Previously on GrymmTooms Travelling Museum… cue montage
of various events… and so on to Season 7 and our first show: We
arrived at the Hollytrees
Museum early enough to think that we would be standing around
in the cold for some time but while I scouted round, Steve
turned up and let us in. This is a wonderful old house, the sort
of place that suits our collection. We were to set up in one of
the museum rooms overlooking the park.
Clive Stacy had asked if we could do some magic lantern
shows so after we set up our little museum within a museum, we set
off to the upper
teaching room to check out how we would use the space for our
lantern shows. I must say that Dr Tooms and yours truly
were somewhat apprehensive about light shows for the public, the
last of which took place at Petersfield
Museum back in the winter of 2009 on that icy evening when
the Eurotunnel broke down.
There are a couple of dolls houses in the room, one of which is
a model of Hollytrees and I wondered if within that model
was a dolls house of Hollytrees; a museum in a dolls house, in a
dolls house etc…sorry convoluted thoughts took over.
For some odd reason when I got into the building one of my first
thoughts was “I bet this place has a few ghosts in it”. As it happens,
the ghost of Anne
Lisle wanders about and is most often seen by young children.
Our first lantern show was, had we charged, a sell out; we were
surprised that so many people wanted to see something that is not
in 3D. We did our old favourite ‘Birds and their Nests’ and
the only odd questions was that someone thought that the slide of
a weaver bird nest showed a dead pheasant! Wel and Karen
History had snuck in while we were not looking but did not
heckle us during our, possibly world famous, presentation of this
beautifully illustrated but rather odd series.
We were very busy throughout most of the day and the only almost
mishap was the brief kidnapping of my Easter Island Kava-kava
man by an unruly and uncontrolled sprog. Thankfully Kava-kava
was rescued by Cassandra…phew, that piece took me several
weeks to make.
We had a full audience for our second show despite the usual random
gremlins that caused slides to jam and words to jumble. One of our
set pieces was ‘the Life and Times of Emperor
Norton I of the United States of America and Protector of Mexico’,
because we are great fans of this wonderful soul. We also tried
a new slide set. This is an original eight slide set of ‘Robinson
Crusoe’. We think that this is part of a series since it
starts with Crusoe salvaging from the ship wreck. There is no cave
in this story and the hero seems to be living in a semi-detached
surrounded by his livestock, which also includes cats. Cats are
in the book and Crusoe eventually lets them run wild over the island,
where they no doubt contributed to the rapid extinction of endemic
small mammals and flightless birds in the way that Tibbles
did to the Stephen Island wren. The last slide shows Crusoe
looking out to sea and holding Friday by the wrist, “By Jove!”
exclaims Crusoe, “That’s a Phaethon
aethereusor or I’m a stir fried scurvy bellied cephalopod!”
It is rather strange that our only memory of this story is the shipwreck
section; in their later years Crusoe and Friday travel through Europe
and fight off wolves before Friday kills a bear in the manner he
did back home. Presumably spectacled
bears had a greater range in South America in Defoe’s
time than they do today.
Well we had a very busy day and everything went well. Hopefully
we will get a chance to regale a captive audience with our lantern
show again. We would like to say thanks to the museum staff and
a special thanks to Wel and Karen for their hospitality.
This is Prof Grymm who recently got a chance to see tropicbirds