Streetlife Museum of Transport named Hull's top attraction
IT HOUSES some of the oldest vehicles in the country – from an 1818 "hobby horse" bicycle, to vintage cars.
But visitors to Hull's Streetlife Museum of Transport are voicing their admiration with 21st century technology.
The museum has been named the city's best attraction on travel website tripadvisor.co.uk
Families from East Yorkshire and further afield have taken to the internet to praise the museum's displays.
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"I regularly take my daughter here, she's seven and loves it," wrote one reviewer from Hull.
"It's free to get in and there's no pressure whatsoever to spend money once inside.
"It provides an interesting history of Hull, presented in a interactive way. They often make special attractions during school holidays."
Trip Advisor allows users to rate attractions out of five – and Streetlife has an average score of 4.5.
Of the 73 people who reviewed the museum online, 39 said it was excellent.
One post on the website was written by a visitor from Christchurch, New Zealand.
"Great for the kids," it said. "Plenty to see on a wet afternoon and it's free."
The museum's star attraction is a recreation of the York to Hull mail coach – complete with a moving carriage and life-like soundtrack.
Simon Green, assistant head of services at Hull City Council and responsible for heritage, said: "I think people are really pleased when they have the mail coach ride. It's dark and bumpy and there's the soundtrack.
"It's an animated vehicle – people climb in and the whole thing is a replica of a mail coach.
"Then they get out and they're in a stable yard, just like they would have been at the end of a mail coach journey."
Mr Green said the museum's hands-on approach made it popular with visitors.
"We've gradually worked away from quite a traditional view, which was getting experts to talk about the objects and show their expertise," he said.
"We have those sorts of people and that's great but we also try to take a customer-led approach.
"We work really hard to try and build what they want into our plans."
The museum aims to let families get close to the vehicles on display.
"We try to get people as close as we can to the objects," Mr Green said.
"It's very much about letting people explore heritage at their own pace and in their own way.
"We want to send people away happy."
Web reviewers picked up on that commitment.
"The combination of street scenes and transport exhibits is a winner, and being able to climb aboard the trams and trains was a great experience," one wrote.
"You can also ride in a horse drawn carriage with sound effects.
"The staff were very helpful and were always on hand to answer our questions."
Another Trip Advisor user said the museum appealed to all ages.
"Oldies can wallow in nostalgia, while the young can get first-hand experience of the recent past," he wrote.
"The mock street has shops that truly look as they were in real life over half a century ago."
The council welcomed Streetlife's success.
Leisure and culture portfolio holder Terry Geraghty said: "It is fantastic that Hull's Streetlife Museum has come number one in the Trip Advisor's top attractions list for Hull.
"We are proud of all of our free museums and I am delighted that a council museum has been named by people visiting the city as the top one to see."