Visit to the Imperial War Museum, London
In late November, Years 10 to 13 visited the Imperial War Museum in London. The museum from the outside looks very grand and is even more imposing given the two huge battleship guns at the entrance.
The main focus for our group was to visit the Holocaust Exhibition which covers the history of the persecution of the Jews in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, culminating in the Final Solution. This was a very sombre but important experience for students who were able to see personal experiences of people who survived the camps and also to understand the
like no other building on earth, although it is better looking than the Manchester United football ground that is passed on the way into the dockland area. Upon our arrival we were ushered into the foyer where a number of computers were available for exploring the highlights of what was inside the museum. It appeared for a while that many students thought that the computers were the only things in the museum and that the rest of the building was irrelevant, although once Year 7 realised that they couldn’t find any performance car pictures, they soon wanted to explore.
The building is organised into pods where major themes like the Blitz or the Cold War are covered using interactive displays and films. These proved to be very attractive to many students, with Brent spending an exceptional amount of time in the Cold War pod. Maybe it had something to do with the very comfortable chairs in there.
Every hour there was a ten minute show where the walls and floor became animated with films about some aspect of the impact of war on people and society, and the impressive sound system replayed effects of events like bombing raids along with the recollections of people who lived through it all. One of the highlights was being able to meet veterans of conflict. An old man was very popular with his recollections of life in the army in North Africa in the Second World War. He had a number of amusing stories as well as a few interesting songs.
The large entrance tower has a viewing platform accessed by a lift that has seen better days. We all went up in relays and got tremendous views of the Salford Quays, although Old Trafford did spoil the sight in one direction. Some of us were lucky to share a lift on the way down with a man who was so scared of the height and the wind that he was stuck to the back of the lift with his eyes shut. We were all very understanding of his predicament, obviously.
We would like to thank the staff of the Imperial War Museum in Manchester who did everything they could to make our visit pass smoothly, including giving us the use of a room for lunch. In addition thanks go to Mrs Garman for organising the trip and Adrian and Aileen Painter for accompanying the visit.