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Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Museum of Lincolnshire Life.

We (Natalie & I) have lived in and around Lincoln for forty years but had never visited the Museum of Lincolnshire Life until August 2013.


It is situated on Burton Road, Lincoln, housed in a former military barracks that were built in 1857 as the home of the Royal North Lincoln Militia. The buildings were in continuous use for military purposes until 1963. Close by is the City's impressive 'Cathedral Quarter' which includes the Cathedral and the Castle.

Main Entrance - Museum of Lincolnshire Life
Having eventually found somewhere to park our car, within reasonable walking distance; we entered the red brick Victorian Grade 11 listed buildings via the main entrance archway, above which is the regimental badge of the original occupants.

The staff manning the entrance and gift shop gave us a friendly welcome. We were given a leaflet explaining the route we should follow to get the best experience from our visit. I mentioned our forty-year delay in calling in and the amiable assistant said “I'm sure you will find the wait worthwhile.”

The exhibits displayed cover the period from 1750 to the present time encompassing examples of agricultural and rural life, local industry, transport, military history, and Victorian life at home and work.

The walkabout starts in the domestic zone with room layouts for the bedroom, kitchen, parlour and finally the washhouse. For visitors in their senior years the artefacts on display should bring back memories, the majority good but some not so, of life in their early years, and those of their parents and grandparents.


Wash House
Sadler's Workshop

Royal Lincolnshire Regiment. 

Passing through the stable, the saddler's and blacksmith's workshops, you arrive at the military galleries. This interesting area shows the history of the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment and its forebears. Details are displayed of the daily life of soldiers through the years, the uniforms worn, the equipment used, the campaigns that were fought throughout the world, the stories of gallantry and the medals awarded.

The tour continues into the weakest, disappointing transport area containing a few exhibits of modes of travel. Amongst them a small number of bicycles, motorcycles, three horse-drawn carriages and a 1920 Bullnose Morris car.

Can you remember where you rode these bicycles? 

 A tank called Flirt.

Stepping into the industry and agriculture gallery the most impressive exhibit is the genuine First World War tank called 'Flirt'.

Lincoln was renowned for its engineering skills and was the birthplace of the military tank. There are examples of industrial engines, steam engines and farm equipment designed and built by indigenous companies; whose presence now only exists in the city and the county as names of streets and buildings.

The final section is the commercial area. Here one can reminisce amongst the Victorian and Edwardian shops of the Ironmonger, Basket Maker, Printer, Post Office, Draper, Chemist, and General Store.

Goal achieved.

The museum's aim is to 'reflect the history and culture of the people of Lincolnshire': it achieves that. Our two-hour travel back in time was an enjoyable and informative experience. The welcoming assistant was correct: our visit was worthwhile.

© Elliot Sampford 2013

1 comment:

  1. How interesting. My kind of tour, most definitely. I didn't know tanks were built in Lincoln. Thanks for posting this.


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