1st Wealdstone Brownies trip to Heath Robinson Museum, Pinner

1st Wealdstone Brownies trip to Heath Robinson Museum, Pinner

The Brownies had just achieved their Local History badge, and found out about some famous people from Harrow and we decided to have a day out visiting the Heath Robinson Museum in Pinner. We had had a little discussion about Heath Robinson and his work so the girls would know what to expect.

We travelled from Wealdstone by bus to Harrow on the Hill, then took the train (Met line) to Pinner. Public transport is a different experience for some of the girls. From Pinner station we walked, sensibly, to Pinner Memorial Park, using a zebra crossing to cross the main road.

Once in the park the girls spread out. Their eyes lit up as we passed the playground, but we would do that after lunch. Then we saw the lake and the Museum. As the journey had been fairly quick and easy, we arrived at the Museum a little too early. However, just in front of the Museum is a small aviary of budgerigars. The girls enjoyed watching the birds flying about and squawking.

The museum opened at 11am, and we went in. (It is free for children, just the adults pay). First we went into the activity room. There were handles to turn and buttons to press. There was also a modern Heath Robinson inspired ‘machine’. This attracted the girls and soon they were all around it. They had to answer 3 multiplication sums, correctly, on a handheld device. When they got three in a row, the ‘duck’ in the machine moved and waggled its feet. A volunteer came to help them with the next part. Using technology, they needed to communicate with the machine and ultimately learn its name. They were engrossed for some time. When they worked out the machine’s name, they got a little prize each. (a lollipop). I am sure if I had told them that would be doing Maths on their day out, they would not have been very enthusiastic!

We moved into the next room. There were many of Heath Robinson’s humorous illustrations. Sometimes, as the girls were trying to work out the ‘joke’, the adults had to explain it for them. Some of the humour was satirical which also needed explaining.

Heath Robinson had written a book ‘How to live in a flat’ in 1936. This included many futuristic gadgets. There was a model of such a block of flats which the girls found fascinating. A lady from a top floor flat was happily swinging on a swing from her balcony. Washing was hanging on a line floating out from a window and held up by a balloon. The Brownies were fascinated by all the strange happenings in this block of flats! There are many blocks of flats in Harrow, but none of them are as heath Robinson envisaged!

Of course, once we had seen everything the Brownies spent time in the shop choosing interesting things! (The museum gave us some Heath Robinson bookmarks for both adults and girls.) So, the Museum had kept the Brownies interested for just over an hour.

We then walked to the other side of the lake to sit in the shade for lunch. We were entertained by ducks on the pond and people feeding the pigeons. After lunch the girls spent another hour having fun in the playground, which had a range of equipment that appealed to all ages, including a rock in the middle to climb and sit on.

Then there was time for an ice cream, before heading back on the train and the bus to Wealdstone, where the parents came to collect them.

Lesley, Unit Leader – 1st Wealdstone Brownies