Museums mark big day with knight out

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a KNIGHT in shining armour leaning on a steam engine while connecting to the internet through an iPad yesterday illustrated the tremendous variety of attractions at the region’s museums as they marked the 10th anniversary of free entry to the attractions.

Host venue was the National Railway Museum in York which provided the steam engine, while the Royal Armouries in Leeds sent the man in armour.

The National Media Museum in Bradford contributed the computer.

The gathering was billed as The Big Free.

The Royal Armouries saw its visitor numbers jump by nearly 100,000 in the first year of free admission.

The National Railway Museum has seen just under eight million people enjoy access to its attractions for free, while the medium museum said free entry had helped it become one of the most visited museums outside London.

National figures show visits to national museums have grown by 51 per cent since 2000, with more than 50 million visitors in 2010-11, with nearly one in six children.

Numbers at attractions which formerly charged have risen by a staggering 150 per cent since 2000.

A third of visits to the armouries are by children.