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.
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 today
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.
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.
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.