I just read this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-20146713 and was rendered speechless through a fog of confused and bemused rage.
f you don't know, I used to work at Nottingham castle and on a frequent basis had people asking "Where's the castle?" as they expected the towers and turrets of Hollywood fiction. Also "Where did Marion/The Sherrif/Robin live?" and "Where are the dungeons where Robin was kept?" We would try and give a potted explanation that it's all a lot of stories and legends rolled together from different time periods, and if you really want a Robin Hood hat the gift shop is over there thankyuvermuch.
There are plans to revamp the castle, taking advantage of, and explaining (finally) all that stuff, and using it as a way to link from the legends into the real events and times that spawned and changed the myth (hating the Normans, mocking religious figures, viscous tax collecting needed for Richard's wars, etc). The castle really needs some TLC and this will tap into why a lot of people visit, while also steering them to discover and appreciate the genuine history and stories.
And now, plans near Sherwood Forest for... this!
While flicking through a locally published book in the gift shop, I started to ponder the authenticity of some of the stories therein, and was amazed that local museum staff had allegedly provided or authenticated some of the tales. It transpires that Barney, in his 35 years service at the museum, may have told a few whoppers to tourists.
In one instance he and a colleague were passing time while cleaning an room by playing a game, where turn by turn they told a tall tale "...and he followed the screaming noise through the rooms.." "Oh no, don't have screams, crying and sobbing is creepier!" "Ok, he followed the harrowing sobs..." "Finally he found the source, he could hear it from behind the art store doors..." etc etc Realising a woman was actually taking notes they tried to explain it was a game but she thanked then for such a detailed account, and said they need not lie about making it all up, as she wasn't scared.
I think he's quite proud some of his ramblings are now enshrined in 'official' myths and legends.
So, news has come out that 2013 marks the final series for Time Team, although 2014 will see some special episodes. This has saddened me a bit, as Time Team was something we watched each week with relish in our household as I grew up, a good blend of entertaining and informative (albeit if memory serves with the occasional grudging comment from mum about more holes in fields and how it all gets the same after a while) Then at uni we would chat about it, even blagged a lecture form one of the team. Now it's a cup of tea and a chill out while I mentally map how I'd display the finished site to the public (as if! But it keeps my cogs whirring!).
No, nothing to do with Halloween costumes. You may have spotted that we'll be sponsoring a cabinet at The West Highland Museum, a cracking little place which typifies all the best of local museums.
For £30, we'll be helping keep one of their cabinets lit and in great condition for a year, which may not sound like much, but the small day to day wear and tear and maintenance really do add up when you are a free museum replying on donations and the gift shop.
The choice of what we sponsor is YOURS. After we asked them for some suggestions, and they sent ideas and pictures, it's been opened to you guys by voting. If you've yet to pick between pirates, witches, bagpipes or rebels* - you have until the end of October. Go vote now!
*This may be a lot of oversimplifications, but distills it all to something quite exciting.
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