Last Wednesday we had our first Fresh Light Lates at the Science museum meetup. Although I have been to a couple of these before, it is safe to say that every time you go to a "Lates" the organisers make a special effort to ensure you have a different experience. The theme this month was "Life of the Home."
We arranged to meet at 7pm just past the barriers inside the museum, where the group congregated before starting a tour of some of the special exhibits within the museum.
We started off by looking at some of the first locomotives used for transporting material. It was fascinating to learn the importance of efficiency in transporting materials and how steam power cut costs from traditional transport in using horse power.
We were able to see Puffing Billy, the world's oldest surviving steam locomotive, constructed in 1813–1814 by coal viewer William Hedley.
Next up was the more famous Stephenson's Rocket, one I was more familiar with, which was one of the first passenger locomotives.
The Rocket was designed by Robert Stephenson in 1829 and built at the Forth Street Works in Newcastle upon Tyne.
It was the first to bring together several innovations to produce the most advanced locomotive of its day and became the template for steam engines for years to come.
The Rocket was built for the Rainhill trials and there was an emphasis on speed and Stephenson's design was suited to carrying passengers.
Following our introduction, to trains and following in the theme of transport, we moved onto aviation!
We were shown some of the First British Planes to break records following the initial flight of the Wright Brothers in 1903.
We were privileged to see the plane(right) that Alcock and Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight from St John's Newfoundland to Ireland, via crash landing in June 1919.
Following our tour and feeling rather informed, we spit up and found other activities to do in the museum; robot building, Life Hack workshops, modelling and informative workshops before reconvening for the Silent Disco and a cold beer.
Thanks to all who came, it was a great evening and we look forward to the next one!
If you would like to come along to our next Science Museum visit or one of our other events, check out what is coming up on our events page!