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NRM York Regeneration

Discussion in 'National Railway Museum' started by Dan Hamblin, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Well-Known Member

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    Blue Peter with a single chimney? I thought she was built with the Double Kylchap arrangement? What a wonderful lineup though, complete with B16...
     
  2. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member Friend

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    Reading the OP’s link again it does say there will be (but doesn’t say where) a new collection store, and 70 vehicles will have to move there during the build. Let’s hope there is still room somewhere for active engineering and restoration, not just tinkering.

    This country needs more Engineers and the NRM has an educational remit. Surely this museum should include something about the doing of engineering, not just the outcome. Civils & Sparks too, why not.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  3. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS New Member

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    2018 is the Year of Engineering and the NRM are proposing to do away with the space where engineering is carried out. To me a "Wonderlab" sounds rather naff. They used to have something similar in the building in the South yard but that now seems to have been taken away. I think you need to let people see some real heavy dirty engineering. Too many people these days have no opportunity to understand what was involved in the past or indeed what is involved now. Whatever computers and robots do for us there is always going to be a requirement for hands on big engineering. With the budget being talked about and the space potentially being made available there should be room for the Wonderlab and a real workshop. With imagination it should be possible to link them both and enthuse future engineers.
     
  4. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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  5. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Part of the furniture Friend

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    It's redolent of how motor car dealerships now remove their workshops and parts operations well away from the shiny cars on display, lest a buyer see someone with dirt under their nails or an admission that things go wrong.

    Bad idea, IMO.
     
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  6. 240P15

    240P15 Member

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    Wonderlab? Today`s children use google and find the anwers before you mention a L.M.S engine...:confused:
     
  7. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    Is the existing workshop closing, or being relocated elsewhere on the site?
     
  8. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    They are talking about demonstrations and hands-on activities. It is a bit difficult to get hands-on when using a web browser.
     
  9. toplight

    toplight Active Member

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    I have to be honest I think the NRM is losing its way in recent years. First there has been the disposals which I don't agree with, but it is falling in many other areas too

    1 Lack of actual work maintaining and running locomotives/carriages of its own
    2 Lack of individual staff who are known experts in rail history/Engineering
    3 To much 'presentation' instead of actual content

    Now they seem to want to change it into a children's theme park. They are an adult museum not alton towers. If I want to take my kids to a play area I will, but that doesn't mean the museum should become one.

    Check out this video of the 1980 Rainhill cavalcade which shows the NRM in its heyday. Proper Experts like John Belwood and David Jenkinson

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p011vfz4/the-great-railway-cavalcade-rocket-150-at-rainhill

    And look at how many NRM locos running

    Evening Star
    Hardwick
    MR Spinner
    Duchess of Hamilton
    Green Arrow
    Midland Compound
    SR Schools Class
    LMS 4F
    Black Five 5000
    Rocket

    Now they don't even want to have a workshop, but kiddy play area instead. How is that inspiring Engineers of tomorrow ? Can't we just have the NRM back like it used to be ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
  10. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    The policies of the Science Museum Group have been discussed on NP before. The development strategy has been clear for some time. The link that was provided above https://www.yorkmix.com/news/national-railway-museum-reveals-details-50m-masterplan/ includes this, "Similar interactive galleries have been successful at the Science Museum Group’s Bradford and London museums. As well as appealing to family visitors, it is hoped that double the current number of school children – up to 80,000 – will get ‘hands-on’ in the new gallery during school visits to York." These days footfall is everything. Of course, for some of the more discerning visitors this might be unwelcome.
     
  11. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Its as i feared, since the NRM became part of the Science museum group, its lost what it stood for, im sorry but the Science museum is not compatible with what the NRM should be, if its going to be a glorified childrens play ground then in my view the best option may very well be to go down the regional museum route and maybe split the nation collection up .
     
  12. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    But it's *not* going to be a play area. If you have taken children to museums recently, you would have seen how they learn from interactive exhibits and demonstrations rather than have to stare at immobile objects with lists of facts next to them.

    Slagging off any museum by jumping to conclusions is unfair. If you must grumble, maybe wait until the actual facilities are open.
     
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  13. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Indeed, it may be - especially if they dare disturb the hushed appreciation of the masterpieces. Meanwhile, knowing how my kids have come back buzzing from school trips to the Science Museum amongst others, perhaps ramping up what the NRM can provide to those groups would benefit all concerned.

    Menawhile, I look forward to taking my son and a friend to York this weekend to see the NRM - complete with Soyuz capsule.
     
  14. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    Some people do indeed think the "Disneyfication" of museums and art galleries etc. is the way forward. My view based on 30 years experience of trips to the Science Museum is that, with the exception of small VIth Form groups attending lectures, educational value diminished over the period. Not long before I retired the Science and Technology Faculty of which I was once head decided to cease organising trips for younger students as no benefit could be perceived. Of course today museums are much more concerned with entertainment than education and arguments can be made to support this approach.
     
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  15. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    Schools now have to justify educational visits on the basis of cost, safety and learning potential. They are not just a "jolly day out" giving the teachers some time off. Museums have had to modify and modernise their educational activities to suit. Thankfully, the days of quiz sheets on clipboards are gone. Writing down the date a railway opened or the size of an engine's wheels doesn't have any educational value. In one museum where I worked, you could see the route taken by children over the years as they following the same old question sheet, as the floor was polished smooth by their feet! Now, schools expect a demonstration or active hands-on learning, as they do in school. The Science Museum do these activities very well, and others are following their example. It needs staff or volunteers who can work directly with children and ideally have some teaching experience.
     
  16. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    For higher level students (certainly post-16), I suspect you’re right. For younger (especially primary), my experience is that the educational visits of today are far superior to those I remember enduring as a child.


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  17. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    I wish that it was more widely understood that taking children to a museum or on some other educational visit gives teachers some time off is risible.
     
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  18. toplight

    toplight Active Member

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    I can understand schools having these objectives and that is fair enough, but to me for a museum like the NRM the primary objective should be to display and maintain and in some cases restore/run the national collection artifacts. (as they did in the past) to conserve these things for future generations yet they seem to be dropping all their own objectives to just cater for young school children. It is as important to preserve skills on how to maintain/repair stuff. In the past they could restore or repaint something.

    If you go to Duxford they have lots of these interactive displays in the main hall for children and that is fine, but they haven't stopped rebuilding WW2 aircraft.

    I went to the NRM in the summer to get some drawings for my own project and advertised on their website was that they had just opened a new Ambulance train exhibition, I thought great, not seen such a vehicle before. However when I saw it, it was just an empty shell with a few black and white photos to show what the interior of an ambulance train would have looked like. ( ie no attempt to restore/recreate anything), yet the NRM has hundreds and hundreds of works drawings of the Ambulance trains and their interiors. All the coach had received was a quick coat of paint. Yet there was plenty of 'interpretation' around it.

    I remember going as a child on a school trip to the Science Museum in London and I seem to recall we were allowed to wander round and look at stuff as we wanted and to me that is fine. It should be about generating the interest in things that makes children want to find out more.
     
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  19. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    But they are not "just catering for young school children". The proposed interactive area is a tiny fraction of the museum space.

    Schools would struggle to justify visits where the children just wandered around and looked at stuff. The visit would need to support their curriculum by adding to the lesson contenr in school.
     
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  20. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    For me the rot set in when the building was rebuilt in the form of a warehouse with zero railway atmosphere. I last went there about three years ago an I have no desire to go back. The collection seemed to have been dumped in the new building without any thought to telling the history of rail, apart from grouping the speed theme around the turntable, when did anyone see a Crab at the head of the Royal Train?

    Since my last visit I see they have decided to abandon one of the most important educational aspects, a workshop that can be seen in action by visitors in favour of a kids play area. How far this dumbing down of what was once the world's leading rail museum will go who knows but it wouldn't bother me if the whole lot was given away to worthy homes and the place specialise as an archive and study centre, they have an enormous collection of drawings and photographs probably never to be seen again.

    The situation at Shildon is as bad, the line up of A4s looked splendid but not with that awful building as a backdrop. With a bit more thought the facade could have been made to look like a locomotive shed, there should be more to a railway museum than just stuffing and mounting locomotives and rolling stock.
     

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