Well, back to the fray this week after a two week break - though my wife, nephew and I did pop in for a cup of tea last week. The volunteers managed fine without me though they said they missed my pc skills and my knack for dealing with council machinery - a few swear-y words and a quick kick usually does the trick.
To celebrate Hugh Falconer's 200th birthday on 29th Feb we held a birthday card competition and so the volunteers sorted through the entries over the last fortnight and came up with the winners. In the 5 - 12 age group the winner was Jenny Mitchell of Dallas Primary School and in the 13 - 17 category the winner was a joint entry by Hannah Rossiter and Kirstin McGrath of Forres Academy.
Whilst I was away the volunteers not only judged the card competition but also spent their time making more bookmarks for giving away at workshops/visits etc, printing some more tee-shirts, choosing objects for the summer exhibition and, of course, creating yet another version of descriptor labels for the upstair cases. They had problems getting the printers to work though and that had to be left until this week. Mind you, I'm still stumped by the xerox printing centre - it keeps asking for A4 to be loaded! I think if we need b&w printing done its better to do things on our own laptop and dedicated printer. No doubt there will be a full investigation into things when the professionals return from sickness and maternity leave.
So, this week it was a case of dry mounting the descriptor labels and picking more objects for the summer exhibition - an expanded "Forres High Street" exhibition. It was such a miserable day that everyone was a bit put off by the weather so there wasn't the usual energy in the lab. The new gate which has been put up at the entrance proved even more difficult to open (and shut) in the torrential rain. Only on a council gate would you have the padlock on the inside!
Big news this week though is that we are going to change the volunteer sessions to Friday mornings between 10:30 and 12:30. Though I had initially wanted the change so that we wouldnt be trying to share the same space as the museums officer it turns out the new day better suits most of the volunteers anyway.
We're still coping without the two museum professionals. This maybe shows that the Friends are now capable of holding our own and can play a large part in giving the town and surrounding areas a pretty decent museums service. Its quite shocking though that so little money is spent on the service. What happened to education, education, education? We've long since thrown of the stuffy academic image and thanks especially to Mark Macleod, our last Project Development Officer, have shown groups and schools that we can be a fun place to learn. Better stop or this will turn into a rant.