Report on the Let’s Go trip to Blist Hill 11 July 2017.

Ernie Rogan

What a day !! Continuous heavy rain, traffic jams in both directions, but were the members downhearted ?  The “village” of Blist Hill is a living museum, close to Ironbridge and the origins of the Industrial Revolution. Although there was not a village on this site, houses shops and places of work, have been moved brick by brick to create this Victorian atmosphere. The entrance to the site is unusual, moving into darkness and climbing a staircase to overlook and feel the sensation of working in a heavy industrial environment. From there visitors go directly into the village streets with and the many establishments. Firstly a call at the Bank to exchange modern day money into token Victorian coins to spend in the shop: the sweet shop being favourite judging by the queues. The New Inn Public House served “original” Victorian fare and drink. Perhaps to everyone’s modern taste. Whereas the Forest Glen Refreshments Pavilion’s menu was most certainly up to date.

Of great interest was the Trevithick locomotive. The original was built in 1802; members saw a replica, made by local apprentices, from few original drawings. This remarkable vehicle trundles its way for 200 yards and then reverses. This is only fired up 3 times a week, so members were fortunate to see it.

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The chemist shop has featured in the tv series Victorian Chemist, and contains all the wonderful, colourful bottles and jars of the period.The winding engine for raising and lowering the cages down the 400 ft shaft was fully steamed and works at great speed. Members tried their hands at the Victorian Fairground, with coconut shy, hoopla and various other side shows.It was interesting to see the size of machinery made to make products. Huge beam and steam engines providing the power for the Industrial Revolution.

Despite the weather members commented, at the end of the day, that overall they had enjoyed the trip. The committee hope for better weather next time.