It had been a long time since I thought about my dreams as a child. I had so many of them. My family always called me a dreamer – and indeed I was. However, as I grew older, my childhood dreams gradually became a distant memory. I guess, at a certain point, we all get caught up in day-to-day matters that we forget the dreams we once had. That changed when I visited the Museum of Science and Industry or MOSI, one of the best museums in Manchester to visit. As I stepped into the museum, I felt a welling of excitement. My mind was instantly transported back to the days when my only concerns revolved around getting my homework done and what was for lunch. The childhood dreams and pastimes I once had sprang back to life. It was an amazing feeling, one that sent waves of exhilaration right to my very core, and for several hours, I was a kid again. What triggered this?

Planes and trains. Old planes and trains.

Steam train at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester.

My visit to the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

MOSI plane
The Avroplane at MOSI.
The Planet steam train at MOSI.

The MOSI was the perfect catalyst. A whole building is dedicated to the history of the locomotive whilst another aircraft hangar-sized section houses a magnificent collection of planes and helicopters. As I wandered around, a dozen memories flooded my mind: my childhood dream to become a pilot (which I ditched in my teens), my model plane and train collections, sitting in the aircraft cockpit with my Dad and my first train ride.

MOSI plane 2
Another classic plane: the Pioneer.
Inside the Museum of Science and Industry.

As a boy, I designed make-believe airports for my planes; I felt drawn to town-planning and drew fictitious maps of cities; I was fascinated by roller-coasters so I built roller-coasters made of carton and pieces of tin; I fiddled with little engines and put them in little wooden boats; and I created little towns made of Lego bricks around my toy train tracks. This was the stuff my dreams were filled with and how I brought them to life. I’d forgotten all this… until my visit to the MOSI.

The MOSI is a great museum to visit in Manchester for an afternoon of fun and inspiration. The kids will love it too! Read about other things to do in Manchester.

Read about how I re-lived my childhood fascination with planes and trains at Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg.



6 Responses

  • […] the Abraham Lincoln statue) to the stunning People’s History Museum, before continuing to the Museum of Science and Industry (home of the world’s first train station). And save some time in your itinerary for a walk […]

  • […] the accompanying post: ‘A Boy’s Dream‘. Monday, July 5th, 2010 Europe TAGS: city, England, […]

  • Great post keith.. really got me thinking about my childhood days too. Being a girl and all, for me it would be looking at old jewelry boxes, the ones with the spinning ballerinas or a walk in wardrobe with a million pairs of vintage shoes! That would conjure up childhood memories for me;)

  • Hi Jen,
    Gosh, I invented my own countries too and made up names of places, capital cities, etc.. It was so cool!


  • Travel – or dreaming about travel, at least – kept me busy in childhood. I invented my own countries and own “sights” and made my own itineraries. I read Berlitz travel guides (they were the bomb in the 80’s) and tried to learn languages of the world. Hahaha.

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