Living history comes to Saddleworth Museum during half-term

VISITORS WERE able to view some living history at Saddleworth Museum in Uppermill during the February half-term holiday.

Bonny (r) and Bilbo
Bonny and Bilbo outside Saddleworth Museum

Bonny, 24, and 22-year-old Bilbo Baggins are Britain’s remaining long distance boat horses though on this occasion they had one of their easiest working days.

Travelling from their Dobcross stables to Uppermill High Street, they happily posed for pictures.

They were also contented life models for youngsters making sculptures of boat horses during craft activities inside the museum.

The hard-working duo also helped, along with Sue Day from Mossley, to publicise awareness of the Horseboating Society, which Sue founded.

Bonny (r) and Bilbo 1
Bonny and Bilbo outside Saddleworth Museum

In 2000, Bonny pulled houseboat Maria from Ashton-under-Lyne to London raising funds for cancer charities.

Not to be left out, Bilbo Baggins, pulling canal boat Elland and Sue completed a 127-mile journey from Leeds to Liverpool.

Meanwhile inside the Museum, youngsters delved into the past with a range of exciting sessions and activities.

‘Delve into the Dairies of the Past’, working with Explore Learning Oldham, helped children discover secrets of Saddleworth’s past.

Using archive materiel and exhibition pieces children pieced together the past and wrote gripping descriptions of their findings.

Then ‘Museum Makes: Take on Transport’ offered creative craft activities inspired by the Museum’s transport collection.

Children got hands on to make spokes for a craft penny farthing bike and canal boats pulled by boat horses, as well as masks and bags.

Find out more about events at Saddleworth Museum on their website

For further details of the Horseboat Society visit


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