Thursday, 29 March 2012
Friday, 16 March 2012
Monday, 12 March 2012
A definite touch of spring in the air today and another reminder that Smail's will be re-opening shortly.
|Falcon Printing press|
Last week Rachel ran a very effective Collections Care workshop for the volunteers who work on al the historic items that go to make the Printing Works as we know it. It is not just the paper records that need care the Machine Room threw up a very interesting conundrum over the winter. The Falcon press has an early attempt to automate paper handling. Part of which is a bellows which provides a stream of air to separate the sheets of paper as they are picked up by suckers. The bellows are made of wood and leather and the leather rubs on a part of the press wearing a hole. It is probably been doing this for many years - a possible design fault from the start - but the result is much less reliable paper pick up. If we want to continue to demonstrate this press the damage needs to be repaired. How best can we achieve this, particularly as the Trust prefers conservation to restoration.
There was another landmark today. Mrs Harrison, Miss Mayes the Clerkess, Mr Murray the Compositor, Mr McGregor the Printer, Tony Hope the Printer's Apprentice, Mr Stephenson from South Africa and Davy the Yardman met at a local coffee shop to discuss the attendance at the Printing Works next week of a number of potential apprentices. They will be coming from St Ronans and Walkerburn Schools. Yes it is living History Week again. There are no prizes for working out who is behind some of these people although I understand that Mr Stephenson always sets Mrs Harrison's heart a flutter. At least this year Mr Stephenson and Davy the Yardman won't disappear to Melrose Sports one day.
A week later we all meet for this year's Team Talk before the Smail's opens its doors to the public once more.
We open for the new season on Sunday, 1 April and should close again on Monday 29 October. The next special event in the calendar is the Easter Egg hunt a week after we re-open.
Thursday, 1 March 2012
Davie the yardman needed a better pair of boots and I've just got back from Coldstream with a pair of British Army Ammunition Boots thus fulfilling a frustrated childhood wish to be allowed a pair of tackety boots. These weigh a ton and are enormous and I'll need a thick foam insole and two pairs of socks to keep them on - walking any distance is quite out of the question. Perhaps they're a bit shiny as well.
There was a piece in Monday's Times about attitudes to independence in the Scottish Borders with a number of interviews from Coldstream, including one from one of the owners of Walk This Way. They sell all sorts of millitaria and have a re-creation of a WWII bunker in their basement not the sort of shop I'd have expected in Coldstream High Street. Very helpful and a fruitful trip to Coldstream.