You know that feeling of satisfaction you get when you discover a place that’s a hidden gem ? . . . well I got that visiting here.

It’s not packed and busy . . . . in fact my family and the one we visited with had the tour to ourselves. Pip, the guide, was brilliant . . . really informative in a way that was completely fascinating. There were so many ‘aaaaahh’ moments of realisation when she explained things. Ever wondered about the origin of ‘upper case letters and lower case letters’? No? We hadn’t either, but that was one of many ‘aaaaahh’ moments when we learnt this.

There had been a serious road traffic accident in Hemel that caused an almost gridlock situation in and around the town on the day we visited. My family had arrived for 11am opening time to get on the 11:15 tour. The centre staff kindly thought to wait for anyone that may have become stuck in the traffic congestion. The five teenagers in our group (aged 13-17) came along simply for the reason it was something I’d told them we were doing.

The said teenagers were, however, surprised how interesting and enjoyable the visit was . . . and teenagers are extremely hard to impress. It’s a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours and thanks needs to go to the staff for their dedication to preserving this wonderful piece of our industrial history.