Magoo had been asking if we could "go on a double decker bus" over the school holidays. Because we all like visiting Bristol and the bus stop is situated at the top of our road, we decided to jump on a double decker and head to the city. Like I say, I'd been itching to see the Story of Children's Television" exhibition for a while now. Because this temporary display covers Children's Televison from 1946 up to the present day, I knew Grandma, myself and Magoo would all find something to enjoy.
The M-Shed is situated right in the middle of Bristol Harbour, so there are plenty of boats to see. At the moment there is an impressive tall ship called the Kaskelot moored opposite the M-Shed. It was a truly magnificent sight and you can't help marvel at the size of it. If you look at the ship's website, you can see images of it at sea in full sail.
After admiring the Kaskelot we stopped off at Millenium Square to see the Official Team GB FanZone where live coverage of the Olympic Games from Rio is shown on a big screen. Grandma and I drank a cup of tea from the @Bristol Cafe and we all ate homemade cake watching the swimmers do their thing at the Olympic Games.
Once we'd finished our tea and cake, we headed across Pero's Bridge to reach the Queen Square side of the water. Whilst on the bridge, we stopped to look at the padlocks covering the sides. These 'love locks' are attached to the metal grids by couples as a romantic gesture and the amount of padlocks has steadily grown over the years. I was surprised at just how many locks are now on the bridge, they seem to have covered every available space.
The council don't like them and there were attempts to cut them off in 2015. Bristol citizens have a habit of not doing what is expected of them. It seems the council's dislike of the locks has prompted a whole sea of them to appear. I don't find them offensive and we all enjoyed looking at the names, inscriptions and different shaped locks.
We walked past the Arnolfini and across the swing bridge on Prince Street. Before we went into the M-Shed we took a moment to look at the sun shining on the water in Bristol Harbour and admire The Matthew. The "Modern Matthew' is a replica of the caravel ship sailed by John Cabot in 1497 from Bristol to North America.
It is a beautiful boat, run by volunteers and funded by charitable donations. Magoo was keen to climb down the wooden steps to see below deck. We found about eight small bunks crammed into a tight space. It's hard to imagine how the 1497 crew sailing to Newfoundland lived, ate and slept in such a small space. It must have been horrendous in severe storms and rolling waves.
After our tour of The Matthew we headed into the M-Shed. There is so much to see and lots to learn about Bristol life past, present and future. One of my favourite parts of the M-Shed are the perspex boxes cut into the wall looking out over the docks. There are quite a few of these 'windows' and each one is filled with intricate model boats. I love the juxtaposition of the tiny models against the impressive sight of a real tall ship outside.
The museum is divided up into three main areas, Bristol Places, Bristol People and Bristol Life. Each section spans past history and places through to modern day characters like Banksy. There's even a bright green, full-sized Bristol Bus from the 1960s for everyone to jump aboard. Magoo loved this part the best and she had the opportunity to sit on the top deck of a modern bus and an old fashioned one all in the same day.
Once we managed to coax Magoo off the bus we headed to the Children's Television Exhibition on the top floor. It was, as I had hoped, a complete nostalgia-fest! So many memories flooded back and I adored seeing Humpty from PlaySchool, Gordon the Gopher, puppets from Button Moon, DangerMouse and many, many more.
Magoo was also in her element as the exhibition features modern day TV programs from Cbeebies and CBBC. Having said that, she was glued to the compilations being shown on various televisions around the exhibition. The clip of Pogles' Wood which was made back in the late-1960s caught her attention and she particularly loved Roobarb and Custard. I know watching TV often gets a bad rap, but we all have shows we loved as kids and this exhibition celebrates that. Children's TV holds happy memories for lots of people and we all loved looking at the exhibits.
Once we'd had our fill of nostalgia we headed back out into the sunshine for an ice cream. As we looked out over the water I promised Magoo we would make a return visit to the M-Shed. We had barely scratched the surface of the vast array of items on display and we'll definitely be back...
This week I am linking up with:
"Country Kids" over on www.coombemill.com