Grymm Tooms Travelling Museum
Hughenden’s Victorian Weekend July 12 - 13 2014



Friday: We arrived Friday afternoon and set up camp opposite the entrance which was an ideal spot for us as visitors would see us first. Then we waited for the elusive Malachi to join us…and we waited some more until he finally turned up about three hours late. His griping about his convoluted journey, life and the universe was suddenly ended as his chair gave way and he rolled backwards through our barrier…well, it made us larf!!

Saturday: We woke up to a very nice sunny morning and while we prepared the museum, Malachi brewed some coffee. It was not until I took my first gulp of this vile, muddy and mostly tasteless brew that Malachi told me that he had had the grounds at home for some time - about two years he finally admitted, rather sheepishly – don’t bother applying for that barista job old chap!

I found an excellent spot to set up Esme, the Peruvian mummy. With her head resting on the sign for a Cedar of Lebanon she reposed with some of her newly made grave goods, which include spindle whorls and a llama amulet. This has been an ongoing project for some time and brings Esme up to date with what I had always wanted for her. I have also included a sample of quipu (or khipu) which is the Inca record keeping system. Aside from the fact that I am mostly numerically dyslexic, I find quipu interesting and make great art displays when fanned out. Later I met a lady from Uruguay who recognised this item…see, it’s always worth making totally obscure exhibits!

Malachi set up and told various tall tales that he referred to by a variety of titles until I settled the matter by suggesting Malachi’s Myths for consistency! One of the stories he told referred to two ladies who took pistols to each other over some matter or other. Actually, this is a historical reference to an event in 1792 when a Mrs Elphinstone insulted Lady Braddock; pistols and swords settled the matter in Hyde Park with Mrs Elphinstone being lightly wounded and apologising.

We were set up next to Jane and John Walton, which meant that we didn’t have to travel too far for delicious fresh ice cream. This year, Jane experimented with a different flavour – marmalade. I love the strawberry but there was something about that marmalade that really grabbed me, it is awesome!

Howard approached me to join in the Rotten Borough Politics Campaign scenario. This was to illustrate how easy it was to get votes if you had money, influence and no scruples in the 1830s. This, of course, limited voting to rich men. So at 15:00 Prof Leonidas C Grymm entered politics. I hadn’t a clue what I was going to talk about so I grabbed the furry trout and hoped for the best! My campaign for ‘The Rivers of Life Party’ was a form of eco-lunacy that promised food, clothing and homes all from the Canadian Fur Bearing Trout! I was up against Abs, who proposed building a giant ship made of coal that would out do Brunnel because it had its own fuel and Paul who promised mansions for all people, whatever their class and doled out a lot of money for votes. While I may have lost dismally, I beat the Votes for Women which were ignored by all. I would do better tomorrow…

Sunday: It rained heavily during the night, always a bad thing for us as it limits what we can do during the day and, of course, there is the issue of packing wet canvas. It was, however, a lovely morning so once breakfast was over we set up and waited for our keen visitors. We were once again very busy.

While a lady was talking to Cassandra, I noticed that she was wearing a sash and asked her what the colours meant. They were of course the green, white and violet of the Suffragettes; I have become so used to the code woven, worn or embroidered into Cassandra’s clothing that something as obvious as a sash totally bypassed my neurons! Cassandra even has a smoking cap with the code in it! While discussing this last item we realised that since you can’t smoke anywhere any more Jane could call them E-Smoking Caps!

It’s been awhile since I reported a daft or strange observation by visitors but here is a good one: One visitor said that Victorian women had lower ribs removed in order to get that waspish waist. Regardless of class, a Victorian woman’s life was hard enough without death-dealing cosmetic surgery thrown into the equation.

In the afternoon I returned to politics; having looked into the uses of fur bearing trout more closely I proposed that we breed giant trout in order to not only clothe and feed the working class but also house them using the bones for building materials. Along with saving the British population nutritionally, I would draft a bill for the Royal Navy to use Grymm’s patented giant trout to sail/swim across the Atlantic and reclaim our American colonies. It was a Fish for the Future! This last bit got me a good cheer and enough votes for 2nd place! And so ended a great event.

We would like to extend our thanks once again to John and Jane for their hospitality…and ice cream.

This is Prof Grymm reminding you to vote for Rivers of Life Party and A Fish for the Future!