'A life is made up of a great number of small incidents and a small number of great ones' -Roald Dahl
In an effort to make books 'come alive' for our kids, we will attempt to visit places with literary significance. Fortunately living here will make that job easier : )
As fans of his work, we took a day trip to The Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire. Roald Dahl was the author of childhood classics such as Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox, James and The Giant Peach, and Matilda. He died in 1990.
The unforgettable children's musical movie Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory was filmed in Munich, West Germany in 1970. Interestingly, Quaker Oats Company provided big funding for the film as a platform for their new chocolate candy, Wonka Bar.
You'll notice that the exact title of the book, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, was not used for the movie Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory to better promote the candy tie-in. Mr Dahl disapproved of the heavy focus on Willy Wonka and less on Charlie, so he did not allow for the filming of the sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.
According to Wikipedia, that unforgettable Chocolate Room was a two foot deep river and waterfall created by adding chocolate ice cream mix to 150,000 gallons of water which eventually created a foul odor that permeated the entire soundstage. Many of the floral props were edible.
Now back to the museum. The museum took approximately two hours to tour. The focus was on Roald Dahl's life and how to get those creative juices flowing for aspiring young (and old) writers. When we entered the museum, the kids were given little notebooks to jot down creative ideas for writing a story.
There were drawing stations, dress up costumes, dictionaries, and magnetic areas to put random words together. It was loads of fun.
You can't go to this museum without some candy, right?
And a darling museum cafe too.
Of course the kids had to try
the 'whizzpopper' and 'fizzy lifting' drinks!
I just finished reading Roald Dahl's fascinating autobiographies, Boy and Going Solo, which recounted his full life in boarding schools, making trips to the candy store, being a taster for Cadbury's Chocolate, working for Shell Company in Africa, and flying for the Royal Air Force in WWII. I always wonder about the life of such unique creative minds.
Click here to see the museum website