I had planned to tell you about the Conservation Department’s first foray into the Family Fun Day experience the day after it happened, but truthfully I was still so exhausted that I couldn’t summon up the energy to fully express myself via the keyboard.
When I say exhausted I mean that it was such a fantastic day and I was having so much fun that I never stopped for a rest at all. From 11.00am until 4.00pm there was a constant stream of children providing us with some very creative ideas about how to protect the Museum objects from being eaten by insect pests.
The ideas ranged from; a ladybird wearing running shoes, to a robot that sucked insects up through its arms and then blew them out of the window. Most of the children allowed us to display their work. This was a real privilege considering how much care they had taken to produce it and also a reminder to us oldies that many problems can be solved if we just think a little more ‘…outside the box’ sometimes.
Most of the families really enjoyed the small magnifiers we had bought to give everybody a close look at some of the insect pests that we had recently found in the Museum. Many people were astounded that keeping them at bay is an important part of our role which is known as ‘preventive conservation’.
Those of you who have visited the Museum in the last few weeks may have noticed Alice, our Textile Conservator, working on a tapestry in the Music Room. You may also have seen, next to her, our new Conservation pop up banner which shows images of ‘Conservation in Action’ and is there as an invitation to come and have a closer look and , perhaps, ask questions. This banner will be in use wherever we are working in the Museum and will, hopefully, enhance public awareness of the wide variety of tasks we do.