Top accolades for family-friendly museum

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No Caption ABCDE PNL-150206-115132001

Milton Keynes Museum has been voted one of the most family friendly in the UK.

The museum, in McConnell Drive, Wolverton, has appeared in final 20 of the annual Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Awards – out of more than 800 nominations.

Organised by Kids in Museums, the award is the only one to be judged by families, who nominate their favourites which are then ‘road tested’ by anonymous volunteers.

Museum director Bill Griffiths said: “Families tell us how much they have enjoyed their visit and I am sure that it is because we have something for everyone.

“We love welcoming families and have always believed that the best way to understand the past is to experience it. So when we say hands-­on, we mean it. From the moment people come through the door, there are things for them to try out – from taking on the family at puff billiards in the parlour to playing at being a switchboard operator in our Connected Earth gallery.”

Exhibits include a Victorian schoolroom, where children can sit at a desk and try writing on a slate as Victorian children used to do.

The popular High Street features shops and a cinema from days gone by.

In the Connected Earth gallery, kids can learn to send and receive Morse code, practise sending signals up the railway line 19th century style and play at being a switchboard operator in the fully working telephone exchange.

One reviewer said: “The lovely thing about this museum is the hands-­on exhibits. Everything that was reachable by small hands was touchable.

“We played with ancient toys, we toasted bread on the kitchen range and ate it, we did a brass rubbing in the chapel. It was all delightful.

“Then we came to the telephone room and I thought I’d never get the children away.”

The museum’s appearance in this week’s Sunday Telegraph 20­-strong ‘longlist’ caps off a hat­ trick of successes in May.

Leading tourism specialists Trip Advisor have just awarded Milton Keynes Museum its certificate of excellence for the third consecutive year.

And following a visit and tour by English Tourism’s official organisation, Visit England, the museum was once again awarded the Rose Quality Marque, with its highest mark yet.