Day Trippers Saturday Feb 9th, 2013
The Roald Dalh Story Centre in Great Missendon is one of the greatest museums for children. Not only it is well funded and well maintained, but Roald Dahl’s life and works are a perfect subject for children.
A mixture of dire weather and adult illness determined a shorter stay this year. We decided to cut the sleeping-over and drove our two mini buses though some pretty thick sleet and ominous signs on the motorway declaring severe weather warnings on the way.
We started with cutting and pasting absurd masks from characters in James and the Giant Peach and then we were off around the museum. The first room, with its door that looks and smells of chocolate, was “Boy” with photos and tales from Dahl’s childhood that so formed his life and works. The rooms are filled with movie footage beamed large at the walls and recorded speech of Dahl reading his outrageous stories in his distinctive voice.
“Solo” has been beautifully refitted with a model Hurricane fighter to climb on and lots to do. There is a mock up of the tiny writing shed where after hundreds and hundreds of hours, Dahl would emerge with one his carefully crafted tales.
The final room has dress-up boxes, opportunities to wiggle, toggle, input and enjoy. There were then audience participation renditions of some of the fabulous fractured and hilarious fairy tales delivered by staff before we retired to our special room for an excellent lunch at the Twits Café.
Later, we rambled through town catching the various distinctive buildings mentioned in the stories before climbing the hill to the old cemetery where Dahl quietly rests, two giants footsteps pointing the way.
After that, it was back in the buses and off to Lower Scrubs (right next to Chequers, the P.M.s country house) and a serious ramble in some pretty boggy woods before returning to our hosts who had prepared a campfire with cocoa and biscuits.
There were some very sleepy boys on the way home but our mini-bus had nine or ten happy Cubs crooning along to popular songs on Magic FM.
It was the perfect sortie en ville… Thanks to the Dads and Mr. Ed who filled in as driver at the last minute, and Mr. Way and the matrons for the warm welcome on our return. See more pictures here.11/02/2013