Sunday, 13 July 2014

Alnwick ~ Bailiffgate Museum and Barter Books

The day began with a persistent drizzle of rain and so we decided it was a museum and bookshop day. After a picnic lunch in Sainsbury's car park we made our way to our first destination, the Bailiffgate Museum

 It's frontage might just give you a clue to its previous occupation!

 The church might have "closed" but the sisters are still living next door!

 Peaceful Pip ...

... and her alter ego :-)

 The printing press.

 Whilst the kids had fun digging for treasure and weighing the seeds ...

 ... I had fun making a rubbing of a brass plate announcing the sentences of those commiting a felony!  It was not easy.

 Pip and I went back to school, circa 1800's.  I was actually on the front row and the "teacher" just out of the camera view had a switch in her hand.  I am pretty sure that I would have been in a whole heap of trouble for...

 ... turning round and talking to a fellow classmate!!  Some of the punishments metered out to the unfortunate students were positively barbaric.

 We sat by a miner in his tin bath :-), not sure what his "missus" would have thought about it! 

 We also listened to a recording of a conversation on a mine telephone.  One phrase was very funny and would make an interesting alternative to an oft repeated phrase in our house:

" Had yor gob!"

Can you guess what it means today?

Or how about, "Oor lass makes a  canny bait?"

Answers in the com box below, if you think you know the answer!

We had a fab time!  The museum staff were very friendly and helpful and the whole of the site was disability friendly.  There was also a help yourself to tea and coffee area and the children were treated to a lollipop at the end for completing the museum quiz.  By now it was closing time, so we hopped into the car and made our way to:

From floor to ceiling the whole place was lined with books!  Ah, totally lovely :-) 

 Looking and ...

... finding a quiet spot to read.

We did have one cafe stop and the reason will be explained at the end:

 A tired looking Pip and her decaf latte.

Thinking about two special families from over the pond!

And the reason for the cafe stop?  Well, that carefully prepared picnic bag and drinks organiser was left at home on the dining room table, ack!  So the Sainsbury picnic lunch was grab a gluten free do it yourself lunch from around the shop and those lattes were a great top up until we arrived home and mum could provide the tea!

 Picnic lunch : gluten free seeded roll, pate and washed salad, with chipolata sausages and a sprinkling of crisps.

Tea : gluten free sausages, large mixed salad and sweetcorn fritters.

So far we seem to be averaging one "hiccup" each day, I wonder what tomorrow will bring?!! xx



  1. Looks like a fun museum. I have no idea what those miners are saying. I don't know what "gob" is, but the first two words are like the German "Halt dein Maul" (Hold your "animal mouth"), meaning "shut up." The miner in the bath tub looks Asian to me. Is there a lot of mining in this area? Was the teacher in the school a real person? Poor Pip, she cannot even put her feet on the floor. The desk is too high for her. Peter would have loved that book store. All your food looks good. Where was Dave? And thanks for thinking of us!

    1. You are right! The first phrase does mean "shut up" any guesses at the second phrase?

      The teacher was a mannequin and so funny that you noticed that Pip's feet didn't touch the floor, I missed that! There used to be a lot of mining in this area aswell as South Wales, Central Scotland, Midlands and North West England, before the pits were gradually closed in the mid seventies. Dave thinks there are only ten working pits in this country, our coal now is shipped in from over seas!

      You all would have loved the bookshop, it really was amazing.

    2. You are right regarding the first phrase, any guesses for the second? So funny that you noticed Pip's feet and yes the teacher was a mannequin.

      You all would have loved the book store it was totally fab and yes the museum used to be a Catholic church.

    3. Are there no Catholics in the area anymore that the church had to close?

      I don't have any good guesses for the second phrase. "Lass" is girl, right? But "canny bait"? Is that like canary bird? The miners always took those with them. But that still does not make any sense.

      You have to tell us!

    4. "Our lass makes a lovely lunch!!!" I think the lunch box is referred to as a fisherman's bait box, maybe they packed their sandwiches and fishing bait in the same tin, urgh!

      There are Catholics, but as always it is a lack of vocations and a fewer number of priests means less to go round in rural areas. Near our home town, the Catholic church closed due to falling numbers and the remaining congregation shares a space provided by the local methodists! xx

  2. Is the museum in the former church?

  3. That's funny that you forgot the lunch :) I've done that and it's very frustrating!!! But what a great day. Did Dave take the pics? I saw the teacher with her switch! What was the New York box filled with? Tea for Boston??! :) Vacations are so nice . . Love to you!! (OH! I never received the email? Did you send it? Could you resend?) xoxo . .

    1. Yes Dave took the pics. So sorry that you did not get the email, I cannot find it in my drafts box so will send you another one x

  4. Eva and I are visiting at the same time!

    1. Maybe because we both got mentioned in this post :). Doesn't the teacher look like a fake one? And you must be right, Dave must have taken the pictures. I am so used to my children taking pictures and my husband not taking pictures that it never occurred to me.


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