A child's eye view of the City Museum

Children visiting Winchester's City Museum can now enjoy a host of revolting stories and ghastly facts with the help of a new guide produced by Winchester City Council's museums service.

The leaflet picks out interesting objects throughout the three-storey museum and takes a fun 'horrible history' approach to the past.   Based on research among families visiting during 2006, the leaflet has a more serious underlying objective of encouraging an enthusiasm for history and for museum-visiting more generally.

Visitor services Manager for the museum, Sher Kent said, "This highly colourful leaflet is free to all children. Among the memorable facts and features are drains smelling of poo, a severed hand and the Mayor of Winchester's loo seat - there are also practical activities such as a word search and a time line of Winchester's history.  So it will act as a guide and a souvenir all in one."

Children can use the leaflet to tour the museum with their families, guided by a cartoon character called Gunni.  Gunni is based on an actual Saxon nobleman who lived in Winchester 1,000 years ago, whose gravestone can be found on the first floor of the museum.

Museums Education Officer, Robin Iles said, "Winchester Museums have been building a really strong family offer over recent years.  The introduction of our new Toga Tots sessions for pre-schoolers at the end of last year and the arrival of this new trail leaflet mean that we are able to reach out to children from the age of three upwards both in and out of their formal education settings."

The leaflet was funded by a grant from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Museum Development Service.  Cllr Patricia Stallard, Portfolio Holder for Culture, Heritage and Sport said, "We are very grateful for this support.  Winchester City Council is committed to working in new and efficient ways and a partnership of this kind brings together staff skills, knowledge and time with external funds for the benefit of local people and visitors alike."

You can try out the new trail at the museum between 10am and 5pm from Monday to Saturday, or Sunday noon-5pm. Admission is free.