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 Museum Attractions in Dorset

Belinda and Mike - follow our tourist travels in the UK

Dorset Attractions, Museums & our Cottage: Holiday June 2016 - page 2

Dorset has many fantastic visitor attractions and in a return visit to the county we toured some of its worthy museums during our delightful Dorset holiday.  First off was the Royal Signals Museum at Blandford Forum, showcasing military communication through the ages, while a visit to the Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum highlighted the plight farm workers in the 1830s endured for better pay and conditions.  We also stopped by Mill House Cider Museum at Owermoigne, near Dorchester... and yes, lets take a look at the wonderful self-catering holiday cottage we rented at Winterborne Zelston in Dorset.
This is page two of two.
Dorset 1: Jurassic Coast | Dorset 2: Attractions
 

Studying the displays at the Royal Signals Museum in Dorset
Mike's looking at the Early Telephones display case here at Dorset's Royal Signals Museum.  Before telephones military communication used flags, lamps and pigeons ... then the electric telegraph was invented in the 1790s.  Moving on...

Royal Signals Museum: early wireless sets
...and some vintage early wireless sets using the then newly developed thermionic valve.  This revolutionised wireless communication which until the early 1900s had been using spark-gap transmitters operating on long waves.  Wireless is right up...

G4BFJ trying out Morse Code at the Royal Signals Museum
...Mike's street as he used to be a 70s radio ham - G4BFJ - so he was please to find a 'try your hand at  Morse Code' key at the Royal Signals Museum and quickly tapped out his 44-year-old callsign.  Once...

Military mechanised mobile communication
...wireless equipment became smaller the military adopted mechanised mobile communication, replacing horses, in the 1920s.  Mind you, that antenna looks rather cumbersome!  Mobile..

Montgomery's Armoured Command Vehicle
...comms quickly developed though; on the right is Field Marshall Montgomery's Armoured Command Vehicle used in the Western Desert.  And above the 1940's style Comms Café can be seen...

Royal Signals Museum, Dorset: WW2 wireless sets display
...in which we enjoyed a lovely lunch.  By WW2 military communication had advanced by leaps and bounds with many wireless sets produced.  Many were available on the war surplus market for...

Large WW2 transmitters ET4336, No. 53 set and BC610E
...many years afterwards, such as the No. 19 set (much sort after by budding radio hams in the 70s) and these beasts; an RCA ET4336, a No. 53 set and a BC610E.  On the...

Royal Signals Museum upper level
...upper level at the Royal Signals Museum is this fascinating exhibit hall depicting the work of the Royal Signals on operations - including spy pens, cameras and listening bugs!  As you might expect...

Electronic Warfare exhibit at Royal Signals Museum
...there's quite a lot on Electronic Warfare, such as this exhibit of an Electronic Warfare trailer.  We also saw the famed Ptarmigan; an encrypted, digital communication system and the forerunner of...

Exhibit of technician repairing military kit
...modern mobile phone systems.  Well, all the kit the Royal Signals use needs maintenance and this workshop exhibit sees a technician repairing the famed (by 70s radio hams) No. 19 set of the WW2 era.

Post WW2 hall at the Royal Signals Museum
The post WW2 hall had numerous military vehicles displayed; in the foreground the Ferret Scout armoured car and right at the back the Pink Panther Land Rover, in fetching pink desert camouflage.  The Royal Signals became involved...

Seized pirate radio transmitters
...with operations in Northern Ireland and during 1969's Op Banner a number of pirate radio transmitters were seized.  The crude nature of these 'beauties' reminded Mike of his early radio construction efforts!  Our very enjoyable visit to...

Royal Signals Museum Dorset, display of Cormorant communications network
...the Royal Signals Museum at Blandford Camp in Dorset was almost over, but not before we admired the complexity of the Cormorant communications network.  The Royal Signals Museum website is in our tourist resources as are more Dorset attractions.

Trying out the army truck simulator at Dorset's Royal Signals Museum
Oh, before we left, something for Belinda - a simulator to drive an army truck across rough terrain, while avoiding enemy fire and not running out of fuel.  Adult entry to the very worthwhile Royal Signals Museum on our visit cost £7.50, but do check entry requirements.

Outside view of Dorset holiday cottage in Winterborne Zelston
We can't pass by without showing you the splendid self-catering holiday cottage we had for our Dorset holiday.  Featuring a sunny conservatory and...

The patio at Dorset holiday cottage
...patio, it's located on the outskirts of the small village of Winterborne Zelston and ranks among the best holiday accommodation we'd ever rented.  Preparing...

Kitchen in the Dorset self-catering cottage
...breakfast or an evening meal in the well-equipped and spacious kitchen was a joy.  Although...

Eating at the Dorset holiday cottage
...we ate here, the holiday cottage also had a separate dining room as well as a lounge area.  Wonderful!

Dorset: Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum
Our next visit was to the Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum in, er, Tolpuddle.  At this Dorset attraction...

Entering the Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum
...entry was free.  The museum tells the story of how the arrest and treatment of six Tolpuddle...

View inside the Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum
... farm labourers led to massive protests across the country after being sentenced to seven years of hell in Australia.  Although the museum itself was small,...

Martyrs Inn, Tolpuddle
...we followed the excellent Village Trail around Tolpuddle, using the free app on our smartphone.  Of course this included a stop at the local pub!  The...

Martyrs' Tree and Memorial Shelter at Tolpuddle
...Tolpuddle Martyrs trail took us to this little oasis by the Martyrs' Tree and Memorial Shelter which was a lovely spot to sit and enjoy our picnic.

Mill House Cider Museum, Dorset
Cider is rather prominent in Dorset and as we both enjoy a tipple we stopped by the Mill House Cider Museum near Dorchester.  We'd visited here...

Mill House Cider Museum watching the cider making video
...before on our previous Dorset holiday in 2005, but had another look at the short 'making of' cider video, following which we looked around the old cider presses in the museum.  And of course...

Sampling cider in the museum's shop
...there's the sampling!  We came away with a 5-litre container which we enjoyed (er, not all of it you understand!) back at the holiday cottage.  Now, have you seen our Jurassic coast walks? >>>

Other Dorset attractions visited include visited Monkey World and the Tank Museum.  Another military attraction visited: the RAF Museum.