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On my way down to Bristol to visit my sister, I changed trains at Birmingham New Street and picked a leaflet with “New: Spitfire Gallery, Thinktank, Birmingham” written on it. Six days later, on breaking my journey at Birmingham New Street again, I rushed through the famous Bull Ring, across previously unexplored territory, to Millennium Point for the quickest of quick looks before continuing on my way.

I was completely unaware of Birmingham’s connection to the iconic Spitfire, so the Spitfire Gallery was very much an eye opener.  10,000 Spitfires, including the example suspended from the ceiling at Thinktank, were produced at the Castle Bromwich Aeroplane Factory. Unfortunately, I didn’t note down any of the interesting facts I came across that day, but I am left with a general impression that it was very good!

The notes I did scribble down describe a pangolin [“This armoured anteater uses its powerful claws to pull apart ant-hills and termite mounds“], the fossilised skeleton of a triceratops discovered in Montana in 1098, The Black Alpine Brough Superior motorcycle [“Top speed 85 miles an hour“] and an oil lamp from Queen Victoria’s Royal Train, so I must have been particularly taken with these exhibits. I’ll have to have a more leisurely look around the next time I’m in Birmingham.

If you’re interested in science and industry or the natural sciences, the Thinktank is well worth looking into.