One thing which makes for a good hotel, restaurant or attraction is attention to detail. With this in mind I checked out the new Science Museum exhibition for kids - "Wallace and Gromit's World of Cracking Ideas." Many people will be making a special trip to see it, so will it be worth the effort?
It's visually imaginative, and there are some cracking set designs (including some of the appealing pair's original sets from the Aardman studios).
But what truly awful attention to practical detail. I mean really awful. Only the second day after opening, so much was wrong. The first exhibit of all - a phone box - didn't work. The second - a giant fun "smoothie mixer" - had a felt-tipped notice saying "Not Very Well" stuck on it. Only two of several music synthesisers were working, and these had tatty printed instructions which nobody could follow. A large TV-and-sofa contraption was so badly designed that only one child could use it at a time - even though it had two sets of controls. In fact, many exhibits only catered for tiny numbers of kids - there will be horrendous bottlenecks when the exhibition is full, despite the timed entry.
The organisers couldn't even provide a large enough table for the kids to play with all the cogwheels which were supplied for them to piece together.
The many red-shirted "explainers" were kept busy trying to firefight the results of all this bad design, and a great cacophany of noise bounced off all the surfaces making the animated screens nearly inaudible.
Whoever designed this looks as if they had no experience of working with large numbers of people - let alone children.
All this was interspersed with random and barely-explained exhibits of famous inventions in no kind of logical order. And, apparently you're supposed to think of your own cracking inventions, but we never found out how.
What an awful mess and you wonder how much money has been wasted.
Still, it was a large exhibition and not too crowded, so most children seemed to find something to do. It wasn't bad, overall, but the ones I took preferred looking round the Science Museum itself.