Sunday, 4 February 2018

The Thingamabob Museum

Following on from yesterday, the other showpiece in Bradford is, of course, the Museum of Photography, Film and Television... sorry, make that the National Media Museum... sorry, make that the Science and Media Museum. Whatever you call it (and these days I more often refer to it as the Thingamabob Museum), it has been in Bradford since 1983.

Initially it focussed on the art and science of image-making, but its purpose and name has evolved over the years. I'm not sure it knows what it is these days. It has always been part of the National Science Museum group and there were threats to close it and an unpopular move of a prestigious collection of photographs to London's V&A. Its most recent statement of purpose is 'Exploring the transformative influence of image and sound technologies on our lives'.

Despite the upheavals, I read recently that visitor numbers are going up again and I have always been pleased to have it nearby. I visit several times a year and have seen some very interesting displays. This time when I popped in, there was a fascinating exhibition all about 'Fake News', demonstrating that it is not a new phenomenon at all.

It has a massive, five-storey high 3D IMAX cinema screen (the largest in the UK when it was unveiled), which I've been to once. It made me feel sea-sick! There are also various interactive displays all about sound and light. Kids love it - and museum entry is free!

By the way, the statue in front is that of JB Priestley, the famous locally born playwright and author.


  1. "The transformative influence of image and sound technologies" - that's media, isn't it? At least the V&A hasn't felt it necessary to change to the Elizabeth & Phillip museum.

  2. I've been so glad to visit these kinds of museums with my grandkids. The wonder of science, the interactive displays, and a gathering of materials that need to be preserved (in my mind anyway)...I'm glad yours is free. Perhaps the fees for some of ours are for all those interactive displays.

  3. What a contrast between building and statue!

    I like seeing IMAX films. I knew one of the four guys who built the IMAX idea- if you'd looked at him, you'd think aging hippie, but he was a technical genius.

  4. It is a pretty nice building of its era. It doesn't know what it is? That is OK. I sometimes don't know what I am either.


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