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NRM - looking a bit tatty round the edges ...

Discussion in 'National Railway Museum' started by richards, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    Is it just me, or is the NRM beginning to look a bit run-down?

    When we visited last weekend:

    * the model railway wasn't working :cry:
    * the walkway under the steam locos was closed due to an "ongoing health and safety issue" :-k
    * the electric 'escalator' was "being reset which could take up to 30 minutes" but was out of action for hours
    * some of the TV screens showing the live signalling situation on the main line were either switched off or so out of focus that they were unreadable.
    * the wooden model engines which children could put together were so worn that the pieces wouldn't stay together.

    And these were just the ones our 7-year-old boy spotted!

    The demonstration of the Signalling School layout might have been interesting, but it was being run so fast that it was impossible for the person on the microphone to explain what was going on. It just appeared to be a group of men "playing model trains", seeing who could ring their bells faster than the next man, with someone waffling into a microphone.

    And don't get me started on the lack of storage facilities for pushchairs ... :smt013

    The place reminds me of other museums which spend loads of (public) money on new exhibitions and then don't look after them. Surely the NRM can do better than that?

    Richard
     
  2. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Well-Known Member

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    We can and we will. There's a lot going on at the moment, the pit was closed in preparation for KGV going on display. The reliability of the model railway is an ongoing issue. Half term is always manic.

    The issues are known about, but take time and money and staff, all of whom are in short supply. NRM is planning to do big things in the next few years, give us time and keep watching. In the meantime, sorry you had a bad experience, hope you'll visit again.
     
  3. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    But it doesn't take much money or time to put up signs which explain what is actually going on. People might be disappointed but at least they know why.

    How about a "Sorry - it's not working" notice on the model railway and escalator (it wasn't actually being "reset", was it!), a "Sorry this is closed because we are moving locos around" poster on the underground walkway (which that might make people come back to see what's coming in). And a "Sorry - these TVs are bust but are going to fixed in xxx days/weeks" sign on the signalling panel.

    Surely the NRM needs to look at doing the "little things" properly before it embarks on any more "big things".

    [rant ends]

    Richard
     
  4. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Richard, rant appreciated - but I work at the branch museum, otherwise I'd take them up straight away. Can I suggest that you send your comments and suggestions to the Visitor Services Officer at Leeman Road and see what transpires?

    All the best
    Anthony
     
  5. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    Do you have an email address for the Visitor Services Officer? There's nothing on the NRM website.

    Richard
     
  6. richard_3672

    richard_3672 Member

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    I've found the signal screens for the Main line haven't been working for a while. I don't mind at all, if something isn't working then it isn't working. It'll be fixed along with other things like cleaning KGV, sorting out Tornado and overhauling a certain other loco, amongst other stuff.

    Don't let it affect your visit just these little nitpick things.
     
  7. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    I wouldn't mind if it was only one thing bust, but my 7-year-old was really brassed off as they were some of his favourite things.

    But they are probably spending all their money and time on trying to fix "Scotsman"! :-#

    Richard
     
  8. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Well-Known Member

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    Certainly Richard, no offence taken - we MUST do better for a world class museum. Will dig out the right email tomorrow when I'm at work.
     
  9. yorksteam

    yorksteam New Member

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    The model railway isn't supossed to work for 8 hours a day for 364 days a year without a break, so it will, and does break down, one week I was in there, I always pop through, and the bloke comes in and boos thhe side of it quite hard, and it sets off.
     
  10. Edward

    Edward Member

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    It remains an excellent attraction, and there is obviously refurbishment in progress. For anyone actively involved in preservation, it is an excellent, warm, dry and free MIC facility.

    My only comment is that whilst the opportunity to get on exhibits is welcome, when there is no one else around, not every visitor wants or needs to have the exhibit "Explained" to them. A bit of an "I'm getting paid to do this, so I must know all there is to know" attitude.... Only applies to the odd one I must add. There's one young chap who's enthusiasm for his subject really struck me on a recent visit.
     
  11. 1X99

    1X99 Member

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    The model looked great to me, although it was odd to see only one train running, a 4 driving wheeled black loco with about 20 coal wagons IIRC.

    The railway in the model place next to the station could definitely do with some TLC.
     
  12. papagolfjuliet

    papagolfjuliet Member

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    Popped in on Monday while waiting for a connection, and again found it a rather dispiriting experience, with larger areas of exhibition space in both halls empty, other exhibits inaccessible, and that ridiculous ferris wheel replaced by an equally inappropriate travelling fairground. Whereas Shildon continues to resonate with a real spirit of enthusiasm, I always get the distinct impression when visiting York that the management there don't really care about trains unless they are Japanese or numbered 4472.

    I appreciate that plans are afoot to improve the visitor experience at York, but just at the moment the NRM strikes me - however unfairly - as prioritising gimmicks over its core mission, and that's a crying shame.
     
  13. ovbulleid

    ovbulleid Member

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    if anyone thinks the NRM could do better, why not give the ranting a break and ask about volunteering at the museum? then, not only would you be able to fix the things you thought ought to work, but also get a better idea of why other things arent working. it is a free museum, so give the guys a break. spending money on paint and cleaning materials is nowhere near as glamorous as spending money on restoring a locomotive. if there's one thing that winds me up its people who complain endlessly but never contemplate doing anything about it themselves. i'm sure the NRM would always appreciate a few extra hands to do the jobs that are always getting put off for later.
     
  14. Guest

    Guest Part of the furniture Account Suspended

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    and them kick 'em in the teeth if any recognition is due - ooops - sorry - wrong museum!
     
  15. stepney60

    stepney60 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Shh! You can't have all the moaners and whingers on here actually going out and doing things! They might spill some oil on their copy of a certain tabloid newspaper, who shall remain nameless.
     
  16. papagolfjuliet

    papagolfjuliet Member

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    I would if I could, but just at the moment I am not exactly a local. What I will say however is that I have no quarrel with the condition of exhibits; my problem is that many of those exhibits have been sidelined at York for no good reason. The Warehouse has been severely compromised by that ridiculous 'Scotsman' exhibition, a huge area of the former goods depot is completely empty, there are large gaps in the main hall and what is on display there is no longer exhibited in any kind of coherent order, the Shinkansen car has been positioned in such a way as to take up far more space than is necessary, and the first thing which greets visitors on emerging from the tunnel which leads from the main entrance is not a set of railway-related artefacts but a fairground which they have to pay to use. As I said upthread, unlike at Shildon the impression which one gets at York is that the NRM does not like trains very much, and that this attitude - if it exists at all - is to be found rather higher up than on the shop floor.

    I am not wholly convined that the NRM would be all that keen for me to turn up and reorganise their entire museum for them. ;)

    One other point: Whingeing about volunteer run organisations is in my opinion unacceptable unless, as you say, you are prepared to roll up your sleeves or open your wallet and help to do something about it. The NRM is different: it already belongs to me, I already support it through taxation, and on that basis I have as much right to complain about it as I have to complain about the NHS or the Royal Mail or my local council.
     
  17. Tracklayer

    Tracklayer Resident of Nat Pres

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    This interactive will not be working today.
     
  18. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Well-Known Member

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    In brief, thanks for your kind comments about Shildon, it is appreciated.

    As for mother ship, it is accepted that it is getting dated and tired and that is where the plans for NRM+ (still to be finalised, so don't please ask for them here) come in. Suffice it to say that we are planning already and expect both York and Shildon to look very different by 2012.
     
  19. 1X99

    1X99 Member

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    I hope a york - shildon maglev shuttle is in the plans \:D/
     
  20. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Well-Known Member

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