Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Imperial Digger Museum

You know when people tell you not to worry about something until it happens? Well, sometimes they're right. (Only sometimes, mind.) Last week's destination was a trip to the Imperial War Museum (triggered by collective parental guilt about our lack of knowledge about the Battle of Britain after a visit to Louis' great-grandpa). I figured we'd able to do a quick crash course, while Louis amused himself looking at an aeroplane or two and wandering through the trenches. What I hadn't figured was what I'd tell him the museum was all about. After all, war is a tough concept for anyone to grasp, let alone a two year old.

But as it turned out, I needn't have fretted. Louis took one look at the giant caterpillar tracks on the tanks dotted throughout the ground floor and said: "Diggers!" After that, it was just a question of dragging him away from them long enough to find the Second World War exhibit. Which we did, but only after walking through the replica trenches at least six times. (Again, concerns that he might be scared by the dark, like a fellow toddler who was inconsolable after her parents tried to take her in, were pointless; he adored them, mainly because we had to walk on the "train track" because of all the mud....) Only Louis would watch a black-and-white film of the Blitzkrieg through France twice over because he was waiting for the German Panzer digger brigade to reappear.

The only disappointment was that you can't actually climb into any of the diggers, sorry, tanks, although you can walk through the nose of one of the bomber planes and explore a submarine. And that he didn't give us quite long enough to atone for years of ignorance about the finer points of the Battle of Britain. So instead, I wrote a comment piece about it for the Indy on Sunday, which you can read here if you'd like. And no doubt we'll back at the Imperial War Museum soon enough, if only on another "digger" hunt.


Anonymous said...

I imagine it would be very interesting to see something so significant to our lives. I'm not Amy would like it, she tends to dwell on depressive periods in history.

CJ xx

Iota said...

I liked your article. I always think, though, that it's a pity the curriculum has to be the business of politicians. That means it is bound to be politicised, or at the whim of a Secretary of State. Why can't examination boards set the curriculum? And for the years before children are working towards A level or GCSE, why can't individual schools or even - gasp - individual teachers decide what to cover?

~Mama said...

I hadn't thought of taking my brood to the IWM before, but what a great idea, as they are both crazy for diggers (real and imagined!) Just happened on your blog today--a delightful read.