Flour power, Risk and Reward and Darwin’s specimens

[ The bear was part of the object handling collection… I did not just break every conservation rule ever!]

Hi all, Scott again.

The last two weeks have been amazing! Where to begin?

Flour power

Rowing a boat in the Lakes!

At University, I began producing corporate films for a range of clients, and the work has never stopped coming in. I still create films in my spare time, whilst at Colchester + Ipswich Museums; specifically, health and safety videos for flour mills. Niche, I know. Recently, I was lucky enough to shoot in the Lake District. I was genuinely excited to visit the Lakes famous Pencil Museum (I kid you not), but unfortunately it was closed for refurbishment. I expressed my regret to the flour mill Managers, who told me not to worry, as they had an on-site flour mill museum (again, I kid you not).

Despite having professional film equipment, I did not think to take any pictures or capture any footage of the museum, which was essentially a large room filled with cool social history objects. The company had a long history of marketing campaigns, stretching back to the early 20th century. The pictures taken on my phone do not do the collection justice, but it was a very cool, surprise. I even offered some conservation tips!

Risk and Reward


I returned from the Lakes on Thursday and the following morning I was in a car to Oxford to represent The Training Museum at the Risk and Reward conference, hosted by the incredible Pitt Rivers Museum. After some technical issues, I spoke about my experience so far as a Trainee, what my ‘average’ week was like and how everything still excites me! Rachel MacFarlane (Project Development Officer) also spoke at the conference, going into a bit more depth about the long term ambitions of the project. This was a fantastic experience and it was great to speak in front of museum professionals (although a bit nervy). The other talks were fascinating. A particularly insightful one looked at mitigating risk.

Darwin’s specimens

The best part of the conference was that Elisha, Em, Rachel and I got a private, after-hours tour of the collections inside Oxford’s Natural History Museum (right beside Pitt Rivers). Why does Em look so happy you ask? Besides holding giant creepy crawlies, we actually got to see the Charles Darwin Collection, his signed labels still attached! Specimens collected, which led him to his theory of evolution. Unknown to us at the time, we even stood in the room where he first proposed evolution. Overall, very cool.

Next week, I will be going back to my primary school to deliver an object handling session. I will be sure to write a post about it soon! Until then…





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