What's On Staffordshire
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Award-winning visitor attraction Ironbridge Gorge Museums has reported an excellent response to its news earlier this week that it is to re-open some of its venues in July.
Tickets to the World Heritage site went on sale on Tuesday 23 June, and more than 1,000 bookings for early July were taken in the first 48 hours of the announcement.
Blists Hill Victorian Town, Coalbrookdale Musuem of Iron and the Toll House will lead the re-opening of the museums. It is hoped that the Trust's other sites will be able to open soon, in accordance with further government guidelines.
The Museum of The Gorge, which suffered damage during the floods of February, will also open as a free-entry visitor centre, whilst the Furnace Kitchen opened for takeaway food earlier this month.
Talking about the public response to the re-opening, the Trust's Chief Executive, Nick Ralls, said: “We are delighted to finally be reopening after a long three months in lockdown and have been astounded at the number of tickets we've already sold.
“In the first 48 hours since tickets went live, we've taken more than 1,000 bookings for people to visit in early July, but there’s still plenty of space for lots more people to come. We're incredibly grateful for the support we've been shown by people from right across the country.”
Blists Hill Victorian Town will be open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am until 7pm. Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and the Furnace Kitchen will be open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am until 5pm. Museum of The Gorge and the Iron Bridge Tollhouse will open Monday to Sunday, 10am until 5pm, as visitor-information hubs with no admission charges.
USEFUL INFORMATION AHEAD OF A VISIT ... Strict social-distancing measures will be in place, along with an enhanced cleaning and hygiene regime. There will also be measures to control visitor numbers, clearly marked routes through the sites and timed entries.
WHAT'S TO SEE: Blists Hill is an open-air museum with lots of outdoor spaces. The Trust is planning to open most of its Victorian exhibits with one-way routes through buildings. In a few cases this won’t be possible, so it will ‘fishbowl’ those buildings so visitors can still see inside from the doorstep. With the addition of queueing systems and enhanced hygiene, it will actually be able to open as normal.
NEW! The Trust has also created a special Victorian market area in the Goods Shed, which will give a taste of what life was like for retailers of the period.
FACILITIES: Regular audits of toilet facilities will be carried out to ensure they are used safely, and new hand washing sites will be in place across venues.
ARRIVING AND EXITING: A special ticketing system and car parking arrangements will be put in place, and multiple entrance and exit points have been carefully considered to prevent pinch-points building up.
REMEMBER! All tickets must be pre-booked. Click HERE to purchase.
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