A Day Trip to the Horniman with my Gran and Her Sense of Humour

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The Ethnographic CollectionMy love for museums and gardens has to have come from my Gran who has enjoyed visiting this type o facility all of her life.  On a recent visit with me, we embarked on a day trip to the Horniman Museum and Gardens where she could delight in almost everything that surrounded her.  This museum has over 350,000 items on display that includes everything from anthropology to musical instruments to an aquarium, lovely gardens, and a natural history collection for visitors to enjoy.  Let me share with you some of the experiences that Gran and I had on our day trip to this wonderful museum.

The Ethnographic Collection

Gran and I really enjoyed viewing the 80,000 objects from all over the world that gave us an insight into our everyday lives and some of the beliefs of peoples from around the world.  The quality of the objects was so good that Gran commented that she thought she had found some long, lost relatives there in the museum.  This exhibit held our interest, expanded our knowledge of the world around us, and gave us a bit of historical value to our own existence.

The Musical Instrument Collection

Known as one of the most comprehensive collections of musical instruments here in UK, this exhibit has about 8,000 objects from around the world that all produce some sort of sound.  We saw bone clappers from Egypt that were made about 3,500 years ago; from this we progressed up to electric guitars and accompanying synthesizers that are popular in today’s music industry.  We visited the Adam Carse Collection, the Dolmetsch Collection, and the Wayne Collection where Gran said she was very adept at tooting her own horn and loved this exhibit the best.  We especially enjoyed the video and audio accompaniments that correlated with the collections.

The Natural History Collection

In this part of the museum was where Gran seemed to enjoy herself the most; from comparing the look on the alpaca’s face to Grandfather’s smile to admitting that the body fat on the seals in the Extremes exhibition was comparable to hers, we laughed non-stop for hours.  The realistic appearance of the animals of every species and the field notebooks of famous taxidermists all added an element of intrigue to our visit.  We saw rare fossils, to which Gran said she should be included, whole skeletons and bones to which she compared my minute size, and dried pressed plants that added a personal touch to our visit.  Many years ago, Gran helped me with leaf collections for my school work and insect presentations for extra credit in my classes.

For a realistic step back in time and to view some of the major improvements in objects such as musical instruments, you should schedule a tour to the Horniman Museum for a day trip with family and friends.  It can certainly give you an added element of perspective about your life and the world around you.  It’s also a great way to continue a wonderful bond with someone very special in your life like my Gran.


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