If you are based within an hour of Basingstoke then you really MUST get your family down to Milestones Living History Museum. It really is a hidden gem. Situation in the Leisure Complex inside a hanger we really didn't know what to think from the outside. However as you enter the reception/cafe/shop area and peer over the railing to the hidden street below you can't help but gasp. We were provided with a complimentary pass for the day (which is normally around £30), we did however pay £3 so each child could have their ration book and coin DO THIS!! It's so worth it really enhances the experience for the children.
There is so much to see and do. The hangar lends itself nicely to the buildings and vehicles, the high ceilings mean it's light and airy. You don't feel cramped nor overwhelmed. I also cannot tell you how clean it feels. It's a really well maintained exhibition.
We made our way down the two flights of stairs to the entrance to the Penny Arcade. This is also a great touch. We swiftly swapped a £1 coin for 10 big old pennies and started playing some of the old games. The children loved it. We even found an old Fortune Teller machine, who worryingly told Charlie to be wary of men with beards! Not great when a) it's nearly christmas and b) your Daddy has been known to sport a beard or two!
The living aspect of the museum is amazing you just don't know who you might see in a shop or walking the streets. For a Saturday afternoon I was surprised at how few visitors there seemed to be again highlighting what a hidden gem this place is.
There is even a pub.
This is such an excellent part of Milestones Living Museum. We paid a £1 for the children each to get an old penny and a ration book. They bought their own 2oz of sweets 🍬🍬 and learned all about sweet rationing in the war. Charlie loved it so much he spent ages telling my dad about it on Sunday who then took him to the sweet shop!! Haha! 😂 #sweets #christmasinbasingstoke #milestones #livinghistory #ukparentbloggers #mummyblogger #sweeties #rations #wartime #visithampshire @inbasingstoke
The sweet shop is an amazing touch. The lovely shop assistant let the children try a couple of sweets. She explained to the children how the sweets rations only happened once a week on a Saturday and if you didn't like them a week was a long time to wait. The selection is really limited too. No modern sweets only traditional ones, Megan opted for pear drops.
Megan was in her element when she found a tent full of vintage dressing up.
Olive took over running the fruit and veg stall.
Daddy Moo collects vintage signs and I collect vintage bottles. My favourite bottles are the Boots medicine ones I have one in cobalt blue and one in forest green so this truck was an exciting find. Daddy Moo had to contain himself at all the old sweet advertising enamel signs.
Inside a camera shop I found a clown shaped camera my brother had when he was 5/6. Was slightly alarmed that our 80's toy is considered vintage! Make sure Milestones Living Museum is on your list of places to visit in 2017.