Hidden away beside rows of terraced houses, and within an old cotton store warehouse, lies a little gem steeped in history, the Bolton Steam Museum. Its ‘In Steam’ days are well worth a visit, especially on a Nana and Pops outing with two energetic grandchildren. When we arrived, two small steam-driven trains and carts were giving rides, puffing furiously round the car park, a magnet of course for Will and Eleanor. Great fun albeit a trifle sooty from the fire producing the steam!
Once inside, most of the engines, though static, were running. A cross-section of the types of power once used in the north-west cotton mills, the display is the largest in the country. Laid out over two floors, the upper level, reached by a number of steps, afforded a super view of the working machines below. In total there are 25 rebuilt engines, each with a full description. Though the museum is perhaps more appealing to slightly older children, our six-year-old and three-year-old really enjoyed it – agog with the noise and smell. It is clearly a labour of love for the volunteers that run it, and they were without exception very friendly and approachable. There was a small café serving drinks, biscuits and crisps, plus a selection of souvenirs. It was a fun morning and enjoyed by us all.
2014 In Steam days 10am-4pm 4-5 & 25-26 May,
24-25 Aug, 13-14 Sep & 28-29 Dec. Admission free.
Toilets but no baby changing facilities.
Bolton Steam Museum, Mornington Road, off Chorley Old Road, Bolton BL1 4EU