If you're looking for a small local history museum, perfectly set up to bring in the locals, and inform the casual visitor, by golly Banbury Museum seems to be on form.
I took a short walk along the Oxford canal from Banbury train station, and just as I was starting to mentally grumble at the modern shopping centre unceremoniously dumped beside the canal, I found the museum café entrance. At this point I gave my grumble a quick realign, as there seems to have been a lot of thought put into making the museum an easily reached and enticing prospect for passers by, including the museum gift shop actually being inside the shopping centre. The building being packed with excited families, ambling couples, brunch munching OAPs and tea sipping dog walkers, the intentions seem to work.
If a contractor drops a tool during extensive conservation work, and there's a guided hard hat tour near by, does anyone hear it?
This is an abbreviated version of a much longer moment, where a gent convinced his increasingly impressed other half that yes, he had learnt to read "hireglifs" in school, and it had stuck in his brain ever since, because it was so interesting.
The look on her face when he hit his punchline was fantastic.
Another cartoon from an interaction observed at the Charles I art exhibition - I keep suddenly remembering more gems!
Display label is missing from display.
Can't insert head into the cabinet at the right angle to see if it's dropped behind the display plinth.
Use phone to take a photo down the back of the plinth, to find the label is there.
Dob blue tack onto name badge, and use phone camera feed to see where to aim it behind the plinth.
Successfully stick name badge to display label and pull both out.
Replace display label in correct location.
Feel proud of ingenuity.
Realise no-one is around to recognise achievement.
Go and treat self to posh coffee to celebrate.
So, there is a great story behind this painting: "The painting is believed to be the result of a challenge between father, William Nicholson, and son. Nicholson senior, whilst looking at one of his son's works showing a single jug, commented, 'but why one jug?' to which his son, Ben, replied 'well, why don't you paint a hundred?' Here we see the result - Nicholson's still-life 'tour de force'."
Why did he have this many jugs? In part, because of his still life paintings.
"The jugs, mainly English pottery and some china ones, were an important part of Nicholson's life. They adorned the surroundings in which he lived. His son, Ben, later admitted, 'But of course I owe a lot to my father - especially his poetic ideal and his still-life theme. That didn't come from Cubism as some people think, but from my father - not only from what he did as a painter, but from the beautiful striped and spotted jugs and mugs and goblets…. which he collected. Having those things throughout the house was an unforgettable early experience for me'. (Sunday Times, 26th April 1963)."
Our location is a Very Rural tourist information centre, with two visitors, two volunteers and a boarder collie.
Me: We did try to visit the local museum, but it was closed.
Tourist information lady: That is strange. It's after Easter and before October, and it's a Tuesday, and it's not gone half one yet. It should be open, David is very keen.
Her friend: Unless The Other David was due on today?
TIL: I'll phone David for you and ask him to pop down and open the museum.
Me: Stammers about that not being necessary, really, even as she's making the call.
*quiet fear that this is about to go full League of Extraordinary Gentlemen*
TIL: He's not picking up.
Me: THANKS BUT DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT, WE'LL CHECK OUT THE OLD CINEMA INSTEAD!
*visitors politely flee*
I'm not a raging Star Wars fan, perhaps a bit more so than the usual bod on the street, so the May The Toys Be With You
exhibition at Leicester museum pricked my attention, and was also a great way to catch up with two Star Wars fans and small child at the same time.
Rather than trying (and inevitably failing) to write a polished review, this is going to be the first of my “Explaining it in a pub” reviews. Essentially, the near stream of consciousness I'd give if you asked me “How was that place you went to? Worth it?”
We were excited as we entered the Exhibition space, the first few cabinets had some familiar and some unusual toys, and quickly made a direct connection to a local manufacturer, which helped the exhibition feel genuinely relevant rather than just a crowd pleaser. We could see there were lots of cabinets, well set out with space for excited kids, plus large decals on the otherwise white walls.
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