Saturday: The weather did not look very promising this weekend,
but Saturday was not bad, which meant that quite a few folks must
have crammed in that BBQ moment and stayed home to enjoy the scent
of charring burgers tainted with a hint of lighter fuel! We were
also competing with the tennis.
We shared hut L168 with the Home Front folks, they had some
excellent little items including packets of 5
stones, that brought back memories, I loved the feel of those
little clay cubes when I was a kid, but that is another story!
This was to be a great unveiling of several new exhibits and a
few refurbished old ones: Waterton’s Non-descript had been
given a total make over and now looks more like the original created
by Waterton and mermaid No2 had been given a face lift – and is
New items include a stereoscope, a box Brownie and
the long awaited duck
billed platypus. I had been searching for a decent substitute
fur to make the body, rabbit would have looked just like rabbit
and in the end I used some muskrat.
Having had some 6 months to work on this I ended up finishing it
two days before the event! I also had a new display for tribal weapons,
attaching several pieces to a board. This included the repro Fijian
(Gata type) that I picked up at Detling last year, now
stained to look like an original.
While we did not get many people we did get the usual quality of
visitors, one young man seemed to have considerable knowledge of
almost everything that we had and beyond, he talked about things
Ica stones which are alleged proof that dinosaurs were chasing
people around long before ‘The Lost World’ was penned. One
thing of interest that he mentioned was that in some circles the
brow ridges on the Neanderthal skull are considered signs
that these people had lived to a great age…like hundreds of years.
That is all well and good but how does it explain the brow ridges
of great apes? I seem to remember reading a book, possibly by Larry
Niven, in which the hero is an ape-like being travelling
through space and eating a transformational root vegetable…then
again I might have dreamt it after too much cheese and biscuits.
[Editors note: That would be Protector
– by Larry Niven]
One of the lovely things about Gunpowder Mills is that we
get to go home and have a hot meal that I don’t have to cook…
We returned on Sunday, the Home Front had had a little
party and had donated a couple of items to our collections, some
fossil shark’s teeth and a container for an Edison wax cylinder,
although somewhat battered by time, this packaging was complete
with lining to protect the delicate recording.
The weather today was pretty rubbish and turnout was even lower,
I actually took a proper break several times over the weekend and
even got to see the rocket exhibition. Many of our visitors were
other re-enactors and while I was chatting with one chap in a German
uniform, he suddenly asked what has got be the best question of
the weekend “So is your platypus male or female?” I proudly picked
up my specimen and turned it over to show the poison spurs on the
Toward the end of the afternoon we were visit by two family groups
whose children were keen and well behaved. Lots of pictures got
taken, in fact one of the daughters posed with some of the most
unlikely exhibits, including Charlie the Shrunken Head –
that must have made his day!
And so our first event of the season came to a close, it had all
been a bit slow but it had, as usual been a good show.