Now let’s be honest, when you think of my home town Barnsley, your first thoughts aren’t likely to be of tourist attractions. In fact, I darn’t ask what your first thoughts might be… However, Barnsley actually has six museums (even I didn’t realise this) and the newest of which, Experience Barnsley, is sure to be a real game changer for the town.
My first experience of Experience Barnsley *sigh* was when I attended a lecture on the dialect of Royston, a suburb of Barnsley (hey, I’m just that cool ok!). I entered through the museum but quickly whisked myself off to the lecture which was held in the Council Chamber within the Town Hall. The council chamber is a beautiful room and the lecture was very interesting. I won’t go into that as I don’t want to repel my readers with my nerdyness! Afterwards, I didn’t check out the museum itself. I didn’t want to rush myself, so a week later, with my little sister in tow, I went into town determined to check it out.
I have to say, I’m impressed! When I first walked in I bumped into a friend who works there and told her that already it looked much better then I had expected. She said they get that a lot (us Barnsley folk are ever the optimists). The museum is a lot of fun. It falls into the category of the more hands-on modern museums and although there are lots of things behind glass, there are plenty of things to touch, play with and watch. It included the things everyone expected – industrial mining and glass, Barnsley FC and Kes but also things people wouldn’t expect like an art gallery. It takes the town way back to the roman times and beyond, which I did not expect. There are also many interactive features to keep people of all ages interested, including a film showing one Barnsley street throughout the ages, music made my people from the area and even a section on the infamous dialect.
Overall, I’d say that there is something here for everyone. You can easily spend a couple of hours here and they have new exhibits every few months. Did I mention it’s totally free? There’s also a cafe and a gift shop so if you’re visiting Yorkshire any time soon I recommend you take a visit.
This articles originally appeared on Kariss Ainsworth’s blog Shy, Strange and a Little Bit Manic in August 2013.
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