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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 3:04 pm   #21
dave walsh
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Default Re: Bradford museum exhibit changes

The blatant removal of the photographic collection to London against a great deal of local and national opposition, flagged up what was going to happen-the beginning of the end if you like or "levelling down". I used to visit with my lads when some of the Hunkin [p12] models were on exhibit, eg the TV interlace demonstrated by rows of string and a cardboard red flying spot moved along by turning a handle. Basic but effective! There was also a great micro to Macro electronic screen that took you from atoms to the Galaxies and back again. You could fly on a magic carpet too [back projection].

I recall being there once and trying to decide whether I could afford to buy a book about Tarkovsky, the Russian film maker. I went in search of a Guardian very late in the day but finally found one [just around the corner]. When I opened it at the Museum Cafe I saw that he had just died of cancer, having been exiled from both Russia and his son. I made a puchase! Around 1990 I took my son to see 2001 A Space Odyssey on the Museum's huge five story screen. We were near the projection booth and could see the 70mm film being projected from a flat bed set up "Horizontally" [literally widescreen]

For some reason this great work was out of favour here and they could only source a print from Sweden [with swedish sub-titles]. Despite this and the slightly disconcerting fact that the huge print still only covered the middle fifth of the screen, it was enjoyable to get there in the end and watch it. We only just managed that as I was fatigued with M E at the time which could lead to confusion. I remember going around the roundabout in Bradford centre a few times with my son saying "it's over there Dad!" Funny now but not so much at the time

Dave W

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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 6:59 pm   #22
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Default Re: Bradford museum exhibit changes

Ah Tarkovsky, my favourite director!

To add some positivity to this thread, I was at the Marstal Seafarers' Museum in Denmark last month and it was the most wonderful museum I've been to in a great many years. I had to go back two days running as there was so much to see, and that was with one of their buildings out of action.

Rooms of paintings, ships in bottles, dioramas, knots, whole sections of real ships built into the museum with hatches to look through, the bridge and saloon of a mid-century steamer with moving canvas backdrop outside the clearview screens giving the illusion of steaming through the night (with all equipment there to be fiddled with from DF radio to chart to helmsman's controls), galleries of souvenirs brought back by the seafarers...it was vast, engaging and informative despite being only partly in English.

A proper old-fashioned museum where the exhibits do the talking, but many can be touched and it can be seen how they worked. I can't praise it enough, and the Falmouth Maritime Museum can learn a great deal from it...
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Old 23rd Sep 2022, 12:55 am   #23
dave walsh
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Default Re: Bradford museum exhibit changes

My ex-wife lives in Denmark UB so I might get to check out that very interesting Museum you have described. The Tarkovsky film most appropriate to current circumstances, I think, is "Sacrifice" You will know why.

I meant to mention JLB's Grandson, Iain Baird, who came over from Canada some years ago and was the Curator at the Bradford Museum for quite a while, in it's previous existence! He is very well known within the Vintage TV academic community. His father Malcolm was in regular contact with the Bexhill Observer when JLB's previous home, opposite the Station here in the town, was demolished.

Two large blocks of flats are now on the site. One is named Baird Court and the other Helensburgh [where he is buried]. There is also a Blue Plaque "donated" by the developers, with a little encouragement from the newspaper and myself. I think Iain came down for that event but he left the Museum subsequently. I'm guessing he was out of step with the new trends eg "John Logie Baird's grandson reveals why he shuns modern technology despite family history" the Daily Record 14/11/12! He is now a freelance Consultant and researcher in Shipley Yorks, where he curated an exhibition re the little known Pratt Wireless Relay Company, that had connections with his Grandfather back in the 1920's.

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Old 23rd Sep 2022, 7:42 am   #24
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Default Re: Bradford museum exhibit changes

Further to my Post #14 on this thread, I can say that the policy with our new museum is that it won't be 'dumbed down'. We will explain things - as we did at the Heritage Open Days last weekend. We won't be excluding things that might be hard to explain to the public. A Quadruplex VTR is pretty complicated, but it's still a video recorder!

Some items are harder - how do you explain DICE (Digital Intercontinental Conversion Equipment) which, although from the mid 70s, digitally converts PAL 625/50 to NTSC 525/60 and vice versa. That was the first time that 'digital' had done something significant in the video domain. It was designed by the IBA and broke genuine new ground. Bradford would these days not be able to 'interpret' that because it's assumed to be too difficult. It isn't, it can be done.

For the record, we will be showing domestic televisions too, but that is not our primary target - it's about the broadcast side to include radio, TV, studios, outside broadcast and transmission.

We are now on Google Map as the Broadcast Engineering Museum.
See: tinyurl.com/ykez4msp

Our next opening is still to be decided - last weekend's Heritage Open Days was just a start! However, we're happy to show individuals and small parties around by prior appointment.

Best regards,

Paul M
Broadcast Engineering Conservation Group
Broadcast Engineering Museum
www.becg.tv
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Old 26th Sep 2022, 1:18 pm   #25
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Default Re: Bradford museum exhibit changes

After abandoning the National Museum of Scotland about a decade ago because of its dumbed down presentation I returned for another look this morning. I would say that it's not quite as bad as previously but still very disjointed and given the miniscule number of items they choose to display from their extensive collection I think their choices are poorly selected. The three photos below are the total of their television exhibits and each is in a totally different part of the museum.

Apologies for the glass reflections. I don't have a polarising filter for my phone.

Peter
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Old 26th Sep 2022, 1:38 pm   #26
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Default Re: Bradford museum exhibit changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulM View Post
Further to my Post #14 on this thread, I can say that the policy with our new museum is that it won't be 'dumbed down'. We will explain things - as we did at the Heritage Open Days last weekend. We won't be excluding things that might be hard to explain to the public. A Quadruplex VTR is pretty complicated, but it's still a video recorder!

Some items are harder - how do you explain DICE (Digital Intercontinental Conversion Equipment) which, although from the mid 70s, digitally converts PAL 625/50 to NTSC 525/60 and vice versa. That was the first time that 'digital' had done something significant in the video domain. It was designed by the IBA and broke genuine new ground. Bradford would these days not be able to 'interpret' that because it's assumed to be too difficult. It isn't, it can be done.

For the record, we will be showing domestic televisions too, but that is not our primary target - it's about the broadcast side to include radio, TV, studios, outside broadcast and transmission.

We are now on Google Map as the Broadcast Engineering Museum.
See: tinyurl.com/ykez4msp

Our next opening is still to be decided - last weekend's Heritage Open Days was just a start! However, we're happy to show individuals and small parties around by prior appointment.

Best regards,

Paul M
Broadcast Engineering Conservation Group
Broadcast Engineering Museum
www.becg.tv
You seem to be stating quite clearly there that vintage TV stuff (the reason for this thread and your stated aim to fix with your museum) will not feature heavily in your displays.
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Old 26th Sep 2022, 4:34 pm   #27
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Default Re: Bradford museum exhibit changes

That's not quite what I've said or implied.

Back in its heyday, the Bradford museum didn't major on domestic TV sets - it had lots of them in the collection, but the public display was very limited indeed. I was involved with some of the sets at one point, but especially with the broadcast side, so I really knew it quite well. There were very, very few - if any to my recollection - radio sets and that is also something that we may feature. It's the broadcast side that people mainly remember about the 'old' Bradford museum. The 'sleeping beauty' set being a frequent example cited.

Like Bradford as it was, our forte and focus will also be broadcasting equipment and its history. However, as a balance we do intend to set up some displays of domestic sets in appropriate period living room settings. We have a lot of small rooms and some of those lend themselves to that sort of approach to 'interpretation'. One thing that we can't do that Bradford could do, is original 30 line equipment and hardware, although we will have something on show to be representative of that era. We would love to talk to someone who might be interested in that area.

Hope this clarifies what we're about. We've committed a lot of our time and money to this project and we do need help!

Best regards,

Paul M
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Old 27th Sep 2022, 9:38 pm   #28
dave walsh
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Default Re: Bradford museum exhibit changes

It's very helpful to have feedback from Paul M at the Museum. I've only just read what he had to say. I wonder if there may be some possibility of partnership with interested individuals on this site or elsewhere Perhaps the British Vintage Wireless Society, of which I'm a member [but not everyone is] might be interested officially? Subject to consultation with the membership of course!

I've often thought that the [1935] De La Warr Pavilion, here on the coast, would be ideal for displays of vintage Radio and TV equipment, especially as J L Baird was resident for seven years nearby, before his death in June 1946. Sadly, there's not been much obvious support for the idea. I noticed this Monday [via the Radio Times] that Radios 4's Start The Week was a special edition in front of an audience at Bradford Media Museum. Not that much electrical content, apparently, from the outline. I haven't heard it on BBC "Zounds" yet but I'm a regular listener to STW. I've asked people at the Beeb why the repeat is shortened by 15 minutes but "answer came there none"

Dave W
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Old 28th Sep 2022, 11:53 am   #29
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The Broadcast Engineering Conservation Group is a relatively new registered charity with limited funds and resources. Almost everything that we had accumulated in terms of gifts and donations went in to buying our incredible building. On the scale of things, it was cheap - very cheap - and the price would have been a factor of 10 higher anywhere down south, even in the state that we bought it in. As we own the building outright, we can't be kicked out which is sadly often the case with specialist museums.

After much hard graft and almost 10 months in, we now have a viable building but still with much to do - especially for our TV OB truck garage project. Sponsorship would be good . . .

We are open to all ideas - we have 30,000 sq ft on 2 acres of land - but money and resources need to be found. We're now on something of a roll after our Heritage Open days on 17/18th September but that success needs consolidation. We do need more publicity and - of course, funds - but things are moving and we're confident.

This is an unashamed plug for funds: https://becg.org.uk/donate/

We can do much of what Bradford used to do so well, but we're not funded by anything other than donations and gifts. Bradford received public money via the Science Museum. Looking to other bodies for support often comes with strings attached and such restrictions need to be considered carefully.

We look forward to any suggestions and proposals!

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Old 28th Sep 2022, 1:17 pm   #30
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Default Re: Bradford museum exhibit changes

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That's not quite what I've said or implied.
Good to hear, that wasn't how I understood it either.. However "how to explain something to the public" surely isn't the only criterion? A historically very important item that can't be easily explained to just everyone, can still be important to have in an exhibit - and some people will be intrigued, understand and/or be glad to have learned of the existance of said item. Surely it will also draw exactly those people who are able to understand its workings. Isn't it about finding a good balance? Something for all target audiences?
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Old 28th Sep 2022, 2:22 pm   #31
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Default Re: Bradford museum exhibit changes

It is indeed a question of balance.

Not every visitor will have a deep understanding and even those that have, often come with family who probably won't have.

We're fortunate to be right next door to the largest antiques centre in Europe -
https://www.hemswell-antiques.com/

A lot of knowledgeable visitors will likely have managed the day out as a family unit because of the antiques centre, and we need to keep the children and partners engaged too.

Bradford has veered off to one extreme - keeping the kiddies happy and removing anything that's <<difficult>> to explain. My example of DICE (Post #24) is a challenge, but it's possible. Explaining the humble CRT is also a good one to consider. Bradford used to do that very well, but not now . . .

Best regards,

Paul M

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Old 28th Sep 2022, 4:21 pm   #32
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He said he was sufficiently concerned at their absence to speak to a manager, who apparently said they had been removed because children didn't relate to them. His comment that surely a purpose of a museum was to show the public how technology had developed, apparently cut no ice.
I wonder where they got that idea from? It sounds like a made up excuse to me!
A couple of years ago a local school borrowed a 1950's TV set, a radiogram and a Bakelite phone from me to show the children "how things used to be" The kids loved it apparently, they played with the 'phone pretending to call friends and family. The turret tuner on the TV got some 'stick' and the radiogram they found fascinating! A couple of 78s met their maker but they were common or garden so no worries. I think kids will engage if they are allowed to. Exhibits don't need to be rare or valuable to educate.
The teacher was very inspiring and enthusiastic, maybe that is what is missing with some parents and or curators ?
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Old 28th Sep 2022, 7:13 pm   #33
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I think kids will engage if they are allowed to. Exhibits don't need to be rare or valuable to educate.
Nearly everyone engages given the right environment. This is part of our plan with MEET (Museum of Electrical and Electronic Engineering) too. We have many fun things covering diverse areas of technology, of which radio and TV is but one, that experience shows people just love to pick up and get personally involved with. Once they've caught the vintage vibe, their minds are open to grappling with the more complex ideas and exhibits that take them out of their comfort zone, which is the point at which it starts to become genuinely educational rather than just entertaining.

Many of the customers who visit our film equipment business are captivated by watching one of the demo films on the TV12 that I have running there. It's not a very special TV by historical standards, but it's far enough out of the ordinary to launch any number of interesting conversations. They might use it as a chance to try and finally understand the meaning of 'interlace' or 'drop frame', or just learn about analogue systems generally. I will go as far as they want. Once, I ended up drawing a complete block diagram of the CTV25 on the whiteboard. One can't do that on an individual basis for every visitor to a publicly accessible museum, but IMO one must go further than a snazzy but superficial presentation on a touchscreen.

IMO this is where some exhibitions designed along current lines (evidently including at least some aspects of the current incarnation of Bradford) miss opportunities. By trying to ensure universal appeal and validity, i.e. achieving engagement as measured by footfall and other purely demographic stats, they lose the higher functionality of meaningful interaction. Quantity is allowed to triumph over quality.

Like the BECG is doing with the BEM, we want to reverse that trend at MEET. We are broad in subject matter where they are focused, but our conceptual aims are convergent on the quality and depth of experience we seek to offer. Perhaps the major museums with significant collections, such as Bradford, will be able to glean something from our efforts, if they produce the expected results.
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Old 28th Sep 2022, 9:25 pm   #34
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Default Re: Bradford museum exhibit changes

I can remember at the Golborne event a few years ago some boys had a look round after their football game were looking at the TVs on display. One compared them to microwaves, which amused me as the joke used to be the other way round, back went everyone had a CRT set & microwave ovens were one of the new household gadgets.
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Old 29th Sep 2022, 5:40 pm   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulM View Post
The 'demise' of the TV side of the Bradford museum was one of the things that inspired us to form the Broadcast Engineering Conservation Group (BECG) and to establish our own museum building (owned by the BECG). This last weekend was our first trial opening under the national Heritage Open Days scheme. It went very well and there's some pictures in this thread here:
https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...99#post1500799

As a taster, here's a couple more pictures (taken by Dave Higginson).

Telecine machines (5 more yet to be delivered!)
Roland Rat's TV-AM Marconi MkIX TV camera

Best regards,

Paul M
Do you have any of the Cintel Mk 1 machines on display?
I used to work on them very many years ago!

David.
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Old 29th Sep 2022, 6:38 pm   #36
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Not yet!

There's still another four quadruplex and another four big telecines to move into the museum TK and VT areas.

One of the telecines still to be moved is a huge Cintel Mk2. As I understand it, that's essentially a colourised and updated Mk1 type. There seems to have been a lot of variants and versions. This one was 'transistorised' and 'colourised' in 1969 as part of the BBC's telecine expansion program. It's 16 and 35 mm spread over the equivalent of about 7 rack bays! It's huge, but it does break-down in to separate units. Needs a good clean before it moves to the museum!

Best regards,

Paul M
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Old 30th Sep 2022, 3:26 pm   #37
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My first view of mechanical-scanning TV was at the Bradford museum, having been fascinated by it from being a child.
When Ian Baird was curator, he arranged for me to bring a friend trained in technical drawing, and take measurements from an existing Baird Televisor, for the purpose of creating a replica.
The instrument we measured was that in Post 6 (above), and two replicas were eventually made, one a Model B, the other a C, with the floor cabinet to house the wireless part.
With a 24" scanning disc, and an 8" viewing lens, the resulting image is amazing. When moving images are displayed, such as a couple dancing, the detail far exceeds expectations, suggesting that the human brain is able to interpolate between the lines.
Why anyone should want to downplay such a demonstration of early television I do not know. It is ephemeral, and curiously fascinating. Surely any display of television history ought to begin with such a feature.
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Old 30th Sep 2022, 3:42 pm   #38
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Default Re: Bradford museum exhibit changes

So long as the collection remains in store at Bradford, at least there remains the possibility that opinions could change, and that a spread of age groups and levels of interest could one day be catered for again.

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Old 30th Sep 2022, 4:27 pm   #39
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So far as I know, only a small part of the Science Museum collection of cameras, monitors and sets remains at Bradford. Much is now at the Science Museum Wroughton store and conditions there vary. Their local store at Black Dyke Mill was cleared out years ago. That was impressive, but now long gone. What's where and under what conditions is hard to know, but we assume that the really important stuff is stored in the <<right>> conditions.

Our new museum does not - of course - have the very early kit, but we do have very significant later items from the late 40s to almost the present day across many types. Making this kit accessible and displaying it in a meaningful way is our goal. The kit, the technology behind it and the 'tacit knowledge' (understanding from experience) is inter-linked and now is possibly the last chance to make some of those connections.

What happens to private collections after the owners' death is a real problem (we saw an example of this earlier in the year) and what we're doing will now hopefully survive us, thanks - in a large part - to the ownership of the building by our charity. It's still going take a lot of hard graft, money and other resources, but we seem to be off to a good beginning and we hope that people will support us.

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Old 30th Sep 2022, 4:59 pm   #40
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I visited the Science & Media Museum in Bradford in 2018. I had heard there was a display of vintage television sets but they had already gone by then. A bit of a shame but not entirely surprising. The museum is aimed at the general public. It's somewhere to take the children on a rainy day. Children are not generally interested in looking at old non-working televisions - they're just boring wooden boxes. I appreciate these sorts of museums feel the need to change their exhibits from time to time in order to keep visitors coming back. They may have to meet targets of visitor numbers to ensure they continue to receive enough funding.

The clue is in the name "Media Museum". It's mainly an archive of photographic images, moving pictures, video games and television programmes, therefore it focuses on the software rather than the hardware. Of course the two go together. There were some old cameras, props and memorabilia from famous historic TV programmes on display as well as a few playable video games. But as I said, it is mainly about the media itself rather than the technical aspects of how it was created.

At least the vintage TVs still exist in storage. I hope they can find a way to incorporate them into future displays. A display of a replica mechanical Baird televisor would be good. It's possible for visitors to see the moving parts that make it work, and it can be kept running almost indefinitely. Vintage CRT TVs can't.

Thankfully there are some specialist museums that display the hardware - often with restored working examples - and have experts on hand to describe things and answer questions. I just visited one such place - the wonderful Dulwich Vintage Wireless and Television Museum last weekend. PaulM's museum sounds like it will be worth a visit for those who are interested in the technical side of broadcasting.
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