Where: Royal Armouries Museum, Armouries Drive, Leeds LS10 1LT
What is it?
The Royal Armouries Museum situated on Clarence Dock in Leeds is open daily with free admission. As Contrary Life was in the city we decided to take a peek at this museum to see what it has to offer the quirky explorer.
On entering the museum we were greeted by pleasant staff who handed over a leaflet of the days activities available. The amount of events was impressive, with something to suit all the family from talks and demonstrations to tours and dressing up.
Contrary Life liked the sound of the talk on S.O.E. agents so went along to find out more. The talk was thoroughly interesting with a look at the weapons available to protect agents from capture to the methods of concealing secret information. The Liberator gun was a small cheap weapon that was really only good at point-blank range and for single use. Thanks to its cheap cost to make the gun was also referred to as the Woolworths gun. Maps were often printed on silk rather than paper as they were easier to conceal and made less of a rustling sound. As well as these nuggets of wartime information the talk covered some anecdotes of the near capture of agents.
The museum itself is set over several floors with hunting, tournament, war, self-defence and oriental galleries as well as a shooting gallery, cafe and shop. On display are weapons and armour with how these conflict-related artefacts have shaped our history, war, sport and leisure. Possibly the most interesting, certainly for Contrary Life, is the Oriental Gallery with the decorative and intricate displays of swords, horse armour, helmets and even an elephant’s protective garments.
The museum is well thought out with the galleries styled to match the theme of the area and subject it represents. The free talks, which last about 20 minutes, are informative and great for those of us not fascinated with war and guns but have a curiosity for history and people.
More info: www.royalarmouries.org