The award-winning Fusilier Museum is home to the collections of the XX Lancashire Fusiliers and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, commemorating over 300 years of history and heritage.
The curators have done a fantastic job of making the museum child-friendly, whilst still respecting the subject matter. Throughout the museum there are flaps to lift, puzzles to solve and plenty to learn about at the interactive computer stations, as well as a children’s area where they can dress as soldiers or hide in a camouflaged tent. In the trench, the boys howled with laughter as they dared each other to sniff the revolting smells of carbolic soap, trench sweat and ‘poisonous gas’ lurking in holes in the wall.
One place where we reined our little ones in was the medal room, where six Victoria Crosses awarded to The Lancashire Fusiliers are displayed. We created a game, searching through the medals to find one which had been awarded to a soldier with the same surname as ours, and managed to find one in the last display drawer!
Continuing investment and changing exhibits help to keep The Fusilier Museum fresh and worth a return trip. The ‘Salford Pals’ exhibition tells the story of three local soldiers and includes a life-sized model of the terraced houses the men lived in. Our children loved opening the doors to discover stories and dressing-up fun behind them. Then ‘Strike up the Band’, new in summer 2013, is all about military bands, with colourful outfits and instruments galore. This brilliant museum has successfully secured a £1.4 million grant from Heritage Lottery Funding which will result in a fantastic development of the first floor in 2014.
Mon-Sat (occasional Sundays) 10am-5pm. Adult £3.95, Child £2.95, Family £10.95. Buy one ticket and visit free for a year. Meter parking directly outside (2hrs max). Café on site.
The Fusilier Museum, Moss Street, Bury BL9 0DF
Tel: 0161 763 8950 fusiliermuseum.com