As a child I have a very distinct memories of visiting the Natural History museum for the first time. I remember entering from the Brompton road with my Granddad, being struck by the vast entrance hall and the beautiful vaulted ceiling, the huge centre piece of dinosaur bones. My first school trip as a primary child was to the home of Charles Darwin and there was his statue on the stairs of the museum. I choked on a boiled sweet in surprise and shock at the sight of a stuffed bear.
I recently took Noo to visit and stepping inside brought all these memories back, it was just as I’d remember; full of stuffed animals and dinosaurs against a backdrop of the decorative and detailed Victorian interiors which as I child I’d barely noticed.
Noo’s favourite exhibit was a roaring animatronics tyrannosaurus rex; so life-like we saw children reduced to tears at the sight of it. Animatronics are a development since my last visit, as was the Darwin extension a futuristic cocoon containing a vast collection of plant and insect specimens.
Take the lift to the top and a sloping corridor winds down through the building. We enjoyed the touch screen displays and peeking into laboratories and research rooms; sure to fire the imagination a young explorers. I wondered if Noo would love the place as much as I did and he did, especially the fly and the poo and the fake bit of bread. The Natural History Museum still casts a magic spell.