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#popupmuseum

Heledd Fychan, 6 October 2014

Well, the week has finally arrived. After months of planning and discussing, later this week the #popupmuseum will become a reality. Whilst we already have some stories ready to share as part of the #popupmuseum and some museum objects to showcase, such as Billy the Seal, the truth is, we have no idea what it will become as it relies completely on people coming to the Wales Millennium Centre on Thursday and Friday (9th and 10th October) with their stories and/or objects that relate to or remind them of Cardiff.

This is how it will work. The #popupmuseum will be in the foyer of the Wales Millennium Centre, and manned from 9am to 5:30pm on both days. You can either donate an object and leave it with us, with a written or audio description of what it is, or you can have your picture taken with the object. If you choose to leave anything with us, it will be returned to you after the #popupmuseum comes to an end! Alternatively, if you have a story, you can either write it down or be filmed telling us the story, and it will be displayed as part of the #popupmuseum.

Still with me? Good...

All will be well if people turn up. Hence why we need your help. Please spread the word, by talking about the projects to friends and family and helping us promote via social media. Objects don’t have to be valuable or typical museum objects. They can be funny, quirky, strange, serious, surprising – in fact, anything goes as long as they have a Cardiff story. They can mean something to you personally or can be part of the story of a Cardiff institution or organisation. This really is your opportunity to create a different kind of museum.

For further information, please email heledd.fychan@museumwales.ac.uk or @heleddfychan

The 13th September 2014 was not your average day at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea. There was childlike music playing, story-time in front of the caravan exhibition and a strange fellow walking around who seemed to have lost his famous Chocolate Factory. The Youth Forum was also there, collecting stories and memories of caravanning holidays from visitors to the Museum to feature alongside the main exhibit of the family caravan.

Roald Dahl day certainly attracted a lot of families to the Museum, and many of them were more than happy to share their own personal stories of caravanning. We even managed to film a few people, including one person who could only remember the bad weather – this is Wales after all! The weather was a constant theme in the recollections, but happily many people enjoyed caravanning and camping despite the rain. My favourite memory would have to be the person who towed a 2-berth caravan with their Harley-Davidson motorbike, although I wouldn’t want to be stuck behind them in traffic! People young and old were sharing their memories and stories of caravanning with their family and friends, showing that caravan holidays are still a popular choice for many people in the age of package holidays.

All in all it was a nice day for the children and families, and we were able to collect lots of memories to travel alongside the caravan when it moves to St Fagans National History Museum as a key display in one of the new galleries.

Daisy Binks Youth Forum Member       

Beachwatch

Katie Mortimer-Jones, 25 September 2014

Last Saturday 20th September we ran our annual Beachwatch event at Ogmore Beach in the Vale of Glamorgan. This was part of the national campaign run by the Marine Conservation Society encouraging communities to get out and about to care for their local shorelines. This is the 10th year that museum staff have been organising a Great British Beach Clean at this beach.

In the morning families took part in workshops with museum curators finding out about different types of seaweeds and animals in the strandline and in rock pools. There were fossil hunts where people discovered lots of fossilised bivalve shells and sily lilies (crinoids) in the rocks. Families also helped create our ‘Beach Museum’ making Landart, inspired by the works of artists like Richard Long.

After lunch the serious work began, museum staff and families scoured a 150m stretch of beach near to the slipway searching for rubbish. Sadly this wasn’t a challenge, we collected over 35kg of litter in an hour!  Each piece of rubbish found was logged and all this data will be sent on to the Marine Conservation Society who will use it to find out where beach litter comes from and contribute to marine conservation. Over the last 10 years we have seen a change in the rubbish that we have collected on this beach. During initial cleans one of the greatest problems encountered were cotton bud sticks, however these have declined over the years. Sadly one of the greatest problems encountered this year was dog poo in plastic bags and hypodermic needles. Over 65 people took part in the day’s activities and we look forward to taking part in Beachwatch the same time next year.

Museum curators getting ready for the family activites

Our 'Beach Gallery' 

Land art in our 'beach gallery'

More land art

Our Beachwatch volunteers

Family activity on rockpool and strandline animals and seaweed

#popupmuseum - The story so far

Graham Davies, 22 September 2014

Here’s an update on our pop up museum project. 

We’re creating a pop up museum about Cardiff with the Cardiff Story, helped by the HLF, for the Welsh Museums Festival and the Museums Association Conference at the Wales Millennium Centre on 9-10 October. Before we set it up, we’ve asked the people of Cardiff and beyond to help us collect stories and objects to get it up and running.

So far, we’ve held 3 workshops at The Cardiff Story.  We’ve collected over 30 Cardiff stories on film and story cards and seen weird and wonderful objects that all say something about Cardiff in their own unique way! The process has brought people together in conversation by sharing their Cardiff story.

The latest workshop was held at the Cardiff Story between 6-8pm on 11 September. Cheese, wine and soft drinks were on offer to add to the social feel of the evening. By the end of the session 20 people had popped in to share their stories. We also took a video camera out on to the streets and filmed 20 voxpops from a very diverse range of passers-by! Some of them are hilariously funny and will be shown at the pop up museum at Wales Millennium Centre.

The First Object

A polystyrene corgi was the first object to make an entrance. It had been left out with the rubbish on a street in Roath – but was rescued, given a wash, and now lives happily with its new owners in a Cardiff living room.

Designing the pop up museum

As the number of Cardiff stories and objects grow, so too does the need to think about how we will display the material we’ve generated. The pop up museum will move to the Wales Millennium Centre on 9-10 October for the Museums Association Conference so it will have to be very flexible and easy to put up.

We’ve started rummaging around in the depths of National Museum Cardiff’s stores for cases, shelves, seats, anything! Here’s a selection of what we found:

  • A lovely big table where people can sit and chat about their stories. One idea we had about displaying objects was to place them in Perspex boxes on this table and pile them on top of each other as the display grows over the two days.
  • A couple of lovely cases currently in the contemporary art space at National Museum Cardiff. These will allow us to show objects from the Cardiff Story collections and national collections that reveal something about Cardiff at the Wales Millennium Centre.
  • More seats! Some rather nice grey square fabric cubes.
  • And finally…..Billy the Seal!

We’re not sure yet if Billy can come with us to the Wales Millennium Centre, but we’re looking into what’s possible. Billy’s skeleton has been part of National Museum Wales’ collections since the 1940s. Billy came to Cardiff in 1912, when fishermen aboard a trawler found him in their nets. He was given the name Billy and brought to Cardiff where he set up home in the Victoria Park Lake.

Billy apparently escaped during flooding and swam down Cowbridge Road. On the way he stopped at a local fish shop and ordered ‘no chips, just the haddock thanks.’ He then made his way to the Admiral Napier for a pint, ‘half a dark’ to be precise, but was captured and taken back to the lake.

We don’t know if these events actually happened, but many local residents swear the story is completely true.

Follow this blog to find out if Billy can escape again!

Further information

Next pop up museum workshop:
27 September 11.00-1.00pm, Cardiff Story

For more on setting up your own pop up museum follow this link:

http://popupmuseum.org/pop-up-museum-how-to-kit/

A growing number of Cardiff story cards
A growing number of Cardiff story cards
A polystyrene corgi pops up at the museum.
A polystyrene corgi pops up at the museum.
A lovely big table where people can sit and chat about their stories.
A lovely big table where people can sit and chat about their stories.
Display cases currently in the contemporary art space at National Museum Cardiff
Display cases currently in the contemporary art space at National Museum Cardiff
nice grey square fabric cubes
nice grey square fabric cubes
Billy the Seal
Billy the Seal

Demonstrations from the Histioric Buildings Unit

Gareth Bonello, 17 September 2014

Hendre'r Ywydd Uchaf Farmhouse

Elan volunteers with the St Fagans Youth Forum and spent some time with the Museum's Historic Buildings Unit and has blogged about her experience below;

Demonstrations from the Histioric Buildings Unit

As part of the Historic Buildings Demonstrations at Sain Ffagan, I visited Hendre’r Ywydd Uchaf to see a carpenter at his work. When I arrived, he was busy working on a head of a door frame for the new Iron Age Village with wood that was sourced on site and freshly cut that morning. The work had to be done by hand without any aid from machines. He was more than happy to talk to us about his work and answer any of our questions. He talked about how he has done an NVQ in Historic Carpentry and that he has just finished his apprentiship after working at the museum for five years. His admiration towards the knowledge of the more experienced craftsmen was clear and he was aware that this knowledge came from experience not from qualifications.

He later explained how they brought buildings to the museum desribing the finished result as ‘flatpack buildings’ as they numbered the bricks around the sides before taking the building down and rebuilding it in Sain Ffagan using the Havorfordwest House and the Raglan Train Station as examples of this. The importance of conservation in this process was evident as he talked of only taking away what you needed whilst repairing historic buildings in order to keep their authenticity. He explained how the new developments happening in Sain Ffagan would lead to new work such as the Prince’s Palace from Anglesey where they would need to handle 480kg of timber! This was time well spent in order to understand how the building happens in Sain Ffagan.

blog gan Elan Llwyd