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Clubs, Groups and Societies For discussions about various clubs, groups and societies relating to our hobbies, such as the BVWS (incl NVCF), BATC, RSGB, APTS, CLPGS, THG, TCC etc. This is NOT an official forum for any of these organisations.

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Old 13th Sep 2019, 6:21 pm   #101
Phil G4SPZ
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I spent nearly three hours in the small but fantastic Dalbeattie Museum in Dumfries & Galloway. The work of a retired electrician supported by a group of volunteers over the past 26 years, it’s an eclectic mix of ‘stuff’ arranged over numerous rooms on two floors. It contains plenty to interest the vintage wireless enthusiast, with a couple of dozen sets and several TVs of various ages, plus a great display of valves.

What made my day was the presence of virtually every other vintage technology in which I’m interested - Tilley lamps, model live steam engines, railway ephemera, cameras, clocks, binoculars, tools, machinery etc etc. Almost everything has a connection with Dalbeattie and was donated by locals. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area. The museum is a Registered Charity. Open Monday to Saturday 11.00 till 4.00 from April to October. Admission is free but I gave a generous donation. Truly excellent!

www.dalbeattiemuseum.co.uk
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“The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum” - Havelock Ellis
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 6:27 pm   #102
Phil G4SPZ
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Default Re: Museums

A few more:
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“The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum” - Havelock Ellis

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Old 14th Sep 2019, 9:58 am   #103
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Some good stuff in there. We go through the area twice a year but its a long time since we went to that location. Will have to remember that.

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Old 14th Sep 2019, 6:08 pm   #104
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Kempton Steam (huge triple expansion engines) is open next weekend (28-29/9/19).
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Old 5th Oct 2019, 6:42 pm   #105
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Visited Oakham Treasures today. It's been mentioned briefly before but amongst all sorts of interesting "stuff" there's quite a bit of direct interest to us.


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Old 5th Oct 2019, 6:51 pm   #106
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Looks very much like my workshop...!
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Old 5th Oct 2019, 6:53 pm   #107
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Few more:

You could heat a soldering iron on the stoves
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Old 5th Oct 2019, 7:47 pm   #108
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I'm saddened to say those museums knock the spots off my new local one.

Dunfermline got a massive extension onto its library to house a museum and art gallery. It's BIG! It cost a fortune and took several years to build with monster cranes towering over the town. The building has won awards.

Go round the museum and there is remarkably little content for the sheer volume of the place. It's one of those trendy 95% presentation, 5% content places. Very impressive, but not all that interesting. The path through it is wonderfully complex, folded between buildings and floors. But the stuff in it is such that you can see it once and feel no need to return... you've seen it all. OK for tourists, maybe, but little interest for locals.

Phil's photos show a place with so much detail that you can never see it all in one go or even a few. If you return, you'll keep discovering things you've missed. A place with soul.

David
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 9:00 am   #109
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Phil's photos show a place with so much detail that you can never see it all in one go or even a few. If you return, you'll keep discovering things you've missed. A place with soul.

David
I agree 100% with David's delight in cluttered museums.

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Old 6th Oct 2019, 10:59 am   #110
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We visited Beamish again last week and they at present have a good display of vintage radio and TV in the entrance hall after the ticket office.

There were a couple of 1940's TV's a 9" console B18T? and another I couldn't get a really good look at as the magnifier was bigger than the set! There were also a few valve radios and the usual transistor sets, although I don't really regard them as vintage as they are newer than me.

I think this is probably for the 1950s town they are building, be interesting to see.

Peter
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 11:26 am   #111
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I share David's despair over what happens when previously great, classic museums are 'improved' by the removal of most of the actual exhibits (because kids find those boring) and replaced with acres of space, signage and 'interactive' displays, many of which are invariably 'awaiting repair'.

Locally, we call this 'Hancocking', because it reflects the sad fate of the Hancock museum in Newcastle - up until the noughties this was a fantastic old-school natural history museum stuffed full of geology, fossils, Egyptiana and all sorts of other fantastic stuff, all in glass fronted wooden cases, and I loved it, but then those who know best decided to completely revamp it and, while doing so, amalgamated several other museums - like the Museum Of Antiquities, which mainly specialised in roman artifacts - into the Hancock. The end result was a disaster, acres of space and hardly any exhibits, which raises the question: Where did all the stuff go?

I didn't make my first visits to the National Museum Of Scotland and the Kelvingrove in Glasgow until relatively recently and as soon as I walked into both venues I knew that they had been 'Hancocked', and I dearly wish I had taken the opportunity to visit both museums in the days before this happened.

That's why I, like a previous poster, was delighted to find the museum in Dalbeattie still in its original format - at last visit, the museum in Dumfries was also largely untouched, so visit them both while you can.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 12:09 pm   #112
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Maybe it's the museum trade's response to the plummeting attention span of their average visitor?

Maybe someone wrote a paper for a peer-reviewed journal about how the number of exhibits detracted from the appreciation of the space in a museum.

"Hancocked" has just been added to my vocabulary.


In the old Dunfermline museum, there used to be the town stocks and branks to amuse the kids, and I remember an especially dodgy looking high pressure oxygen cylinder with deep rust. I do hope it wasn't still at pressure.

David
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 1:37 pm   #113
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I didn't make my first visits to the National Museum Of Scotland and the Kelvingrove in Glasgow until relatively recently and as soon as I walked into both venues I knew that they had been 'Hancocked', and I dearly wish I had taken the opportunity to visit both museums in the days before this happened.
Quoting from my website:

"When I was a kid I used to love visiting The Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh. It was a fascinating place crammed with wonderful technological exhibits and the one that fascinated me the most was a 1936 HMV television. The model 901 was displayed in an island display case with glass on all sides so that you could see all the works with little labels identifying the major assemblies and it used really vintage technology, valve types that dated from the early 30s. For me, growing up in the 1950s, television was a modern thing but here was a television from the past. The tube had a very small deflection angle and was therefor rather long and had to be mounted vertically in the cabinet and viewed through a mirror in the lid.

Anyway, time moved on and the Science Gallery shut down for many years of renovation and my favourite exhibit was consigned to the store room. Unfortunately, when it reappeared it was pushed to the back of crowded display case with no view of its vintage works."

Peter

Below, the museum set in storage.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 2:19 pm   #114
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I share David's despair over what happens when previously great, classic museums are 'improved' by the removal of most of the actual exhibits (because kids find those boring) and replaced with acres of space, signage and 'interactive' displays, many of which are invariably 'awaiting repair'.

.
Exactly the same thing happened with the splendid Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry. This city-centre museum was packed full of a fascinating array of exhibits of, err….., science and industry, and was free to go in.
It was moved to the fringe of the city, given the childish name 'Think Tank', whatever that means, half of the exhibits disappeared, many others hidden behind silly floor-to-ceiling banners so you can't get an uninterrupted view or photograph, and to cap it all an expensive entrance fee! Progress?

Andy
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 2:56 pm   #115
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The original purpose of museums and libraries was to allow the populace to educate themselves. This cannot work if people don't go in through the door because of high entrance fees... These places are NOT theme park rides. Their purpose is to improve everyone and to make the entire country more competitive on the world stage through having a more knowledgeable and more engaged population.

The current crop seem designed to appeal to stylists, architects and fashionistas of various sorts. They have lost sight of their prime purpose.

As a consequence, real museums you can get lost in like in Phil's photos, and the delightful museum of communications (Originally the Harry Matthews collection of the university of Edinburgh) deserve support.

David
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 3:06 pm   #116
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I feel one of the worst 'Hancock-ings' (in the above sense) is the Science Museum in London (South Kensington). There seems to be very little on display, and that which they do display is often shown in an 'arty' way making it impossible to properly view the objects. Labels/descriptions are minimal and sometimes downright incorrect.

Whenever I've visited in the last few years I've left almost in tears. I remember the museum 40 years ago, and I remember learning a lot from the exhibits there. Nobody could do that now.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 4:13 pm   #117
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Museums/galleries are - as in many things - a matter of personal taste: myself, I prefer the less-cluttered, technical approach that lets you focus on and appreciate specific items, rather than the higgledy-piggledy style which I tend to associate more with a 'collection' rather than a museum/gallery.

Structure: How are the parts of an exhibit laid-out? Is it in chronological order or is there some other underlying reason for these things to be placed together?

Narrative: what story do these things tell us? About the time they were produced and the people who produced them?

Context: Where do they fit-in with our lives today?

I'm the sort of person who - before visiting a museum/gallery downloads/studies their catalog so I can plan what I want to focus on during my visit. Of course this assumes they have a catalog (many smaller museums don't, which again makes me consider them to be a 'collection' not a museum. A museum-collection should be searchable!).

I consider the likes of http://www.duxfordradiosociety.org/r...storation.html as being close to my ideal: there's proper cataloging and associated support-material to explain the what, why and where of the exhibits.

Like I said, opinions differ. I don't like clutter.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 4:37 pm   #118
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Whilst I agree that in an ideal world a museum should be as big as it needs to be to display all its artefacts without being cluttered, I prefer a cluttered museum with more items saved and displayed over items being lost because the museum is too small!

Andy
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 6:55 pm   #119
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I think museums need to alert you to interesting things but particularly in this age of easy internet searching they don't need to fill in the detail. It's your job to find that.

Peter
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 7:43 pm   #120
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I remember The Science Museum from a visit about 53 years ago with my dad. The thing I remember to this day is the flashover of a 132kv pylon insulator with an exceedingly loud bang. This was done twice!
The phrase I recall is "capacitors charged in parallel and discharged in series".
A return visit around 9 years ago with my grandson, all I remember is the operation of a steam engine and all the young people trying to get you to pay a "suggested donation" for admittance.
Rob
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