Last weekend we were very lucky that Ethan’s Nana and Pappy took us to see Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends at the East Anglian Railway Museum.
The day started with a bit of a queue to get into the museum as everyone was buying tickets to enter. Ethan doesn’t like queueing and Nana has already purchased tickets online, but there were no signs to say they you didn’t have to queue if you had pre-purchased tickets. The waiting caused Ethan to get a little distressed as he doesn’t understand the concept of queueing, this is an autistic trait and one that some places are starting to accommodate. Unfortunately when I commented on the fact that we had to wait and it was causing some distress I didn’t get a very understanding response. It was more along the lines of that children have to learn how to wait. Now I’m not expecting everyone in the world to be autism aware, I do think it is something we should really aim for, but we had pre-purchased tickets to minimise Ethan’s distress and I don’t think that the museum had really made allowances for this choice.
The East Anglian Railway Museum is situated on a siding of a real working train track, and they run four trains on Thomas days, Thomas, Percy, Toby and Daisy. You can ride all of the trains as many times as you wish, but because of the amount of track the museum has the trains just go up and down the tracks a few times for each ride. You do have to wait for the trains, as running all four trains has to be timed perfectly, and the rides are short and sweet but its perfect for toddlers and small children.
When we arrived we spotted Toby first and is wasn’t long before he was going to set off so we got on the train ready to go.
We knew that Ethan wouldn’t benefit from any of the activities but he did take a look around the imagination station and really enjoyed looking at all of the books and playing with the toy train sets.
After four hours we decided to call it a day as we were all getting tired from the heat. As we left Ethan was given a goody bag and he was even given a certificate during the day to say that he had been to visit Thomas.
We all really enjoyed our day and Ethan coped really well with all he the waiting that he had to do. As long as he is kept moving and has lots to look at we can normally cope with the queueing issues. I think we would visit Thomas again.
A very big thank you to Nana and Pappy for taking us to see Thomas and his friends.