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“Little piece of Swansea history :-)”
Review of 1940s Swansea Bay

1940s Swansea Bay
Ranked #32 of 123 things to do in Swansea
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: NOVEMBER 2017 - CLOSED WEEKENDS and RESTRICTED WEEKDAYS. Sorry for any inconvenience, we know youngsters my be doing school projects. Schools visit every weekday so during this period of staff shorthages even weekdays may be restricted to the public. Once we get our staffing back to normal we will open daily 10am, from the living history weekend 16-17th Dec 17 onwards.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
Reviewed November 3, 2013

My daughter went here on a school trip and nagged us silly to take her again, so we finally gave in! Wish we hadn't waited so long! It was a lovely place to visit. Only took me 5 mins online searching to find a BOGOF voucher for entry too! The exhibits are all authentic, interesting and some are also fun. We all enjoyed the dressing up room! There was a lovely gentleman there with some great historical stories, in fact everyone there was very knowledgable about the era. It's only a small place but they've crammed lots in and we easily spent over an hour there. We'll be going again :-)

1  Thank Tracy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 - 73 of 99 reviews

Reviewed October 23, 2013

Museums are becoming slicker with multimedia displays these days. This one is based in an old office block on an industrial estate. Slick it is not but it is crammed full of memories and artifacts and you are encouraged to go around and touch a lot of the exhibits. Entry is through an old Anderson shelter complete with a cot and a baby's gas mask. There is a myriad of rooms devoted to a variety of topics - a living room, shops, pub, aircraft control and much more. There is a video room showing various documentaries about the 1940s.
There is an air of Heath Robinson about the place - but the enthusiasm and care of the owners shines through. It is also an organic museum - it is developing all of the time.
This venture deserves support and I can heartily recommend a visit and wish them well in the future.

2  Thank MarianBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
John T, Owner at 1940s Swansea Bay, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

I do hope that you will be able to call again in the future when our new exhibits are open. Thank you so much for your comments, they are greatly appreciated..

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Reviewed October 5, 2013

Now having read the various reviews on here and with the majority of them being favourable as a family + 1 we decided to have a little trip down to Swansea from the Valleys to take in 1940's Swansea Bay. As my twin daughters and their best mate was doing the 2nd world war as a theme at school I decided that this will be an interesting choice of days out.

I like others saw various vouchers available for discounts but to be honest when I read that places are funded solely by entrance fees and no Government or Assembly assistance I do try wherever financially possible try and pay the full price and as this was for a family of two adults and three children just over £ 18 I thought this would be well worth it even if it takes a hour to walk around it.

Getting there.
Now to be honest my Sat Nav must be out of date as it was telling me to turn off at the old ford factory but I was sure I saw a sign further on so took the initiative and went on and soon found at the next exit the signs to take us there. So please do not try some SAT NAV's and simply look for the brown signs and follow them.

Now for the Museum.
Now I have been to the National Museum of Wales and St Fagans and these are all funded by the government and therefore have money to spend of enormous buildings and exhibits of untold value but if you look at this museum for what it actually is this is one impressive collection. From my understanding from our visit and the chats we had with the staff this is a Family run museum with family and friends sourced exhibits. Exhibits that have been put together to celebrate the valiant efforts of not only the people of Swansea in 1940 but the country as a whole and it is shown this by the staff that were on duty today.

The street scene was well put together and the arows showed us the way through the exhibit and if you have children please get them to take on the challenge of the information sheet that asks questions about the exhibits and the answers are all around the exibit (not too difficult for our 9 year olds) but they had a ball doing work while they played. This is one museum that encourages a lot of play and hands on.

The staff on duty today were excellent and credit for our enjoyment must go in some part to Barry the Air Raid Precautions officer..... Notice this is Precautions and not Patrol (even I learned something new...). He made the dressing up area not just a fashion show for the girls but explained the fashions and fabrics used in the war and also what they had or rather had not in 1940's. After the impromptu dressing up in the fashions we made our way through the various exhibits and rooms and reading the interesting facts along the way. Every now and again we heard the shout of " Turn them lights off" and on one occassion the girls turned the corner just as the call went up and thy scarpered back to us.... There was a policeman walking around keeping us all in check and every now and again gave us a cheery wave or smile as he was obviously busy doing something or another but stayed in charactor and that made it quaint.

As all good days out for families in the present we all ended up in the pub...... Only this one was a dry pub and the Barmaid was a little of hand if I may say so as she never said a word to us in all the time we were there.... in fact she never said a word at all ?????? The Pub regular was the ARP warden Barry who seemed to be at home there and enthralled the children with tales of Swansea and the war and the reasons why the names are on the walls of the pub. With all good nights out at the pub in the 40's the night usually ends with a good old sing song and here was no exception when Barry got out his Ukelele and gave us a rendition of George Formby with his "When I'm cleaning windows" classis !!!!!. After the pub we then moved onto the rest of the museum and TV Room that showed a continuous movie of Wartime britain that was only 15 minutes long and well worth the watch as it brought to life the museum. Finally we found ourselves in what looked like the teaching room with its various bits and pieces spread around the walls that no doubt the children were encouraged to touch and feel and OK they may not have been the genuine articles but no doubt the genuine articles would be behind the glass cabinets and not available to touch.

As for the dust that others mentioned around the place and the unhygenic conditions there were no doubt dusty areas around the place and to be honest if you look around my house I am sure that you will find dust in some places (but don't tell the wife please) but this place is a bit bigger than my house and has a lot more items to dust and I guess cleaning may be like the painting of the forth bridge. The 1940's were I guess not clinical in its time with white shiny surfaces and spotless walls and ceilings and to be honest the place had an authentic look of the 40's whether that was everyday dust or grime or down to very good artistical work and attention to detail that is usually only found in the Disney Theme parks where new can be made to look old. The music as you wantered around or the sounds of the air raid sirens added to this.

The shop and cafe area was small and the costs of the items in the shop were of pocket money value so no over priced items that the children could beg their parents for and leave you walking out feeling you were fleeced.

Now I can wax lyrical on for ages about this place and I perhaps have but I feel to get a feel of a place to want to spend our hard earned cash it is only fair that my reviews are honest and try ion some way to convey our experiance at the establishment and I can honestly say that I for one enjoyed every 2 1/2 Hours spent here and for a family of five to do all thios for jsut over £ 18 I would say it was money well spent..... Oh and a word of advice do ot get the children whistles on lanyards as I spent the next 40 minutes listening to the shrills of a referee's whistle.....

All in all many thanks to all of the staff (all three) and the owners of 1940's Swansea Bay for an enjoyable and very informative day that my daughters will no doubt be taking to school on Monday and telling them all and I hope that the school takes the children there next time for their Key Stage 2 WW2 Trip as I will be putting this forward as a possibility.

6  Thank whiteshodan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
John T, Owner at 1940s Swansea Bay, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

Wow, thanks for your indepth review. My brother and I really appreciate the honesty and openness of your comments and it will help us move forward to a new season.

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Reviewed September 21, 2013

Excellent staff and exhibits. Interesting presentations. Exhibits etc could be better displayed. As a teacher I was itching to get to work on it to make the most of an exciting concept.

1  Thank E L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
John T, Owner at 1940s Swansea Bay, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

Thanks for your comment, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. We are always looking at ways to make the displays more engaging for visitors of all ages so if you have any feedback, in particular on the National Curriculum then please do drop us a line. Many thanks..

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Reviewed September 19, 2013 via mobile

Wow - what a treasure. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. There is plenty to see and we particularly enjoyed the rooms all laid out as typical 1940s examples. It was amazing how close you could get to the artefacts. The information signs are informative and you really get an amazing flavour of life in the 1940s. The WW1 trench exhibition is well underway.

Thoroughly enjoyed chatting to the owner and how the project came about. This is definitely not just for children and if you're interested in history it's well worth a visit.

I myself am a history fan and am particularly interested in the 1940s and learnt a lot from this visit. Slightly off the beaten track but well worth a visit! Thank you - we'll be back!

2  Thank swirly007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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