The Churchill War Rooms (by Robert)

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The Map Room at the Cabinet War Rooms
The Map Room at the Cabinet War Rooms

Talking of Winston Churchill, which we kind of were, via both Bletchley Park and the current Science Museum exhibition, Robert is keen to tell you about the Churchill War Rooms, a fantastic place to visit in central London, which was vital during World War II and contains the only museum dedicated to Churchill himself.

Over to Robert:

“During World War II, Winston Churchill (Britain’s Prime Minister) needed a safe place to live, sleep and have meetings. So the government created the Cabinet War Rooms a whole building underground protected by a giant slab of concrete so that no bombs could get to him. I was really excited when I heard that my class and I were going to the place where the government created propaganda posters and discussed the war. Plus we got to go to the Winston Churchill Museum as well. Both activities are joined together to make the Churchill War Rooms, which is in Whitehall, central London.

After you’ve gone down a long winding staircase you get to a small room where we watched a film about the war and how the place that we were standing on, was used in it. We picked up our Audio guides and got started. You don’t have to get Audio Guides as there are boards with facts on and labels by the objects and artifacts but I think you get much more information out of listening to the tours as well as learning things that aren’t at the Churchill War Rooms.

We slowly made our way through the Cabinet War Rooms pondering over all the different rooms. Personally I liked the Map room where you could see all the different pins and notes written by every city all over the world. Also there was a few sugar cubes on the table and these had actually been left by a man working at the Cabinet. As sugar was rationed, he must have been about to make tea or coffee when he was called to an urgent business or the alarm went so he had to leave in a hurry.

I also liked seeing all the different people’s bedrooms and how they were all so different. The head of the army would have a room with a big comfy bed, padded chairs and nice looking furniture, while the man who brought Churchill his lunch, or the woman who worked by the phone, had a small uncomfortable bed, one hard chair and a plain bare room.

One other particular room I liked was the room just before you go into the Winston Churchill Museum. It had hats to try on, old telephones to use and lots of other fun things to do. At the Churchill War Rooms you go half-way through the Cabinet War Rooms before you enter the Churchill Museum, then go back and carry on the tour through the Cabinet War Rooms. I enjoyed The Winston Churchill Museum the most.

A general view of the Churchill Museum
A general view of the Churchill Museum (pic courtesy of the Imperial War Museum)

It had an interactive table where you could find out what historical event to do with the war happened on your birthday. Sadly my birthday was not a very good one – in the whole of the war all that happened on my birthday was that Winston Churchill’s friend sadly died. But I’m sure something great happened on your birthday so look out for that table if you go.

Another thing I greatly enjoyed was holding Winston Churchill’s teddy bears from when he was younger. I held all three and my favourite was a cute polar bear.

There is so much to do at the Museum from using a real typewriter to dressing up like Winston Churchill. Did you know he had his own version of a Onesie? There is so much to do at the War Rooms that I can’t say all the things but I tried to include a lot.

It was a extremely interesting day out and I would recommend it for all ages.”

If you want to find out what some other people did in the war at Bletchley Park click on the link.

You can also read Jess’s piece on the current exhibition on Churchill’s Scientists

Tickets to the Churchill War Rooms cost £8.15 for children and £16.35 for adults. A family ticket for two adults and two children costs £42.95. It’s cheaper to go with a school group!

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45 Responses

  1. Mellissa Williams

    What an interesting place to visit and great if you are studying history at GCSE. I like the idea of the interactive table too, modern technology bringing history to life.

  2. Globalmouse

    This looks like a really great place to visit – I love that you can get quite hands on with it all. I need a trip to Lonodn asap!!

  3. Cherished By Me

    Oooo I don’t think my children have ever been here, definitely something we need to rectify, thanks so much for telling us about it.

    • Robert

      When my teacher told us that the prime minister who helped win us the war had a onesie, I was surprised aswell.

    • Robert

      Then it sounds perfect for them. If you go try and pick up the audio guides as it made the day even greater.

  4. Christine

    We’ve been meaning to go here for ages – it’s on our list of places to visit in 2015. Sounds like it goes well with your visit to Bletchley, helps put everything in context.

    • Sarah Ebner

      Yes, I think it would be. I went a few years ago when my daughter went on a school trip and I found it fascinating too. Hope you manage to take them!

    • Robert

      I’m sure Hubby would love it. But if you go in winter dress warm because some places were quite cold.

  5. kara

    Hubby really wants to see these – may take the teen too, he is struggling a bit with GCSE History

  6. Mary Louise

    A very interesting write up.
    Sounds like a great trip and somewhere my Husband would love. We live near Bletchley park and he really enjoyed that day out.

  7. Stuart Forster

    I recently visited and this place offers a great insight into government and leadership during wartime. It was well worth visiting.

  8. Katharine

    This was great to read Robert as I teach there. I’m not sure I taught your class though. I love working there. My favourite bit is the room disguised a toilet with Churchill’s telephone hidden in it. So gald you had a great time there.

  9. Erica

    The War Rooms were on my list to see last time, but I ran out of time. Great write up and I’ll be sure to go next time I head over to London.

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