Friday 29 August 2014

Here's One We Made Earlier .... a history of Children's BBC @The Lowry

As my #FlashbackFriday posts will hopefully have shown you I love living in the past.  I am convinced that children's TV past is far better then it is today, but perhaps that's my age as when I sit the boys down with some of the old programmes they find them boring (eeek how dare they!!).  So when I was told about the 'Here's One We Made Earlier' exhibition at The Lowry in Manchester I was counting down the days until I could take the boys.

This exhibition explores the story of over 90 years of BBC Children's broadcasting, from 1922, when the BBC launched Children's Hour, right up to the present multi-media moment with plenty of interactive exhibits along the way. This is something you need to keep an eye on, whilst some of the things are touchable a lot are not, however you have to spot a tiny sign before your excited children do which is not always easy.

I expected the exhibit to be in chronological order but it tends to be more age/ type related    There is a great interactive time line on the wall tho.

Zone 1 focuses on programmes for younger children .  The boys were very excited by the Teletubbies (despite being too young to remember them), daddy enjoyed looking into the Playdays house through the square window.  I loved seeing Why Bird and Peggy Patch.



Zone 2 is home to Children's BBC dramas, reminding us of such favourites as Bykers Grove, Grange Hill and bring us up to date with Tracy Beaker and Woolfblood.

Zone 3 is the aptly titled 'Here's one we made earlier' where you can marvel at the Traceys Island Anthea
Turner made from the early days of Blue Peter .... I never made one but ohhh I soo want to now. It also includes Helen Skeltons bike and canoe from her travels.

Turn the corner and you can curl up and enjoy a bedtime story in the Cbeebies window seat

Zone 4 takes a look at animal magic, both the namesake and the history of animals on children's television such as the Blue Peter dogs.

Step into the world of puppets in Zone 5 and really show your age.  Who was your favourite?  The Clangers?  Bill and Ben? Otis the Aardvark or perhaps Basil Brush holds a place in your heart?



Perhaps you prefer the more up to date Rastamouse or Strange Hill High

Zone 6 is home to light entertainment shows for kids such as Dick and Dom and Crackerjack.

You can relive the days of Newsround (who didn't want to be a press packer??!!) in Zone 7 and look into the future in Zone 8 as the kids can explore Kinect, I-pad apps and Move systems.  

The rest of The Lowry

The Lowry is a great place for kids.  They have a Lookout Tower designed for under 5's (but how do you stop older children playing while their younger toddlers run around? there is no where else for them to go). Where they can enjoy books, play games or puzzle, draw pictures or colour in some copies of Lowry's art work, there are great views of the Quay for inspiration.

The Lookout is sponsored by Derwent who I remember from being little.  The worlds largest pencil (that I have a photo of me with somewhere) now stands in the tower, great for locals to see how their children have grown every year.


You can of course check out the other works of LS Lowry in it's own exhibition space, have a drink in the café, look in the shop, or enjoy a  family productions in the theatre.


The Lowry and the Lookout are free to use/ view however they do ask for a donation to keep them running (£5 for a family).  This IS a donation and is not forced however you are almost obliged to give as you have to get a ticket to enter.

There are of course charges for the cafe, theatre and shop.


Based right in the heart of Media City and Salford Quays we wondered for a good couple of hours showing the children the water, BBC and ITV buildings and wondering what show was about to be shown in the audience participation area.

We even bumped into Tree Fu Tom and the Daleks.  The boys were eager to go and look around the BBC buildings but they are a bit too young for the tours just yet.


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