Days Out: Horrible Histories Blitzed Brits at Imperial War Museum North

This exhibition has now finished.

There’s no easy way to educate children about what happens during war time without frightening them.Sadly, it’s something they need to know if they are going to have a balanced view of the world.

Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories series of books and television programmes have somehow managed to combine light-hearted entertainment with education, and his magnificent powers of stomach-churning storytelling are currently being harnessed at the Imperial War Museum North.

Blitzed Brits provides a child’s eye (but not childish) view of life at home during war time, utilising fun interactive exhibits to engage people of all ages in an opportunity to learn about the horrors and privations.

It pulls no punches. There’s a newspaper article revealing the story of a passenger ship laden with refugee children when it was sunk by the Nazis, hundreds of miles from land. Few survived.

Yucky insights

But Deary sugars the pill by combining the unpalatable facts with yucky insights into life during the blitz. Did you know that people ate chocolate and potato pudding? Hedgehog fritter anyone?

There’s a bicycle which allows you to see if you could deliver a message faster than pigeon post, as did a 14-year-old messenger girl during the conflict, and a Co-operative Wholesale Society film showing the devastating impact of a German bombing raid on Manchester.

 The Imperial War Museum North is always worth a visit but the Horrible Histories exhibition means it’s a particularly good time to take children.

Admission to Blitzed Brits is free, as is admission to the Imperial War Museum North itself. Combine it with a visit to the attractions at Salford Quays and it can be part of great value day out.

Horrible Histories Blitzed Brits is at The Imperial War Museum North until April 2016.

A Closer Look Tour

Every Saturday and Sunday and Friday 25 and Monday 28 March, 1.30pm (ideal for ages 14+)

Hear the first-hand accounts of evacuated children separated from their parents for the first time and hear stories of ordinary people who stayed in the cities under the constant threat as you discover the resilience and inventiveness of the Blitz spirit in this tour of exhibition Horrible Histories: Blitzed Brits.

Getting There

Imperial War Museum North,

Trafford Wharf Road,


M17 1TZ

Website: Click here

Top Tip: Park in the Lowry Outlet mall car park and spend £5 in one of the shops – or the food court – to get your ticket validated for four hours of free parking.