I said in my previous post that I had been working on something quite big recently and it seems a shame to not do a post about it and here it is; National Trust Collections Online.
Category Archives: Collections
I’ve been incredibly busy the past few weeks, working on the finishing touches on a rather large project which I will almost certainly do a blog entry about next week. As such I haven’t had time to update my blog recently, however getting a reference by IWM’s Social Interpretation Project reminded me to update the blog. It looks like an incredibly interesting project!
So what have I been up to recently, while apart from working on my rather large project. I have also been heavily involved in an inventory project at some of our London Places, mostly 2 Willow Road and Fenton House.
Although we use the term inventory project as a catch-all term for what we’re doing, it actually involves lots of different elements of work. A colleague of mine has been working on loans at 2 Willow Road and cataloguing some really interesting objects. We both spent part of last week taking inventory photographs of objects at Fenton House ranging from lots of paintings through some brilliant early keyboard instruments. Of course it isn’t all hard work and finished off on Friday night at a rather eccentric pub in Belgravia where you can’t use mobile phones and has a rather interesting range of objects on the walls including some bayonets over the fireplace.
If this sounds like the sort of thing you might be interested in doing we are also currently looking for four interns to work with us on the project. The information should be appearing on Leicester University Museum Studies Jobs Desk tomorrow. However if you are interested you can also contact me directly here and I will send you all the information you need to apply along with an application form.
I’ve always been fascinated by airships, I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps it’s that scene from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade where Indianna travels on a Hindenberg that has stuck with me. So when I was casually musing about what to write about this week and took a quick look at historical events that happened on the 6th July as I often do. I was struck by the fact that the first Airship to cross the Atlantic arrived in the United States on the 6th July 1919.
My interest didn’t stop there and went further by doing a quick search across our collections here at the Trust using our collection management system. Having a quick browse through the various airship related objects in the collection, which goes to prove we have so much variety in our collections, I noticed on object in particular which I have added below.
It is from our collection at Bateman’s and shows the exact route the British R34 took when making it’s first return trip across the Atlantic in 1919. The R34 would leave the U.K on the 2nd July 1919 and arrive in the U.S.A on 6th July 1919 after a total flight time of 108 hours. The return journey to Norfolk would take from the 10th through to the 13th July and take 75 hours. The airship was not intended for long distance flight and so hammocks were placed in the keel walkway and a metal plates was welded to an engine exhaust pipe to cook hot food.
Another interesting fact about the flight of the R34 is that as the ground crew had no experience of handling large rigid airships, Major EM pritchard jumped by parachute and so became the first person to reach America soil by air from Europe.
The R34 would eventually be written off in January 1921 and it’s story would end there. I think it’s amazing the things you can find in our collections!
So the week started with the 24th January and as well as being my mothers birthday, scientist have also worked out a formula that suggests yesterday was the most depressing day of the year. The 24th is of course also the day that Sir Winston Churchill, whose home was Chartwell, passed away. With all these depressing fact I decided I would search our collections here in London and the South East for something which was a little brighter for my blog.
After giving it some thought it was obvious exactly which items from the collection would be excellent in marking not only the life of Sir Winston but also lifting spirits during a cold and depressing January. The one thing that sprung to mind was of course Churchills paintings.
Winston Churchill discovered his love of painting in the Summer months following the disaster of the Dardanelles campaign, in which he had been deeply involved. From this time on, painting was an incredibly important part of Churchills life.
He would even take his brush with him to Flanders in 1915 and paint the surroundings of his Battalion headquarters. Two places which also gave Churchill pleasure was the South of France and Marrakesh in Morocco, loving the brilliant light and glorious colours. Churchill himself talked both of his love of painting and bright colours.
“I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns. When I get to heaven I mean to spend a considerable portions of my first million years in painting, and so get to the bottom of the sibject. But then I shall require a still gayer palette than I get here below. I expect orange and vermilion will be the darkest, dullest colours upon it, and beyond them there will be a whole range of wonderful new colours which will delight the celestial eye”.