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Flickr / Nick Webb
Flickr / Nick Webb

Four reasons to visit the Kirkaldy Testing Museum this weekend

Becky Danks

If you’re curious about the industrial revolution and need to kill a bit of time this Sunday, here are four reasons why you should wile away your afternoon at Southwark’s experimental (with an emphasis on ‘mental’) Kirkaldy Testing Museum. 

You get to smash things up 

Pop on a pair of safety goggles and blow off some steam using antique machinery straight out of the 19th century.

The architecture is Instagram-worthy

The Grade II* listed building dates back to 1874 and is a stunning example of Victorian architecture at its finest. The rooms inside have also been painstakingly preserved. 

You can see the gigantic ‘Universal Testing Machine’ first hand

The only working contraption of its kind in the world, the UTM paved the way for modern safety checks and is the creation of eccentric engineer David Kirkaldy. While he may not be a household name today, Kirkaldy’s pioneering approach made historic global achievements – including India’s first railways – possible.

It only costs a fiver

Run solely by passionate, enthusiastic volunteers who tell vividly entertaining stories, keeping the place alive relies entirely on entry fees at a bargain rate of £5 (concessions £4). It’s also open on the first Sunday of every month. 

Photo: Flickr / Nick Webb

Find out more about the Kirkaldy Testing Museum. 

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