Behind the scenes ...
Denny Abbey Farmland Museum
The Denny Farm Museum is just under 10 miles from Cambridge.
Being a rural museum it has many similarities to our museum here in Stanley. Some of the old barns have been converted into small individual units exhibiting different aspects of rural life in Cambridgeshire over the years: basket work, dairy, farrier, shop, farm auction, wheelwright amongst others.
Many large items of agricultural machinery are displayed outside – some restored but many not.
There is also a small cottage (Walnut Tree Cottage) which tells the story of living/working on a farm in the late 1940s. It could almost be a farm house in the Falklands!
Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI)
The purpose of my visit to SPRI was to get an insight in how archives are cared for, catalogued and stored. Whilst there I spent some time discussing and viewing the many aspects of the MODES database which is widely used by Museums for cataloguing their collections.
I based myself in Greenwich from where I travelled to various places:
Chatham Dockyard Museum
Originally a Royal Naval Dockyard, it is now a fascinating combination of Museum, Commercial Dock and Residential area. I enjoyed several hours there hosted by Simon Stephens, Ships models expert, who had spent a week at the Museum in Stanley last October.
The Museum holds the largest Ships Models collection in the world. The storage facilities for these beautiful and many priceless models is as impressive as the items it holds!
The ‘Ropery’ still makes ropes in the traditional way it has for over 400 years, utilising much of the original machinery. The walkway is about a quarter mile long and bicycles are used to get from one end to the other!
A large collection of Lifeboats are also housed at the Dockyard.
As some of the buildings have been maintained in their original state, it has been used on many occasions to film parts of the ‘Call the Midwife’.
The Brass Foundery Woolwich
This is part of the National Maritime Museum and is where their photographic collection consisting in the region of 1.5 million items, is held. This visit gave me an insight in how photographs and negatives are cared for and stored.
National Maritime Museum Greenwich
I spent quite some time alone here looking at the way items are displayed. This is a beautiful building housing many interesting maritime related objects from around the world. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to see everything (a good excuse to return one day!)
Imperial War Museum, Lambeth
As a previous appointment fell through I took advantage of the spare time to visit this Museum.
Again it is housed in a beautiful old building. The exhibits are displayed over five floors with the centre of the building open up to the roof. This allows for large objects in the collection to be suspended and viewed better from each level. These items include a spitfire and a harrier.
The world’s largest collection of Victoria Cross and George Cross medals can be viewed on the fifth floor. The stories that accompany these are of great courage, bravery and sacrifice and both a fascinating and emotional read.
Falkland Islands Museum & National Trust
The historic heart of Stanley