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11/20/2009

please touch

I went to The Great North Museum in Newcastle last weekend.

I used to go there all the time as a kid when it was known as The Hancock Museum (the sign above the door still says Hancock)

Hancock 

I loved the Hancock. It was full of old wooden glass cabinets with the most amazing array of everything from mummies through to insects, flowers, stuffed weasels, mountain lions and barn owls plus a life size T-Rex skeleton and a giant whale.

It had that gloomy yet enticing feel about it which made you want to ditch your parents, wander off, get lost and learn loads.

It's been shut for a while for a refurb and given that millions were spent doing it, I worried it was going to lose its old museum charm.

Inside 
Brilliantly it hasn't.

The building is essentially the same. Same grand old staircases and a few of the cabinets knocking about. They've made the bits that were too dark much lighter and airier but retained the atmospheric half light for the areas that need it.

As well as keeping the stuffed animals, mummies and cabinets, there are also loads of new exhibits, displays and lots of interactive stuff.

I liked this sign

Touch me

Being able to touch stuff really compacts the whole learning experience (and it's nice not being told off before you've even done anything wrong)

 Fossil love

New meets old. Modern intertwined with classic.

Just hope they keep the old sign above the door.

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