Golden jubilee for Ironbridge Gorge Museums

Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust in Shropshire is planning special Christmas celebrations at Blists Hill Victorian Town, as the trust marks its 50th anniversary.

Blists Hill Victorian Town – one of 10 attractions within the Ironbridge Gorge Museums group – will hold its traditional Christmas weekends in December (December 9-10, 16-17).

Groups can take advantage of a special rate of £9 per person for parties of 15 or more.

Visitors experience the festive sights, sounds and smells of a Victorian Christmas, along with lunch and seasonal activities which recreate the festivities of the 1800s.

Entertainment will be provided by brass bands and carol singers – and Father Christmas and his reindeer will visit too.

Ben Walker, group visits officer at Ironbridge Museums, said: “Christmas at Blists Hill is always a magical time but this year promises to be extra-special – we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary.”

Group leaders and coach drivers are entitled to free admission when accompanying a group and coach drivers will be given a free refreshment voucher.

Other museums within the group include the Coalport China Museum; Jackfield Tile Museum; and Museum of The Gorge.

The Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron is closed for a redevelopment project and will reopen at Easter 2017.

Visitors can also step inside the former homes of the Darby family and experience the everyday life of Coalbrookdale’s Quaker ironmasters; venture underground into a brick-lined tar tunnel; see the Iron Bridge and Tollhouse; and discover the Broseley Pipeworks – an abandoned factory which was once home to one of the most prolific clay tobacco pipe makers in Britain.

The 10 Ironbridge Gorge Museum sites are within an area of six square miles and there is free coach parking at each museum.

Groups can usually visit three or four of the museum sites within a day.