I left the technical museum cafe through the rear door and found myself on a staircase. Hugh had mentioned a mining section so I headed down to see if I could find it.
But instead, I found a large mechanical hammer and what I soon realised was the history of iron working in the area. So I wandered around that, saw the development of the process from early wind-powered furnaces to the modern day continuously produced steel. There were examples of how railway tracks were formed and many detailed cast iron panels.
Next to the iron and steel was a mock mining shaft with some big kids sitting around a table, playing with a construction set. This was Merkur their equivalent of Meccano and there were some excellent models including a crane, a mining pit head winch and a mining train.
On the way out of the section, I saw some more steps leading down to a deeper basement. So I headed down there and finally found the mining section.
Similar to the iron section this started with historical examples and worked forward to the modern day. There were some more fantastic models and real examples of equipment including a large selection of mining lamps.
Now I believe I had finally seen all of the museum, I headed back up to the lobby. Where I spotted yet another section that I had missed, transport. This was a large room spanning the back of the museum with planes, trains and automobiles along with a big selection of motorbikes and some boats.
Some of my favourite items were the hot air balloon escaping through the roof, the Indian 4 motorbike and the little steam-powered fire-engine.
Again I left thinking that I had finished the museum but there were further sections on cycling, photography and chemistry that I had missed. From the chemistry section, I think my favourite example was this casting of key samples.
So as you can tell from my couple of reports, it is a massive museum and I spent a good 3 hours there and even then I missed a few things. There were maps available so I’d suggest you grab one. There’s a few interactive sections such as the Merkur but it is mostly a visual feast. However, the multiple levels, passage ways and rooms does stop it from being boring so I would recommend this museum for all the family.