Review of National Media Museum in Bradford
I went here on Sunday… here’s what I thought and think…
Yes definitely go there. Five or six floors of genuinely engaging stuff. Not excedssively ‘interactive’ although there is a floor for that which is probably a favourite with the kids. There’s also a whole load of nostalgic video games on one level so take a handful of 20p pieces in case the change machine isn’t working.
Ground floor, photography and cameras. I liked this level, it was how a museum ‘should be’, actually informative and educational, with a few ‘hands on’ exhibits but not so many as to feel like a play centre. And it appealed to the artist in me, and the inventor as well, the mechanics and chemistry of photography are touched on through the natural progression of the displays, chronological as they are. Spot on.
As we move up the floors there’s a TV and cinema floor, from what I can recall, again, very interesting and educational without overtly trying to be, and from personal history perspective, relevant, adverts from childhood, this kind of thing. I wonder what kids would make of it, having been born into the digital only era, having no experience pre smartphone or internet.
I’d definitely bring my daughter here, (10) it’s very substantial without being over whelming or ‘get lost in able’. And it’s not dumbed down, it’s very adult friendly, good mix.
There’s also an archive on the top floor with 2500+ old TV shows and films you can watch in a private booth type senario. We didn’t do that because by then it was time to go, but I could definitely do so next time.
Conclusion: This is a free museum on six floors in a modern setting that will work for everyone. Even the gift shop is suitably sized, ie not too big, and has some genuinely cool stuff. ( A 200 nostalgia game plugin for your TV for £15?!)
I score it 9.999/10 … not sure what the 0.001 is for, can’t fault it on all counts. It was quite quiet as well, which was a blessing. If this was in London it would be horrendously packed. As it is, free to visit, a quid for parking, happy days.