Horrible histories of war

London's Imperial War Museum at South Bank reopens in July and with it a new family exhibition, Horrible Histories: Spies and Secret War, based on the children's book series by Terry Deary.

World War II spycraft, including codes, camouflage and forgeries will be a feature as the series celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

The redevelopment of the museum has started with the World War I galleries, and more of this collection will be on display. The museum is one of five around England dedicated to a record of operations in which Britain or the Commonwealth have been involved since 1914.

Also on South Bank, Sea Life London Aquarium has introduced 16 new sharks and access to backstage areas normally closed to the public and, from a capsule in the London Eye, visitors can enjoy a guided tour of their surrounds.

See iwm.org.uk.

Terry is an ex-museum manager so he can bring those skills to creating exhibitions based upon his books.

The Terry Deary History Experience Park

Terry says:-

"What I hope to build is a History "Experience" where I recreate authentic villages from various periods - Tudor, Roman, Victorian perhaps - with nothing of the 20th century in them."

"They'll be enclosed in domes like the Eden Project in Cornwall so they'll be all-weather attractions and they will not be museums or theme parks; they will be peopled by actors and the visitors can join in the never-ending re-enactments of the past - with all its horrible history flavour - over there is a pickpocket on trial for stealing ... is he guilty, do we hang him? YOU, the visitor, must decide."

"Over there is Mr Shakespeare rehearsing a play and having trouble with the Puritans ... over here are the preparations for Queen Elizabeth's visit."

"In that house is a craftsman turning wooden bowls, and in that one a woman selling roast thrushes to take away while there is a house being built using genuine tools and skills and over there a Tudor ship. (When the ship is completed it will sail on the river and a new one built - when we have two we'll have a sea battle!)"

"And all the time the visitors are encouraged to interact and "experience" a day in the life of the period."

Horrible Histories – Funfair of fear exhibition

The National Museum and Galleries of Wales staged this spectacular exhibition in 2000.

South Wales Echo 14 April 2000 : An Eye-popping exhibition! -

"Visitors to the exhibition will be able to throw beanbag Christians into lions' mouths and hear the sounds of the animals roaring. Bloody-axe beanbags can be hurled at Henry VIII's wives, knocking them over to reveal whether they really did lose their heads to the axe-man. A castle, complete with dungeon, is filled with victims being tortured. It looks stunning. It will win over children who have never been interested in history before."

Horrible Histories - Crime and Punishment Exhibition

Terry designed the "Horrible Histories - Crime and Punishment Exhibition" was at the Royal Armouries in Leeds (July - November 2007) will try some of the concepts on a smaller scale. It broke attendance records.

Horrible Histories - Woeful First World War

And in 2008 the "Imperial War Museum North" in Manchester had a 'Horrible Histories - Woeful First World War' exhibition.

Horrible Histories – Terrible Trenches

In 2009 until October 2010 there is the 'Horrible Histories – Terrible Trenches' exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in London.