MAD Museum – Stratford upon Avon

Entrance to the MAD Museum on Henley Street

Yesterday I went on one of my many day trips to Stratford upon Avon. The show I was there to see didn’t start until 3 pm, which left me a few hours to kill. I’d wandered past the MAD Museum on Henley Street a few times, and thought the time was right for me to pay it a visit.

I walked in at the right time, as a huge school party was just leaving. There were only a couple of other visitors remaining, so I had most of the exhibitions to myself.

The museum has only been in existence since 2011 (it originally occupied premises on Sheep Street) but has already won several awards, including the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2014. MAD is short for Mechanical Art and Design and the museum showcases kinetic sculptures and art. Think marble runs, but much more varied and elaborate!

The museum is full of delights, most of which are interactive: press a button and see what happens. My favourites were the typewriter converted to a music-making machine, thanks to wires connecting each key with a glass filled with water, and the large-scale ‘marble-run’ style sculpture set in a kitchen. Several of the works are available to buy, and all display remarkable ingenuity. This museum is an ideal place to visit no matter what your age or level of interest in mechanics – though I think someone interested in how things work would get the most out of it.

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