Last weekend my sister, my two nephews and I made the trip to Whitehead to check out the newly refurbished Whitehead Railway Museum. So that’s two 30-Somethings a six year old and an eight year old. If they could keep us all happy that would be some doing.
As we drove through Whitehead we remarked how pretty and well-kept the sea side town is with lots of gorgeous little shops and tea rooms. It also seemed to have a lot of camp sites, B&B’s and caravan sites so perfect for a staycation this summer.
The Whitehead Railway Museum was easy to find, we followed the Sat Nav but there were plenty of sign posts pointing us in the right direction and when we turned the corner and saw the railway tracks we knew we had come in the right direction. We had booked in a tour for 2.30 and arrived just after 2 unfortunately we were told in the tea room that the tour had actually started early so we ran to the signal box to catch up. Luckily we hadn’t missed much and the boys were able to have a go changing the signals. (The loved this, the eight year old did it with ease and the six year old needed a helping hand.)
The tour progressed we went through the museum hearing about how the trains had been used, the commuter belts from Belfast to Dublin and how the train company enticed people on to the trains with holidays, homes and so much more. They had lots of artefacts and interactive boards which the boys had been dying to play with but on we went.
We saw the trains which had been used in movies and some which where hundreds of years old. We also saw the workshops and how the Whitehead team had been working hard to restore the trains to full working order.
I have to admit half way through the tour the 30 somethings had lost interest never mind the 8 year old or the 6 year old. It is a lovely place and the history is fascinating but a little over powering plus we didn’t get a chance to stop and have a cuppa! But we persevered as our tour guide was so friendly, helpful and informative. We were admitted into the carriage room which was full of old trains and carriages, they had been used by Taoiseach’s and royalty. The boys loved this room they could dress up and jump on and off the trains they were even taught how you drive the train.
So overall the Whitehead Museum is a lovely railway museum to visit, perfect for a day trip the eight year old loved it but the six year old did lose interest so judge your audience does your child have a lot of patience? Personally I would recommend going down and taking your own time and pace through the exhibition and maybe getting down before they close the tea room, as the tea and scones did look scrumpitous.
Thanks for having us Whitehead Railway Museum
Emer D xx