiday Inn Telford/Ironbridge is offering B&B from around £80 per night for two sharing; to book call 01952 527000 or visit www.hitelfordhotel.com.

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