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TLDNMCL
19th Mar 2018, 19:53
A thoroughly disappointing day out! Dimly lit, little or no information accompanying the exhibits, and it looks more like a seaside amusement arcade; very few tactile exhibits to enjoy, just flat touchscreens or joystick - controlled build your own town / railway network / baggage carousel games. Not at all what it was; could be my age I suppose...

Gertrude the Wombat
19th Mar 2018, 20:25
Not at all what it was; could be my age I suppose...
Yeah, the kiddies basement in the 1960s, that was the way to do it.

Chronus
19th Mar 2018, 20:30
Children today have far better things to do, such as console games and i phones, than looking at some rusty old junk like steam engines and things. That`s what`s happened I`d say.

Dan Dare
19th Mar 2018, 22:11
It’s much better on their late-night opening, when you can go round with a beer/wine and play on the toys with no kids there.

Windy Militant
19th Mar 2018, 23:30
Not at all what it was; could be my age I suppose...
Children today have far better things to do, such as console games and i phones
It's no longer a place for us luddites, like all these trendy exhibits it has those little checkerboard squares so that the techno savvy yoouuf can enjoy the augmented reality immersive experience.

I suspect that this would be a more suitable experience for you! Internal Fire Museum of Power. (http://www.internalfire.com/) ;)

Loose rivets
20th Mar 2018, 01:12
Yep, that was a subject close to my heart. Park around the back in the GPO place, feast one's eyes on real scientific kit - I stood for ages looking at a little wooden bubble chamber.

A Cyclemaster. A Sunbeam shaft drive. A Rover Jet car.

A human cell about 2' in diameter. Opened up, of course.

In grandkid's time. Oh, my. Plastic rubbish that came nowhere near their hand-held devices.

Mid 70's, I swore I'd one day go back to the Smithsonian and stay a week. It took a few years, but when I did, I left early on the first day. Crap behind perspex. Stuff I could have made.

WingNut60
20th Mar 2018, 01:43
It has been quite a few years but I found the Pacific Science Centre (Seattle Science Museum) to be both interesting and good value.
I suspect that a bit of Boeing support goes a long way.
Located in the old fair grounds it's a really pleasant area to visit and enjoy; in spring / summer, at least.

But top of my to-do list is still the Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory at Greenwich.
I will get there. I WILL.

meadowrun
20th Mar 2018, 01:52
I did so like the pristine Harrison's Clocks on my visit and all the hanging aeroplanes.
Pls don't mess with treasures.

Hydromet
20th Mar 2018, 07:12
WingNut, make sure you do. They were lower on my list, but when I went there I was glad I did.

Downwind.Maddl-Land
20th Mar 2018, 08:00
Sounds like the Science Museum has had the same 'makeover' merchant as the Imperial War Museum.

jolihokistix
20th Mar 2018, 08:36
About 40 years ago I went with my father to the Imperial War Museum and was disappointed even then. Is it worse now?

G-CPTN
20th Mar 2018, 08:57
I recently went to the Churchill War Rooms (https://www.iwm.org.uk/events/churchill-museum) with my son and my grandchildren.
We all had an informative visit.

My criticism was that there was rather too much to absorb in a single visit (they have extended the information to include an interactive display covering events throughout Churchill's 90 year life).
Churchill’s Lifeline, a 15 metre-long interactive table chronicling major world events and Churchill's activities. The Lifeline brings together thousands of documents, images, animations and films available at your fingertips to bring different parts of Sir Winston’s story to life.
Whilst a person interested in Churchill's history will, no doubt, be able to discover what World events happened during his lifetime (whether associated with Churchill or not), it seemed (to me) be 'too much' - and must have cost a lot in time (and money) to create.
I thought it to be 'over the top'.

Tankertrashnav
20th Mar 2018, 10:05
The thinking behind this was typified a few years ago when the retired admiral who was running the National Maritime Museum at the time explained the removal of its superb collection of ship models to storage by saying that they were "only of interest to middle aged white men in anoraks"!

With people who think like that in charge, it is no wonder that museums have gone the way they have. My old plotter who lives in Lancs tells me that Imperial War Museum North in Salford has gone down the same road.

sitigeltfel
20th Mar 2018, 10:15
A friend suggested we visit the "Liners" (https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/ocean-liners-speed-style) exhibition currently running at the V&A in London. A total waste of an hour and the Winnie the Pooh exhibition next door would probably have been more entertaining!

middlesbrough
20th Mar 2018, 10:17
TTN
The National Railway Museum in York is well worth a visit.
By the way,ttn,I agree with your post on pensions. We can survive on a lot less than 65k, More like 30k.

Bergerie1
20th Mar 2018, 10:34
TTN,

You are right. The National Maritime Museum is nothing like as good as it used to be. Thay all seem to be dumming down these days.

Allan Lupton
20th Mar 2018, 10:48
To me the whole point of having museums is to display the artefacts - looking at photos and reading about 'em can be done at home with books or a computer.
Here in Letchworth some decades ago I called in at the local history museum to be greeted with "have you seen the computers?" I expected to be shown examples of the mainframe computers built in our local ICT/ICL factory, but it was just a computer display of pictures of stuff we should have been able to look at.

happybiker
20th Mar 2018, 10:57
TTN you are right. The Maritime Museum is but a shadow of what it was in the 1980s. When we were there last year the museum staff we spoke to said they received many comments about the place being dumbed down from what it was. From what I recall the exhibition space is much reduced to what it was. What a sad way to treat our fine Naval heritage.

The model ships, one of the finest collections in the world, I believe is now in storage at Chatham. You can by appointment arrange to view specific models on request.

Our visit did not last as long as we expected so we crossed over the the road towards the Thames and spent some time admiring the splendid buildings of the old Naval College.

Sallyann1234
20th Mar 2018, 10:58
Duxford is still worth a visit!

PDR1
20th Mar 2018, 11:01
The thinking behind this was typified a few years ago when the retired admiral who was running the National Maritime Museum at the time explained the removal of its superb collection of ship models to storage by saying that they were "only of interest to middle aged white men in anoraks"!


That is utterly untrue and a vicious slur.

I do not own an anorak.

PDR

treadigraph
20th Mar 2018, 11:03
TTN,

You are right. The National Maritime Museum is nothing like as good as it used to be. Thay all seem to be dumming down these days.

I've heard the same of the RAF Museum at Hendon recently, though I've not been there for many years.

I went to the Science Museum several times in the mid '70s and recall the awe of seeing the Apollo 10 CM, Amy Johnson's DH-60, the Vimy, etc.. Just things I had read about up till then...

cavortingcheetah
20th Mar 2018, 11:06
Rather than Duxford, hope on a cheapy to DC and discover the cream of air museums in Chantilly. VA.
As for the London twins, my four year olds grandson was bitterly disappointed with the amateurish attempt of the Human Evolution exhibition at the National History Museum.
He, of course, represents Britain's evolutionary generation of the future. It really it really is rather disappointing when a child of that age thinks a major national portrayal been dumbed down.

Curious Pax
20th Mar 2018, 11:49
"only of interest to middle aged white men in anoraks"!


Any museum relying on that demographic to stay in business will be shut in months. I am also not particularly enthused by the changes many museums are making, but dumbed down and open is better than closed.

Whether national museums in particular should be a business is an argument that looks to have been lost in the 1980s....

G-CPTN
20th Mar 2018, 12:13
To me the whole point of having museums is to display the artefacts - looking at photos and reading about 'em can be done at home with books or a computer.

Back to the Churchill War Rooms;-
Most museums sell an expensive guide book that is rarely worth the money, however, the one from the CWRs (which I did not open during our visit) is an excellent history book in its own right - something that would be worth reading before a visit as it includes much that would aid the understanding of the exhibit.

CHURCHILL WAR ROOMS GUIDEBOOK (http://www.iwmshop.org.uk/product/14852/Churchill_War_Rooms_Guidebook).

NutLoose
20th Mar 2018, 12:14
https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/things-to-see-and-do/hangars.aspx

Gone are the world beating and unique collection of RAF WW2 aircraft and their adversaries, scattered across the Country and indeed the World, I do not know if in the "refurbishment" they have located the light switches though. its all becoming interactive which seems to go over the heads of those running the museum that thay are their to protect and display the aircraft for current and future generations, not to build an arcade galleries or coffee shops.

.

NutLoose
20th Mar 2018, 12:23
Don't get me started on Cosford, they have a super kids area with interactive machinery from flying a Spitfire, controlling a helicopter and an interactive transport display, however they are simply dumped in a corner, where they need to be scattered around the musum so the child can see a Spitfire at first hand and try one out, see a helicoper up close and see how it works with the interactive display.

To me the whole point of having museums is to display the artefacts I couldn't agree more, Cosford took the immaculate and well kept Catalina ( donated to the museum ) and dumped it outside in the elements so they could use the area as a corporate fundraising area, do not get me wrong fundraising is a vital part of a museum.
But in this case it struck me as a self licking lolly pop, you are raising funds to maintain and restore aircraft to peak condition, while positioning the Catalina outside next to the Jetstream, where it is at the mercy of the British weather and pollution, you are hastening its demise at an increased rate and therefore it will be in need of the funds raised in the space it previously occupied sooner than later.


..

TWT
20th Mar 2018, 12:29
Looked around Hendon in 1989 and thought it was excellent. Shortly after, I visited the Deutsches Aviation Museum in Munich to see the opposition aircraft. Also excellent.

While visiting Vietnam, saw the War Remnants Museum in HCM City and then the Vietnamese Air Force Museum in Hanoi.

Always like to look at both sides :)

NutLoose
20th Mar 2018, 12:37
This is what I mean Hendon

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/images/galleries/109/corridor.jpg

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/images/galleries/109/precision.jpg

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/images/galleries/109/precision-personal-stories.jpg

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/galleries/raf-centenary-programme-now-and-the-future/

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/images/galleries/91/new-orientation-space-raf-museum-raf-centenary.jpg

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/images/galleries/91/sunderland-hall-with-cafe-raf-museum-raf-centenary.jpg

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/galleries/london-2018/

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/images/centenary_programme/Interior_Cafe.jpg

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/centenary-programme/raf-centenary-programme-news/a-new-dawn.aspx

Call me old fashioned and you probably will, but where are the aircraft?????


You wouldn't go to the National portrait museum to see digital images projected onto the walls of the paintings, you go to see the paintings.

meadowrun
20th Mar 2018, 13:16
They are all badly done photo-shopped images to boot.
?

gruntie
20th Mar 2018, 13:29
About 4 or 5 yrs ago I took a couple of sproglets to the RAF Museum: whilst there we watched a son et lumiere (or, film show) which included a piece about the Nazi domination of Europe in WW2. To illustrate this it included a nicely drawn graphic of Western Europe, with all the countries/areas that had undergone invasion and were under Nazi control, coloured in black with swastikas in them.
Including Sweden.
Somewhat puzzled, I tackled a uniformed jobsworth about this when the film was over.
He didn’t know.

Lascaille
20th Mar 2018, 16:17
Somewhat puzzled, I tackled a uniformed jobsworth about this when the film was over.
He didn’t know.

Not everyone working in a museum is a curator, you know. I'm sure they have just as many clerical staff and 'tidiers' as any retail establishment which has to fight the gradual onset of chaos and disorder that comes with being open to the public.

underfire
20th Mar 2018, 16:35
Give the museum a break, how would you like to try to showcase British accomplishment in Science?

G-CPTN
20th Mar 2018, 17:35
I was somewhat surprised to find that many bus drivers have zero interest in the vehicles that they drive.
It is therefore understandable that some 'museum workers' might choose not have any interest in the subjects on display.

Gertrude the Wombat
20th Mar 2018, 18:08
It is therefore understandable that some 'museum workers' might choose not have any interest in the subjects on display.
Pick one of the elderly ones to ask, they're probably a volunteer and know absolutely everything.

G-CPTN
20th Mar 2018, 18:11
Pick one of the elderly ones to ask, they're probably a volunteer and know absolutely everything.
Indeed, took my son and grandsons to the Brooklands Museum, and the information provided by the 'elderly volunteers' was invaluable.

Nemrytter
20th Mar 2018, 18:28
Not at all what it was; could be my age I suppose...It's exactly what it was. That's the problem. I've been there twice, once about 20 years ago and once in 2016: Many of the exhibits looked identical. A few new bits and pieces but it didn't look very up-to-date.

davews
20th Mar 2018, 20:55
I had trips in December to both the Science Museum and Natural History Museum, it was 30-40 years since I was last there. Bits of both good, but large parts now interactive screens and flashy multimedia stuff. Whereas the SM used to have a live amateur radio station all there is now is a single cabinet display in the communication gallery with no current stuff, you would be forgiven in thinking amateur radio died immediately after WW2. The best part for me was the collection of vintage white and brown goods in the basement. The worst, their over priced 'restaurant' with little more than pizzas and burgers.

There are bits of both I didn't have time to see so maybe another trip, or maybe not.

Tankertrashnav
21st Mar 2018, 00:21
Any museum relying on that demographic to stay in business will be shut in months. I am also not particularly enthused by the changes many museums are making, but dumbed down and open is better than closed.

Referring to the admiral's remarks that superb ship models were only of interest toi middle aged men in anoraks. The Times were kind enough to print my letter where I asked him what evidence he had for such an extraordinary statement. As a child I remember being enthralled by the ship models and also the various exhibits in the Science Museum and disagree that new generations of young people are not going to be similarly gripped. There seems to be some idea that a generation brought up on computer games are only interested in seeing that sort of thing in a museum. Who says? Have they asked them?

Ethel the Aardvark
21st Mar 2018, 01:02
Highlight as a kid in regard to the science museum was the round table with the disappearing ball, some magic sensor would drop it before you could get yer grubby little fingers on it. Nothing like a class of forty kids fighting over the challenge. There is probably an app for it now. Or maybe it’s still there!

India Four Two
21st Mar 2018, 02:02
I was enthralled by the Science Museum as an eight year old. Loved the aircraft and the railway engines, but I remember being fascinated by the Foucault Pendulum and the way they launched it by burning through the tethering string.

There was a complicated machine in a glass case that created a braided cotton cover on a cable. It was hooked up to a crank handle that allowed you to see it operating, but to prevent determined youngsters from using up the supplies, it was geared to produce one inch per century or so it seemed!

When I was older and had been exposed to British motorcycles, I was impressed to see a Zeppelin engine that had exhaust valve lifters, just like my friend’s BSA. However, instead of a lever operated by one finger, this engine had a lever that could have been from a signal box!

My last visit there was about ten years ago and I had specifically gone to see the reproduction of Babbage’s Difference Engine. Very impressive. How often do you see a computer with a drip tray under it?

In the subsequent years I’ve become a grandfather. My granddaughter’s parents, who are in the IT business, named her after Ada Lovelace. Young Ada, who is now five, knows a lot about her namesake and Charles Babbage. The family is traveling to London from Canada this week. Ada announced to her parents that top of her list of things to see in London was the Difference Engine! :) :ok:

crippen
21st Mar 2018, 03:08
The National Trust has gone the same way. No artifacts on display just photos in a dimly lit room :\

treadigraph
21st Mar 2018, 07:17
It'll all be VR soon, you won't go to museums or anywhere else, it'll just be on line from the comfort of our sofas. We can scan, 3D model and recycle all the artefacts; then give over the space they take up to housing... :p

There is nothing better than the sound and sight of a vintage aeroplane in the sky... :ok:

DaveReidUK
21st Mar 2018, 07:33
They all seem to be dumming down these days.

Yes, even dumbing down has been dummed down. :O

treadigraph
21st Mar 2018, 07:36
Didn't Fergie hail from Dummer... ?

G-CPTN
21st Mar 2018, 07:40
There is nothing better than the sound and sight of a vintage aeroplane in the sky... :ok:

Old Warden has genuine and replica vintage aeroplanes that it flies regularly.

The 'Discovery' Museum in Newcastle has (or had) an extensive collection of ships' models acquired from the closure of the Tyne shipyards.

I agree that the Science Museum canteen was 'the usual' over-priced rubbish selection of poor choice food, whereas the eating facilities at the Brooklands Museum were (last month) an excellent variety of reasonably priced food worthy of any restaurant - the best canteen that I have encountered at any museum.

meadowrun
21st Mar 2018, 07:57
I had a very nice lunch at the Tate a few years ago. Steak frites and a crème brûlée.
I was overheating that day and first thing I asked for was a tall glass full of ice and a bottle of water, and got exactly that and right away. (I am still a bit surprised at that - not totally sure why) Reasonably priced, some nice paintings.

radeng
21st Mar 2018, 08:24
A lot of museums go in for what they call 'Interpretation', rather than showing the exhibits. I suspect that part of this lies - especially in scientific and engineering establishments - in the people running it being educated in running a museum but not the technology the museum is attempting to show.

treadigraph
21st Mar 2018, 08:58
Old Warden has genuine and replica vintage aeroplanes that it flies regularly.

Nowhere better on a sunny, summer Saturday afternoon. Haven't been for a bit, must go this year.

The Science Museum has a reserve collection of aeronautical and other treasures at Wroughton, in a decrepit hangar and out of the public gaze. I have heard tell of a new building to house these and hopefully it will be a public collection.

Tankertrashnav
21st Mar 2018, 10:29
I had a very nice lunch at the Tate a few years ago. Steak frites and a crème brûlée.

Bit of a contrast at The National Army Museum a few years ago. "Soup of the Day" turned out to be tinned cream of tomato, and the bread accompanying it sliced white! :*

The museum itself was great though, with enough medals, uniforms and weaponry on display to keep me amused (and Mrs TTN bored silly) for hours! On a much smaller scale, but equally good is the less frequented Guards Museum at Wellington Barracks.

NutLoose
21st Mar 2018, 14:11
One of the most impressive exhibits I have seen is the Centurion tank cut vertically in half at Bovington so you can walk through it and see the crew inside, they must have gone through a Halfords full of hacksaw blades to do that. ;)

http://www.tankmuseum.org/museum-online/vehicles/object-e1984-235

Rather be Gardening
21st Mar 2018, 16:03
There's a local museum in Pembroke Dock that could teach the metropolitan museums a thing or two. It's run by volunteers, top to bottom, and their enthusiasm and hands-on work with the exhibits are laudable. Here's some of what's on offer:

Shipbuilding in Pembroke Dock
The Royal Navy and Pembrokeshire
Local history of Pembroke Dock and the surrounding area
Army units stationed in Pembroke Dock and in Pembrokeshire
Fortifications, defensive structures, barracks and garrisons in Pembroke Dock and Pembrokeshire
The Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, other commonwealth or allied air forces in Pembroke Dock and in Pembrokeshire
Short Sunderlands and other Short Brothers flying boats
Flying boats in Pembroke Dock and Pembrokeshire
and much more…

Loads of artefacts, including an ongoing renovation of the only remaining Sunderland Mark 1 which is being raised from the estuary. Lots of 'human interest' stuff too - things belonging to the people linked to the exhibits along with their stories. Hands-on exhibits as well, which seem to be favourite with the kids. Oh, and a fab café with real home-made cakes...... the first time I visited the centre I thought I'd be there for half an hour. Two hours later I was still engrossed.

I've done a Museum Curator's training course in my past and I remember that the main lecturer said although having clear and readable info was essential, what people came to see was the artefacts and that no spiffy artwork or fancy 'flat' displays could substitute.

Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre - Explore over 200 years of Maritime, Military and Social History in the Historic Royal Dockyard Chapel (http://www.sunderlandtrust.com/)

Ancient Observer
21st Mar 2018, 16:29
Yeah, but, Pembroke ain't in London, innit?

The "modernisers" will get you eventually. You are on their list..............

Ancient Observer
21st Mar 2018, 16:30
Nutloose.
That was a brilliant phrase..........."A Halfords full of hacksaw blades"

PPRuNe Dispatcher
21st Mar 2018, 20:14
I was in the Science Museum today - and was pleased to see that "Charlie Brown", aka the Apollo 10 command module is still on display, as is Amy Johnson's "Jason" , the Hawker P1127, and Alcock and Brown's Vickers Vimy.

What did disappoint me was the number of people who thought they were all either replicas or models.

:ugh:

Jetex_Jim
21st Mar 2018, 20:45
One of the most impressive exhibits I have seen is the Centurion tank cut vertically in half at Bovington so you can walk through it and see the crew inside, they must have gone through a Halfords full of hacksaw blades to do that. ;)

http://www.tankmuseum.org/museum-online/vehicles/object-e1984-235

The Deutsch Museum, in Munich, has a sectioned (WW1 era) U Boat. And loads of other great stuff. The aviation section just north of Munich is also great. Deutsches Museum: Besucherinformation (http://www.deutsches-museum.de/flugwerft/information/besucherinformation/)

And for those lucky enough to be able to get onto the Airbus site at Manching the 'Willy Messerschmitt Museum' has some airworthy Bf 109s!

FLUGMUSEUM MESSERSCHMITT Das fliegende Museum (http://www.flugmuseum-messerschmitt.de/)

Airclues
21st Mar 2018, 21:40
The Science Museum also own a DC-3, a Boeing 247, a Handley Page H.P.39 and a Lockheed Constellation. Apart from a few days a year they are kept out of public view. Could they not donate (or lend) them to a museum that is able to display them?

DaveReidUK
21st Mar 2018, 21:52
Apart from a few days a year they are kept out of public view.

AFAIK, it's been several years since the last Open Day at Wroughton with access to some of the hangars, and I'm not aware of any planned ones in the future.

Planemike
21st Mar 2018, 23:26
The Science Museum also own a DC-3, a Boeing 247, a Handley Page H.P.39 and a Lockheed Constellation. Apart from a few days a year they are kept out of public view. Could they not donate (or lend) them to a museum that is able to display them?


The H.P. 39 Gugnunc is on display in South Kensington....

treadigraph
22nd Mar 2018, 00:55
AFAIK, it's been several years since the last Open Day at Wroughton with access to some of the hangars, and I'm not aware of any planned ones in the future.

As I mentioned above, the hangar they are kept in is in something of a state of disrepair hence the public are excluded for safety reasons I believe. There is talk of a new display building there, publicly accessible I hope.

India Four Two
22nd Mar 2018, 06:43
One of the most impressive exhibits I have seen is the Centurion tank cut vertically in half at Bovington

NutLoose, that is the exhibit that I still remember vividly from the time my dad (he was a tank driver in the XIVth Army) took me and my five year old son to Bovington. Hard to believe it was 32 years ago!

I’ve always imagined John Cleese as a technical instructor shouting to some trainees: “Alright, you lot, cut that tank in ‘alf! Lengthwise, lengthwise!”

DaveReidUK
22nd Mar 2018, 07:44
As I mentioned above, the hangar they are kept in is in something of a state of disrepair hence the public are excluded for safety reasons I believe.

Even during the previous Open Days, one of the hangars was off-limits to the public on H&S grounds (the one containing the Trident, not sure what else is in there).

But the other hangars and exhibits such as the Connie (the main reason I visited a few years ago) were open, so that's not really a valid reason for ending the occasional Open Days.

Incidentally, one of the windowless blister hangars across the airfield from the aircraft collection contains an impressive array of early British jet engines, which it would be great to see on permanent display. It also contains, for non-aviation buffs, an enormous printing press retrieved from (I think) the Daily Express when the paper finally departed from Fleet Street.

treadigraph
22nd Mar 2018, 08:29
My visit was back in the early 1990s for one of the PFA Fly ins; I recall vaguely one hangar being open (maybe it was two?) and the Connie, Trident, etc, all being together. Have they had any open days recently?

Found this about the new building (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-42456778)...

Along with the airliner used for a Rolling Stones tour

Was that the Connie when Lanzair owned it?

DaveReidUK
22nd Mar 2018, 09:06
http://www.adastron.com/lockheed/constellation/mn7777g-01.jpg

The Stones' Connie (http://www.adastron.com/lockheed/constellation/stones-connie.htm)

treadigraph
22nd Mar 2018, 09:21
Cheers Dave, great tale (and tail!).

Windy Militant
24th Mar 2018, 10:56
Just got back on line after a comms failure, went to Aerospace Bristol recently well worth a visit. Lots of stuff about Bristol aircraft company from making trams right up to satellites and of course Concorde.
They also do really good Coffee Walnut cake in the caff!:ok:

Private jet
28th Mar 2018, 21:43
I've always found museums, even as a child, quite a depressing experience and from an educational perspective overrated.

RetiredBA/BY
4th May 2018, 11:50
I think I know what the fundamental problem is at the Science Museum, both at Kensington and Wroughton, at least so far as flight under the current management is concerned.

After trying to to extend the lease to allow Swindon model Aero Club to continue using Wroughton, I have uncovered a significant amount of incompetence, ignorance and even dishonesty, ,including misleading an MP for all of which I have considerable documentation. Some of the stuff I have read in their correspondence is an insult to our intelligence and a sad reflection on on theirs if they expect us to believe their nonsense.

Although the PM , my MP, has given me her time the Director, Ian Blatchford, refuses to meet me, and although I have a letter from the PM encouraging me to reengage with NMSI they ignore my letters, as does the chair of Trustees and the trustees, none of whom, as far as I can discover, has any aviation knowledge or experience of any significance. .

There is is something seriously wrong in the management of the aviation, flight, aspect of OUR museum.

........and they are paid from the public purse!

Of of all the aviation museums I have visited, across the world from NZ to the USA, and just recently in China and Japan, the
flight section of OUR NMSI is by far the most neglected and badly managed I have encountered .

An utter disgrace.

Not so, Broolklands under Alan Wynn with the new aircraft factory at which I was recently a school guide, absolutely superb.

as for the new building that is rather bizarre as the airfield is covered with hangars, sadly neglected by their mismanagement. 1940s they may be but so are the hangars at Hullavington, recently acquired by Dyson.

It all beggars belief.

Windy Militant
4th May 2018, 18:54
There is is something seriously wrong in the management of the aviation, flight, aspect of OUR museum.
When they held their centenary of flight celebrations the local PFA strut as we were then offered to fly a few aircraft in on the day. We were told that the runways were not in good enough condition, they were in better state than a lot of licenced fields that were in use locally at the time. We settled on having a stand under the nose of the Comet. The day was abysmally advertised and apart from a few local schools and a bus load of retired Wrens who'd been taught signals there during the war hardly anybody showed up. Management at the time seemed to be totally indifferent to anything involving aviation and the open day seemed to have been organised by a guy who was on the conservation team who I believe resigned shortly afterwards. Soon after this the Creative Planet initiative appeared, remember that? When the plans for it were made public the first thing a lot of us said was " It looks like a centre park" turns out the individual who was in charge of this did work for them before coming to the Science Museum. We did wonder what the ultimate aim of that plan was.....

NutLoose
4th May 2018, 19:06
NutLoose, that is the exhibit that I still remember vividly from the time my dad (he was a tank driver in the XIVth Army) took me and my five year old son to Bovington. Hard to believe it was 32 years ago!

I’ve always imagined John Cleese as a technical instructor shouting to some trainees: “Alright, you lot, cut that tank in ‘alf! Lengthwise, lengthwise!”


i remember as a kid them bringing one to my town as a recruitment tool and you could clamber around inside them, I thought then the RAF was my future, I have the utmost respect for your father bouncing around in one of them. As for the sectioned tank, It is one of those things you remember, another I often wonder about is my old school in the science block had the Ford car show stand which had the complete transmission from a Ford Anglia that was sectioned and had a motor to drive it all, I do wonder what happened to it.

Haraka
4th May 2018, 20:05
If you haven't yet , do check across to the PPRuNe Military Aircrew "Wall of Hats: :RAF Museum" thread, for a similar tale. of "Dumbing Down" and the consequencies of appointing generalist ,non scientific,nor subject aware , nor engineering qualified or experienced, " managers" for each museum.
I would venture to suggest that many of these individuals can then manifestly be seen to conflate the significance of our unique museum repositories of a technologically based functional heritage of human courage and endeavour, with those of art galleries; these then serving as vehicles to convey to lay visitors a "Senior Management" inculcated viewpoint of our social history.