A few days ago we took a trip to The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, the weather promised to be wet so we took the car and I drove. I haven’t been to Leeds since the 1980’s, so the Sat Nav was used for the last few miles from the motorway to the museum itself. I didn’t recognise anything anywhere so was glad for the help from Mistress Garmin. I’m not a fan of cities really except for London where I lived for 15 years, you could drop me off in West London and I would manage just fine and riding the motorbike around London was very VERY exciting, in fact I looked forward to it!
So back to Leeds and the purpose of our day. We tucked THE THUG inside the nearby multi story car park and walked to the museum just five minutes away. We were in the renovated Clarence Dock area, it was very new, clean and quiet as the grave! Honest guys it was empty of people, we saw maybe half a dozen people in the streets, just one business was open and that was empty of customers, it was about 10.30 in the morning and hardly a soul was about. I thought the place was interesting to photograph but to be honest I found it a bit depressing.
Above is a shot from Clarence Dock with the canal behind the museum, it’s very new and soulless it reminds me of one of those new modern prisons, hugely imposing, ugly and grey. It is just my opinion of course! You guys might like it?
I turned this one to black and white and hey presto we are back in LEEDS in the 1970’s
It began to grow on me as the modern plain grey urbanist in me rose…albeit briefly..very bloody briefly!!
Above I was trying to smile honest, but I was feeling so depressed all I could think about was throwing myself into the damn canal!!
Clarence Dock is not my cup of tea as you can gather, I’m more a fan of the grass, mountains and mucho greenery. I suppose it’s a good job I’m not in charge eh? We stepped inside the museum and enjoyed what we came to see, Julie brightened up the morning instantly with her new Tudor dress.
I on the other hand lined up a few urbanist architects and gave them what for!!
The first exhibit was fantastic to see. Copying the “olde worlde” style of showing of one’s weapons on the mantle piece. Below….To save getting a stiff neck..or falling over! A huge glass diamond sat underneath the tower and you could view it that way. Ingenious or what?
They had armour and firearms from as far back as possible, and from all over the world they had daggers, swords, bow and arrows and the very first clumbsy muskets. Julie loves the early periods. I on the other hand am more interested in later weapons. I’m just a big kid and loves loud bangs!
Lets see John Wayne charge up Iwo Jima firing this “mutha” from the hip! The diameter of the barrel was about two inches, when this went off it must have been really loud!
Taking photographs in museums is difficult sometimes as most things are behind glass and come out distorted and one is forbidden to use flash photography. However this photo comes across quite moody and in character.
I’m a fan of big tanks and stuff, but this is the nearest we got today, not quite a Sherman tank, but in its day it was as good as and something to be sniffed at especially when stood in front of it in your loin cloth and flip flops fiddling nervously with your bow and arrow!
The schoolkids just loved this huge model (as did I) we waited until they moved off to have lunch before having a closer look ourselves.
“Wait a minute darling…I’ve just spotted another bleedin architect over there!
As well as weapons of war they had hunting and sports guns. The intricate and ornate detailing was fantastic and a marvel to see, especially the ones used by the various gentry around the world, especially in the late 1800’s. Above.. in the hunting hall we saw weapons designed to killing every living defenceless animal on the planet. This diorama was of an ancient Whaling gun.These hunting halls whilst interesting to look at made my stomach turn a bit, especially the old black and white short films on offer. It’s funny but I don’t feel quite so bad when watching people shooting each other. Not that that’s good either, do you get what I’m trying to say?
Above….The museum looks to be one building from the outside but was in fact two huge buildings linked by concrete walkways on different levels, they seem to have forgotten to paint the walls don’t they?
Outside the museum were several old cannon, they weren’t plastic either!
Above….Julie poses as that huge woman from the 1960’s U.S B movie “The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman”
The museum is a great place to visit if your interested in Firearms and is especially brilliant for kids,they do a lot for them with demonstrations of sword fighting…Chinese martial arts….Knights and their armour…Court of Henry VIII tour….and numerous free tutorials. we saw two guys demonstrating the broadsword to schoolkids. They have an outside arean when displaying with the horses.
Many of the artists are regular are extras in period movies for their horsemanship skills. Other staff appear in many SKY documentary programmes. The whole day is FREE, the only cost is to park the car and that was just £5 for about 4 hours. Now don’t get me wrong guys, I’m not “dissing” Leeds. I just didn’t like Clarence Dock, neither of us fond of neat clean and modern… that’s all!
Take a look at the link below if you fancy a visit.