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.
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.
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.
That silence you hear?
That's the blissful silence of a room not full of 11 to 16 year old children.
Because they just ran through half of the museum like a swarm of whooping vermin and are now two rooms away.
Dear teacher, if you have just entered the room and are greeted by blissful silence, that's probably an indicator that your students are in another room.
If your students are in another room, you are no longer accompanying them on their visit.
Now is not the time for you to take a slow and gentle stroll, engrossed in each cabinet's contents.
Please don't look at me like that when I ask you to be in the same room as them.
It's not my fault that you bought a group of howler monkeys into a public space, who glared at me with barely veiled disdain and amusement when I asked them to stop running and shouting, and pointed out all of the glass hazards and other visitors.
Asking your oldest student to make sure the others don't go into the third room is a sort of solution.
Half your students are now accompanied, the other half are now only one room away. Which is an improvement.
Eight students are leaning on a set of doors, obeying "Don't go in that room yet" while also forming an attractive barricade.
There are another couple chasing each other in circles around a glass cabinet.
There's no education session or tour arranged, but trying to get them on board with not just running and yelling is worth a try.
Attempts to engage them in looking at things and taking an interest in anything for more than ten seconds is greeted by sullen silence, or flickering mayfly attention spans accompanied by yelled exclamations, or flat out walking away to annoy each other.
The teacher, now in the room, is vaguely apologetic, and haphazard in any attempt to regain control.
Yes, they are obviously enjoying themselves. But not really in any way I'd describe as positive.
Shouting "That looks like your minger sister! Minger! Minger! Minger!" is, in a way, engaging with the exhibits.
Hang on, those six kids in the cafe... Oh, so they are part of the school group, but were slow eating lunch and the teacher decided they could catch up once finished.
Shall we revisit - If your students are in another room, you are no longer accompanying them on their visit?
The awkward moment when your museum finds that a local facebook page has been cheerfully copy/pasting your facebook events to create Their Own event pages, because they think it'll help your events reach more people.
What is mainly seems to do is reach people, confuse them, and make them frustrated over unanswered questions in the event discussion section.
Why didn't we answer your question on the event page? We weren't notified about a question on the event page. There isn't a question on the event page. Oh, that's a link to an event page which isn't ours. But looks exactly like our event page...
Road to hell, best intentions, paving, and all that.
1. Lengthy series of emails as we establish with someone planning a visit what we can and can't provide for them.
1.5. They engage emotional blackmail to try and get what they want.
2. We reach an understanding. In which we carefully aren't going outside of the bounds of what we offered to begin with.
3. They are happy, but tell us to contact someone else, now organising the visit.
3.5. We wonder why we have to contact them, not them us, but, OK.
4. We contact them, nervously including the line "Hopefully you are up to speed on the discussions with your colleague."
5. An entirety different person contacts us, to say they're running the visit.
6. They ask for THE EXACT SAME THINGS we refused to do for the first person.
Someone has blamed us of “only announcing you were closed on social media when it was pretty much your opening time".
On the one hand, do you not check opening hours before driving for miles at Easter?
On the other, have we fallen down here?
Just had a laugh with the cleaners as we gazed at two penises, drawn in snot, on either end of one of the museum display cabinets.
"They're impressively symmetrical."
February half term has commenced.
Webcomic and occasional blog about the heritage sector.
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