Pencil Museum – Keswick

In the heart of the Lake District, the town of Keswick hosts a small but colourful museum. It’s home to the world’s longest colour pencil and I was pretty excited to visit there on my recent holiday.

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Your ticket into the museum is a pencil and they remind you at the door to look out for the longest pencil, as people tend to miss it. Eyes peeled, you enter through a door way into a cave of graphite. This is where you start your journey into the history of graphite; how they sourced it and through the ages how they developed it and how exactly they get colour into a pencil todayIMG_5430

The exhibition also includes the secrets behind the escape artist’s pencil that RAF pilots carried with them during the war to guide them safely home. My favourite part which I didn’t know about before visiting, was the story of how Raymond Briggs used Derwent pencils in the animation of The Snowman.

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Admittedly I was a little bit disappointed that you can’t actually see the production of the pencils. Although the videos are very self explanatory its just not the same as being wowed in person.

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The museum showcases a lot of production tools and equipment through the ages and from the original factory, but it would be most exciting to see how they are produced today.

I did manage to find the largest pencil, but you do need to have your wits about you.

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