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Visit to Manchester Imperial War Museum

We set off from Clitheroe at 09.30am (Tuesday 6th April 2010) with nineteen young members heading off to the Imperial War Museum in Manchester. I had made out a list of questions for them to investigate ranging from who led the German Forces/people during World War Two to the significance of Dunkirk in the early part of the War. We arrived just before 11am and the first place to visit for all of them were the toilets.

We met up with Helen a Tour Guide who gave us a brief talk and left us to watch the large projected film which was shown on all the walls around us. The film related mainly to children refugees in the War and children being involved in fighting across the World from 1945-present day.

We then broke up into two groups to research the questions that had been set. This wasn't that easy and took some time for various reasons with the young people already wanting to have lunch so this we did at 12.30noon after having watched another film on the Blitz of London.

We went to the Green room for our snacks. The cafe food and drinks at the Museum were expensive in my view. The building is obviously meant to be disorientating - dark and gloomy as designed by Daniel Libeskind in 1979. This reflects the effect War has on people and more besides.

After lunch we went to the top of the building with the majority of the young people enjoying the experience of walking across mesh and looking several hundred feet down or putting their hands through the concrete/metal again into cold fresh air. One of the lads couldn't wait to get back in the lift and head for the ground.

At least 12 of the girls went up to the top of the Museum three times - under supervision of course - Good experience and many wanting to go back just to do that again.

We had a session on the computers and Roger our Film Man found his Grand Father who died in the First World War not having seen action but passing away on the ship that was to transport him and the other soldiers to France. Roger printed out his Grandfathers information.

Further research in the afternoon took us to 3pm for our departure. A quick check on the questions in the bus found that the majority had found the answers. Good stuff.

There was a range of different comments from the young people, for example:

We learned different things about World War 2 that we never knew.
It was a great experience.
It was really fascinating.
I liked the tanks as the are my favourite vehicle..lots of power, big guns.
I like the computers because of the mouse which was a ball shaped thing.
Very educational.
Learned about the past.
Made us think about the past.
Liked the films shows.

We got back to Clitheroe about 4.30pm and everyone set off home after a word or two about Thursday trip an even earlier start to the Eden Camp in North Yorkshire 08.15am!

My thanks got to Sharon Kennedy, David Bolton and Roger Leach for today and the young people.