Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Museums. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Museums. Show all posts

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Sunday 6 October 2019 - The Highland Folk Museum




On a rainy morning, after a sociable evening and breakfast, Sue and I joined Gayle and Mick for a jog to Kingussie and back. 8 km in about 50 minutes. A good way to start the day, especially as by then the rain had eased.

After a lengthy elevenses in Bertie, M&G's campervan, Sue and I decided to visit the Highland Folk Museum that we had jogged past earlier. We went by car, after discovering that the batteries in both of our keys for Sue's car had failed. Consequently, when we used the manual key to enter, the electronic key wasn't recognised and the alarm sounded. A loud siren. Luckily this wasn't in the relatively remote spot where we had been parked when we last started the car yesterday, and replacement CR2025 batteries could be bought from the CoOp that is next to the Balavil Hotel where the car was parked. We were also relieved that it didn't appear to relate to another issue whereby the car's warning messages insist that one of the tyres is flat, despite it being properly inflated.

Anyway, we got to the outdoor museum in time to enjoy a three hour wander around all the many and varied exhibits, giving visitors a flavour of how Highland people lived and worked from the 1700s up until the 1950s! This is done by displaying over 30 historical buildings and furnishing them appropriate to their time period. Some have been built from scratch on site, and some have been moved here from other locations.
The site is a mile long with a 1700s township at one end, and a 1930s working croft at the other.

The weather had cheered up by then. The expected rainy day didn't transpire.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

The Canadian Museum of Nature, and Hog's Back Falls

Three more pictures from the museum, showing the lantern structure that replaced the demolished tower, and a striking butterfly display.

There is a new footbridge being constructed over the canal, see fourth picture. The canal was easy enough to walk across today, but in summer this new bridge will save a few wet feet.

Hog's Back Falls are impressive, but hard to photograph.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Friday 15 February 2019 - A Visit to the Canadian Museum of Nature

With rain forecast, we decided to visit the local Nature museum. Helen dropped me and Sue off at the entrance, then we visited the museum before walking the 11.6km home, via the Rideau Canal, Hog's Back Falls, and Mooney's Bay.

It did rain, but by the time we emerged from the museum we needed sunglasses, which we'd left at home.

The first thing that caught our eyes in the museum was the stained glass windows at the entrance. As in most museums of this type, there was far too much to take in on one short visit. The building itself, built in 'Scottish baronial' style, is remarkable - it started off in about 1905 as a museum in a farmer's field, and it rose to fame by housing the parliament for several years after the parliament buildings burned down in 1915. It has been refurbished with stairs outside the main part of the building, where an original tower was demolished due to subsidence, and this new 'lantern' structure houses what appears to be a giant inflated jellyfish in the stairwell.

The first four pictures were taken in the museum, the fifth was taken as we strolled along the 7.8km skating 'rink' that is the Rideau Canal.

Below the random gratuitous dinosaurs are two woodpeckers next to each other in the aviary. Downy on the left, Hairy on the right, clearly showing the difference in size.

Below them is a Great Auk, a specimen that defeated the taxidermist.

I'll do another posting soon, with a few more pictures.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Monday 19 February 2018 - Diefenbunker

On a day when skiing would have been an anti-climax, as it's 5°C and raining in Ottawa, Ken was despatched for his last week at work and Helen, Sue and I paid a visit to Canada's Cold War Museum.

The Diefenbunker complex was constructed in the late 1950s when the Cold War was at its height. I remember well the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. There were about 100 people employed here, with scope for over 500 people to shelter from a nuclear blast for a month. The desk shown above is in the President's Prime Minister's Office. Thankfully it was never needed, the only president Prime Minister in office who visited the site being Pierre Trudeau.

The site was decommissioned in 1994 and now houses this interesting underground museum on four levels.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Thursday 29 June 2017 – A Visit to the Museum of Science + Industry


During our ‘curry walks’ into Manchester, JJ, Rick, Alan and I hatched a plan to walk around the museum, as opposed to walking into town. A date was finally arranged but sadly JJ had to withdraw at the last minute, leaving the three of us to enjoy this educational outing.

Starting with the cafeteria, we moved smoothly into the Air and Space Hall, where the vehicle pictured above, a 1929 Crossley Shelsley, caught my eye. The vehicle was named after the Shelsley Walsh hill climb, that Crossley vehicles first entered in 1910, and won in 1912. The car cost £495, the price at that time of a large semi-detached house.

The hill climb is still thriving, as recently evidenced.

The star exhibit in this hall is the English Electric PIA experimental jet plane. I’ve described this on a previous visit.


The triplane pictured below is a mock up constructed by apprentices, of an extinct model.


Crossley is a local company. Although they didn’t produce many cars, and readers may only be familiar with the name in connection with the commercial vehicles on which they concentrated after 1938, Crossley did make this 1935 Crossley Regis 6. It looks a bit like a Riley to me. It cost £365. The cheaper Ford cars were then retailing for around £100. The Vulcan like aircraft behind it is a one third size version that was used for testing purposes.


YAK tried to emulate Land Rover. Without success. The ‘Electric Blue’ milk float was specially commissioned by Benny Hill* after his horse died. It reached speeds of around 60 mph!


Lots of locomotives were used on private colliery lines. Agecroft features here.


Local companies like Mather + Platt and Ferranti feature in the museum, as expected, as well as national organisations.


The Beattie Well Tank engine, built in Manchester, was in service on the London and South Western railway between 1874 and 1962. It has returned to the museum for three weeks before continuing its tour. It remains in full working order.


Next to the real thing is this replica of Stevenson’s Planet engine.


This loco is definitely not in working order, but is available for hordes of schoolchildren to inspect its cut away innards.


We went to the old station building. Apparently the ticket office was across the road from the station, whence travellers would cross to this greetings hall, where porters would assist with luggage, and any queries would be resolved and information provided.


Before I came to Manchester the old London Road station was replaced with this magnificent edifice.


My first memories of Manchester are by way of my arrival here, at Exchange Station, in 1966 or 1967, from where I made my way to stay at the YMCA in Peter Street, before being ‘interviewed’ at UMIST.


So that’s just a selected overview of our visit, which could have generated hundreds of images had we been so inclined. We spent a fair amount of time in the Great Western Warehouse looking at the textile and other exhibits, and eventually we braved the drizzle and enjoyed lunch at Don Marco’s, where the previous posting was by way of a demonstration to AlanR as to how easy it is to make a ‘mobile’ posting simply by sending a quickly composed email to ‘Blogger’.

We shouldn’t leave it so long until our next visit – there’s far too much for old timers like us to take in at one go!

* Playing this track seems to have greatly excited the family of swifts who live just near the speakers. I hope they enjoyed it!

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Saturday 16 July 2016 – Another Visit to Yorkshire Sculpture Park


By coincidence, we found ourselves at this fine venue for the second time in three weeks. Our first visit is recorded .

This time we were attending Cathy’s 50th birthday party, involving lunch in the Hayloft. On another fine day, we enjoyed a stroll around the grounds of Bretton Hall, encountering others in the ‘party’ along the way. Cathy had provided disposable cameras that were used for ‘people pictures’, so our own photos concentrated on the exhibits.


I’m not sure what the sculpture above is called, but it is impressive.


Elizabeth Frink - Riace 111

The Not Vital (a person) exhibition was still in place, with a large number of differing pieces, including ‘Moon’, which gave us scope for a selfie. ‘Moon’ is a fine exhibit; others took more imaginative photos. Some items are up for sale. Would £500 on a polished bronze nose (Not Vital’s very own nose) be a wise investment? We’ll never know, my wallet was left in the car…


Since our last visit, a new exhibition in the Longside Gallery had been opened on 15 July. ‘Night at the Museum’ comprises a varied set of exhibits with the theme that they are paired by way of one exhibit looking at a second exhibit whose theme is blue.


Frank Dobson - 'Portrait Bust of Lady Keynes'


I didn’t record the name of the above exhibit.


Leonard McComb - 'Young Man Standing'

There was a side room containing some shelves of items that could be placed on a plinth by visitors with a view to ‘creating a collection’.


Returning to the Hayloft, we passed an assortment of exhibits, some more wacky than others. Sue said she wanted one of these in our garden. Or did I mishear her?


Dennis Oppenhein - 'Trees: From Alternative Landscape Components'

Eventually we returned to the Hayloft, on the first floor of the building pictured below, for tea and birthday cake in celebration of Cathy’s landmark birthday.


I’ve added another 49 images to the 72 image album created after our last visit. This can be viewed . Click on the image on which you want to start, then click ‘slideshow’.

As previously noted: ‘The Sculpture Park is a great place for a day out. Highly recommended.’

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Monday 27 June 2016 – Yorkshire Sculpture Park


Above: YSP’s reaction to Brexit.

Sue and I tried to relieve our Brexit depression by heading with Susan across to Yorkshire for a day with Bob and Margaret, who it turned out were similarly depressed. It would be helpful if we could find someone, anyone?, other than AlanR who is actually in favour of Brexit. Apart from Alan, and one or two people with specific gripes (‘immigrants’, ‘specific EU regulation’) everyone we know seems to be similarly depressed. We can only hope AlanR is right in the long run, but currently I feel a trip to the moon is more likely than that. Moving to Scotland seems to be an option some are considering.

(Deep sigh – no comments on this please)

Luckily it was a lovely day in Yorkshire and we started by enjoying al fresco coffees in the excellent café.


We then strolled around the park. It’s about a five kilometre walk around the perimeter. Here are a few of the sculptures we passed on the way:

Al Weiwei - 'Iron Tree'


Serge Spitzer - 'Coiled steel beam, rubber'


David Nash - 'Seventy One Steps'


Andy Goldsworthy - 'Hanging Trees'


From the far side of the park, the sunlit grassland shimmered in the breeze.


Soon we were back at Cascade Bridge, overlooking the Lower Lake.


Antony Gormley - 'One and Other'


Marialuisa Tadei - 'Octopus'


Marialuisa Tadei - 'Day and Night' (Night)


Magdalena Abakanowicz - 'Ten Seated Figures'


Not Vital - 'Moon'


Not Vital - 'Head'


Not Vital sculptures – he had a large display. (Not Vital is a person.)


After lunch we walked a short circuit, looking at some of the works close to the shop and café.

Here’s a rabbit woman. Margaret, Sue and Susan weren’t really impressed by the ‘message’.


Julian Opie - Galloping Horse (a moving image)


Another sculpture that looks like we feel…


Here’s a final glance to the park past a Barbara Hepworth work, before Sue and I rejoined a queue of lorries on the A628 over Woodhead and Susan went to Sheffield with Bob and Margaret.


The is a great place for a day out. Highly recommended.

There’s a 72 image slideshow – click on the first image then click on ‘slideshow’.