Grymm Tooms Travelling Museum
Royal Gunpowder Mills Victorian Weekend, 12th – 13th September 2009



Saturday: It was a beautiful morning and we set out nice and early to give ourselves plenty of time to set up. We were, once again, set up in L168. I could not help noticing the number of wasps that were lying dead or dying, even when I opened my museum box I was met by a half dead wasp that had hitched a lift at Avoncroft.

It was something of a slow start, you just never know what you’re going to get at this event, but groups of people started to drift through later in the day. When I picked up Charlie to show to a visitor yet another ninja wasp snuck out from his hair!

Liz came to see what strangeness we had added since we had last seen her. Liz thinks we are weird; I take that as a compliment and hope to continue with weirdosity for some years to come!

One of my young visitors during the afternoon was a young girl with her mother, who had a remarkable knowledge of things and was into lots of prehistoric stuff, I could see that she liked the hand axe that she was holding and before she left I donated it to her collection.

So, our first day came to an end and as we travelled home I was lucky enough to spot a male bullfinch as it flew across the road…and survived to disappear into a hedge.

Sunday: We again arrived early and since it was such a lovely morning I went for a stroll. I couldn’t help smiling at the image of myself, in full colonial, ambling across the field looking for critters. I did not see any deer but as I walked along the canal I spotted some fine looking chub by the bridge and a carp cruised around a sunken barge.

Dr. Tooms went off to see Tricia’s music hall act, he returned with Tricia in tow; during her performance one of those dopey wasps had flown into her dress and stung her. the doctor in the audience offered to suck the poison out but she went for option two which was the antihistamine cream that we keep in our kit…and who can blame her!?

At 2:00pm Mr & Mrs Grymm boarded the land train that took us around the site. I had done this once before and it is an excellent little trip. We spotted a few of the dark fallow deer and at the deep pool that had once been used for blowing things up, a shoal of large carp were fed with a loaf of bread. It had become over cast and there was the odd gust so I hung onto my pith helmet in case it turned into a boat.

Things were a little on the slow side when we returned, Dr. Tooms was still chatting to the gentleman who had come to see us at Kelmarsh, so we went to see the Tricia’s show which was very enjoyable and the wasps behaved.

We returned to the museum for that last burst of visitors that we seem to get at the end of the day and had a good final turn out. A couple of lads, who, from our first impression, looked like they were going to be trouble turned out to be very polite, inquisitive and ended up going through almost everything that we had…well I never.

As one gent perused my exhibits he suddenly made a very odd remark “You haven’t got anything about slavery”. I was not quite sure how to answer this, but did explain that we are a science museum. His query was comparable to me asking the Natural History Museum why they have nothing about the Schleswig-Holstein Question of 1848.

Weekend quote, apart from the other one: A visitor asked Mrs. Grymm if she was the mermaid. “Don’t be silly;” said his wife, “She hasn’t got a tail!”

This is Prof Grymm…saying wotchya to Paul n Debbie