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National Railway Museum

Discussion in 'National Railway Museum' started by admin, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. admin

    admin Founder Administrator

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    I would like to welcome the National Railway Museum to National Preservation.
    However they are very busy and will drop in when they can to answer your questions and recieve feedback..

    Cheers And Welcome.
     
  2. Respite

    Respite Member

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    I visited the museum twice this week and I don't suppose the weather helped but it seemed like the Museum now is in need of some new life somewhere. In the old days you were tripping up over displays, video presentations, film shows, presenters over-acting and staff everywhere who had a fair idea what was going on and what they were talking about. Now the only staff you see are black suited security guards and the odd explainer trying to hide in case someone notices them and asks a question demanding any remote railway knowledge. The food outlets especially the one in station hall seem expensive to me.

    The shop by the entrance is now a franchise and the reason given (Quote) "the old layout wasn’t making any money." this despite it being usually full. The shop now has gone very souvenir orientated. Mallard socks anyone? Would anyone notice if you wore a pair!?

    The model section has gone and the railway books and videos much diminished. On a return visit I asked why they weren't promoting their own locomotion models range and was told that they were in the shop in the great hall. This was like a pop up affair and had just one case displaying a few derailed models. There wasn't any signage in the entrance and reception centre to say there was another shop which stupidly sold much the same range as the shop by the main entrance.

    The museum does and always has fallen down terribly on interpretation. They did advertise for an interpretation 'person' a few years back and I confess I did apply and was turned down as they weren't looking for someone with any railway knowledge!

    You could call this post sour grapes and no doubt some will vent their ire but the education function of the museum could be so much better. To learn about railway operation a visit to a preserved railway would tell you far more. The museum has a huge collection of signalling equipment but the operating line doesn't have working signals and indeed the ride is foreshortened by a road crossing which doesn't have an operating crossing system, yet much of what is required the museum has owned for countless years. The steam ride itself is very tokenistic in dire surroundings. There wasn't any information about the rare Grant Ritchie working the rides and not much advertising about the fact it was there.

    To quote the 'visitor experience' could be improved.
     
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  3. ragl

    ragl Well-Known Member

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    I blame Harold Wilson.

    Cheers,

    Alan

    P.S.

    Happy Christmas Steven
     
  4. huochemi

    huochemi Active Member Friend

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    Take a head torch as well, it is very dark in most places in the museum at this time of year. I wanted to see a particular nameplate on a recent visit but it is in one of the displays which bizarrely are completely inaccessible behind the tracks into the workshop. The member of staff I asked said it was impossible to get access as it was a working railway, but helpfully suggested there were plenty of other nameplates that I could look at. :rolleyes:
     
  5. BillyReopening

    BillyReopening Active Member

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    Quite the contrary to above, I visited for the first time in ages last week and throughly enjoyed it - I was able to visit more locomotives and I thought the shop (although very small) had a few nice things in it including the NRM collection models.

    We live in tight times and I cannot for the life of me understand why the NRM is free? Probably the reason your not seeing as many displays is because of funding. Both me and my other have agreed we would have paid at least £15 entry fee to see what was there and I am sure that would help in terms of displays etc...

    It was quite dark in there though...
     
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  6. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    It is a national museum, it widens cultural access.

    You might have £30 spare, others don't.

    Patrick
     
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  7. BillyReopening

    BillyReopening Active Member

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    Well that was rather short wasn't it?

    Perhaps a consession for those less fortunate might be in order?

    And frankly I don't have £30 to spare, I was merely pointing out the value that you get for free is exceptional...

    Merry Christmas!
     
  8. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    Apologies for being short.

    Admission free entry is excellent value.

    The principle was removed by the Tories and only reinstated by Labour in 2001, and there is a continued threat to it now. I am very sensitive to the arguments that you put forward in your original post. There are many problems around fairness and concessions to those in receipt of income related benefits, for example.

    Merry Christmas to you too.

    Patrick
     
  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    National Museums are free. Worth remembering that, as a general benefit, it is somewhat skewed towards London (*). My own view is that the cultural benefit to the country of free entrance to museums is a small price to the taxpayer well worth paying.

    (*) Of 55 UK national museums in the scheme, 19 are in London, or more than 1 in 3:

    - British Museum (Bloomsbury)
    - Geffrye Museum (Shoreditch)
    - Horniman Musen (Forest Hill)
    - Imperial War Museum, London (Southwark)
    - Museum of London (Barbican)
    - Museum of London Docklands (Isle of Dogs)
    - National Army Museum (Chelsea)
    - National Gallery (Westminster)
    - National Maritime Museum (Greenwich)
    - National Portrait Gallery (Westminster)
    - Natural History Museum (Kensington)
    - Royal Airforce Museum, London (Hendon)
    - Science Museum (Kensington)
    - Sir John Soane's Museum (Lincoln's Inn)
    - Tate Britain (Millbank)
    - Tate Modern (Bankside)
    - Victoria and Albert (Kensington)
    - V&A Museum of Childhood (Bethnal Green)
    - Wallace Collection (Marylebone)

    Tom
     
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  10. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    I can't imagine many of their visitors want to see a specific nameplate. If you'd given them advance notice, they might have been able to arrange something.
     
  11. Wenlock

    Wenlock Active Member Friend

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    How does this ratio compare to the population distribution?

    Do roughly one third of the population live in the London area?

    To what extent is this for historic reasons, some collections from
    London have I believe been moved out in recent years?
     
  12. Wenlock

    Wenlock Active Member Friend

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    A quick Google shows population of London as 8 million, out of a total UK population of 63 million, about 1 in 8.

    Wiki claims roughly one third of UK population live in South East England, thus being within easy reach of London.
     
  13. Greenway

    Greenway Well-Known Member

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    There are many ways of supporting the NRM in a financial as well as physical manner. You could become a 'friend', make a donation or simply buy from their on-line shop.
     
  14. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    add to that the huge concentration of tourists in London. Its the right place...York is the wrong place imo
     
  15. simon

    simon Resident of Nat Pres

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    It's difficult to think of a location in London that would allow a reasonable number of exhibits to be displayed and wouldn't cost the earth to acquire and develop. York seems a good alternative, but even there there isn't enough space or money.
     
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  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Whereas York is completely devoid of tourists :rolleyes:

    Tom
     
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  17. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    you said it....there certainly isn't the huge concentration I referred to.

    The location doesn't have to be IN London, near London would do.
     
  18. Kje7812

    Kje7812 Well-Known Member

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    Nah, just people on stag and hen parties.
     
  19. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    And for the tens of millions who don't live near London? Have you ever actually been to York? Or Chester? Or Edinburgh? Or Liverpool? Why does everything have to be in London?
     
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  20. OldChap

    OldChap Member

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    As David Shepard once mused that if Nine Elms Shed had not been raised in 1968 it would have been a great tourist attraction, obviously with suitable investment and modifications to the site.

    When I first visited Bath Green Park just prior to the redevelopment by Sainsburys I thought that it would have made a fantastic mini NRM site.
     

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