My good friends took me out today to The Village Church Farm in Skegness, Lincolnshire. The entrance to this excellent open air museum leads to the reception area where entry is free but you are requested to contribute a small amount to its upkeep.
The first thing to catch my eye was a glass tank on the reception desk. It contained some tiny baby harvest mice having a great game on the ‘wheel’ in the tank. They are looked after by the staff until they are old enough to be put back into the farm – very cute.
We had a great time wandering around and one interesting exhibit was an old thatched cottage which had been moved from elsewhere, reconstructed with dirt floors, original beams, cooking equipment and a lovely old range.
There is an orchard filled with lovely fruit trees and one of the dedicated, friendly and informative volunteers told us at the end of our visit, that they suspected they may have one of the oldest trees in the country in their orchard!
There are many different areas to walk around and interesting exhibits including an old house decorated from the past, an old classroom, children’s nursery, wash house, forge, cow barn and an amazing steam traction engine, which is in the process of being lovingly restored and many other ‘old’ pieces of equipment which have been sourced from various locations. There is a set of stocks on the green and some vintage tractors on display.
There is a trail around the farm where you can search for masks posted on trees, a great idea to keep the kids occupied when they visit the farm on school outings. They will learn about the way of life on a farm in the old days, quite a bit about the animals and machinery, the living conditions of people in those days, like how they used to bath once in a while in tin baths, and more importantly to me, get to know where meat and milk come from. You can even dress up in the costumes of old.
There is a very comfortable tea-room where we had a lovely hot drink and snack. It was drizzling but we didn’t mind, we had a good time. I even managed to buy some great second hand books at the souvenir area.
Both educational and fun for the whole family and not so far from the amazing Skegness!