Accompanied (as a helper) the year 2 trip to Herstmonceax Science Centre at the former Observatory. Coaches left from school and then I was allocated a mixed-bag group of 4 nibboes to look after (including Pip, of course). Lots of “hands-on” science exhibits – and some supervised bridge building. There wasn’t really enough time to go into depth into what the exhibits were actually showing, though – especially when some of the adult energy is spent “rounding up” the ADD candidates… this is often the failing with the interactive type museum/ exhibition – things are presented in child-friendly steel and primary colours, with attractive splashing water or flashing lights – the kids steam into them without reading the “what to do…” notices, and either start the thing moving or get it wrong. By the time you’ve got them calm and off the apparatus and explained what you’re supposed to be doing, either they are bored of it and want to move on, or you’re out of time and have to move off. Anyway, there were some great exhibits, I especially loved a photosensitive deck onto which you could cast a shadow (hand, head, etc), then activate a flash – the outline of the shadow held for around 30 seconds, gradually fading. They also had an excellent “tornado machine” which whipped dry ice into a vortex you could disrupt with your fist. And we all like disrupting a vortex with our fists, don’t we? Anyhoo a good time was had by all.
I want to go back, as there was lots we didn’t get to see. The buildings were lovely, designed in a very late deco or very early modernist stylee, and including maybe 6 or 7 rather beautiful domed telescope towers, all in nicely kept grounds. And there’s a castle right next door, which we didn’t get to. And I was very sociable with “mothers” and “teachers” alike – I was the only gentleman in our group and got rather spoiled, I suspect. I’ve had a pleasant day!

In other news, Mumsie is at home post-hozzer now, and is recovering well.


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