This year we have a limited run of T-shirts designed by acclaimed designer Rob Flowers:
The t-shirt has been described as “colourful and slightly mad” and takes a humorous look at some of the Museum’s best-loved objects, including poppets, the Witch Mirror, a mandrake, a witch bottle and Baphomet…
We were very pleased to have Jamie Littlejohns from Camelford with us last week. He did his Year 10 work experience placement at the Museum and had a great time. You can read Jamie’s blog about his experience below.
Thanks for all your hard work Jamie!
Jamie Littlejohns Work Experience Blog
I arrived at the museum at 9:58am where I helped sweep and brush the floors because it was going to open up in a few minutes time, I also met one of my supervisors called Peter who was very glad to see me because of the short staff. But there was a problem I hadn’t been in the museum before so everything was new to me, luckily Peter asked me to take a tour around the museum which is where I met Steven who worked at the museum as well. The museum had a vast diversity of artefacts such as bones, dolls even shark teeth! This certainly caught my eye as I was walking around it probably took me a good 30-40 minutes to walk around but I didn’t mind because it was amusing with all the different displays the museum had with different objects.
Straight after the tour around the museum I was asked to do archiving in the library which intrigued me because I kind of didn’t know what it was. Thankfully Peter showed me what to do which made it easier, all I had to do was take photos of the newspaper samples which all contained witches or strange mysteries and store them as a PDF file. Sadly I soon ran out of time because I finished at 5:00pm.
The next day I started at 9:30am which I didn’t mind because I had been in Boscastle since 9:00am. But on Tuesday I had a different supervisor which did surprise me the supervisors name was Hannah she was nice and showed me how to light the candles on the shrine, however when she was showing me she had realised Steven had plunked the wrong candles in and made the task harder. On the other hand Hannah and I soon ignited the candles and the shrine was back to its former self with the right candles.
I then helped clean the glass on the displays which had numerous ice cream finger marks scattered on certain displays, this didn’t take long to do and the museum was spotless when we finished this meant we could finally open up and allow people to enter because we could see them waiting patiently (well kind of patient) to come in. This must have been around 10:00am which is normally when the museum opens up so we were right on time. This was also around the time Joyce came in who greeted me and introduced herself then she positioned herself behind the counter in the reception or as they like to call it a “booth,” I simply didn’t mind what it was called because I considered it a place of breaks and cups of tea. Later on in the day I went into the library with Hannah where we had a discussion on spread sheets and school which was very intriguing and I learnt how businesses used these programs to make it easier for finding what makes the most profit and how much stock they have. I then started to clean the shelves in the library which had small amounts of dirt and muck, I didn’t mind after all I had experience with cleaning shelves so I did what I could to make them immaculate. Of course they wanted me to have new experiences so I went back down to aid Joyce with taking photographs of the artefacts and that was fun because each artefact had a different meaning and was incredibly different to others, for instance the obsidian necklace which was a charismatic sort of object and was very enchanting you could feel the magical power being emitted from it. That was a very fun day and I was sad it had to come to an end.
On Wednesday I arrived at the museum at 9:30am which may have been earlier than normal but I didn’t mind because I was enthusiastic due to the photos we took yesterday because on Wednesday I was told I was editing the photos on the computer in the library but first I had to help with lightning the candles because gypsy had already done the brushing and had cleaned the glass on the cabinets, so I grabbed the matches and the grabber (which we used to grab the candles at the back) and started igniting them one by one until the shrine was fully lit.
Then I proceeded up into the library to do the editing with Joyce who showed me how to upload the photos onto the museum’s website I rather enjoyed editing the photos because it showed me how far I’ve come during the week like my nerves were they had vanished and this new confidence emerged. This took me right up to 1:00pm which was my lunch break where I had a whole hour since I was going on a walk with Steve Patterson up to the lookout tower.
So at 2:00pm I went back to the museum and grabbed my coat because the weather couldn’t make up its mind on what it was doing, then I waited outside with Steve who was getting himself ready for the hike up to the lookout tower. We waited roughly 5 minutes so then people could join us then we despatched on our tour. First Steve took us to the far end of the harbour and explained its history with witches and sailors then we started wondering up the path towards the lookout tower which was very steep and we had to keep stopping so then we didn’t lose anyone on the way up, although it was hard to do a head count when it started raining and people started putting their hoods up we couldn’t tell who was who.
It was exhausting trying to advance to the lookout tower due to the steps being so steep I could barely get my knees as high as them, but it was worth the effort because it was spectacular and the history of the tower was hysterical I couldn’t believe it and the view was mind blowing. We then stayed there for a while then made our way down towards the church which was not as much of a challenge because it was all downhill so we used less effort.
We managed to get back to the museum at 4:00pm or thereabouts where me and Steve had a nice cup of tea which I can’t thank enough and we hanged out in the booth with gypsy and Joyce. I then stayed in the booth until 5:00pm because I was shattered.
Thursday was a half a day for me which I didn’t mind but I had to crack on and Joyce wasn’t in on Thursday nor was she on Friday so I had Hannah and Gypsy who were my joint supervisors. it all started well, helped at 10:00am got things sorted then my governor came in which did surprise me because I was having a cup of tea in the booth with my colleges so we quickly looked busy and said I was going to take pictures later on so we went into the workshop, it was me and Hannah (who was my supervisor for the day) and the governor. We discussed what I’ve done over the week were I explained my progress and that I have completed most of my targets in the booklet which were to basically gain confidence even though everyone else put that on theirs as well so the governor just said that I had “accomplished” those targets and soon went leaving me and Hannah chuckling at the fact I had written in the booklet only a few moments before hand so I was lucky to not get caught.
The museum had quite a lot of shirts to fold and I had helped them discover that they had far fewer black shirts compared to white shirts which was useful because now they know what is selling well, it was one of those tasks that needed to be done and I happened to have been free at the time so I volunteered to sort the stock out. This must have been have been around 11:30am where I started folding the shirts and I made it half way through the stockpile till I departed at 12:30pm.
Friday was my last day which I was sad about because I enjoyed the museum where everyday something new would emerge either by people or objects which came in, for instance Rory I believe was his name he sculpted a fabulous statue and brought it in the museum on Friday to show Hannah and Gypsy.
I had arrived at the museum normal time and lit the shrine as normal which started to become natural to me then Peter came in the museum where he gave me the tasks to do for the day and I handed over my booklet so then I could get feedback. This was probably one of the fastest days after all I finished folding the shirts and then I uploaded nearly 100 photos to the website and honestly couldn’t keep track of time and then I saw Peter again where he had filled in the feedback section and I got an astounding review this was literally a surprise to me and I had no idea what the time was because I was overwhelmed so I couldn’t record it in my booklet. So basically the entire week I did something new and each minute was amazing I couldn’t thank the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic enough they allowed me to go there and I think for work experience the museum is the best place to go if you’re into history and are enthusiastic about learning. So around 4:00pm I started writing this blog and I couldn’t believe they wanted me to do this it was a honour, I then went down at 4:55pm which Peter reminded me otherwise I’d still be there and said my goodbyes and thanked them for all that they’ve done for me. That’s where I left the museum feeling proud of myself and that I tried my full 100% to fulfil my tasks. As I was wandering along the harbour I was thinking to myself and that in my head I knew I could use this experience now in the future and I felt more confident this made me happier because I used this week well and went to where I wanted to go and met some inspirational people who guided me when I was stuck and gave clear instructions so then I could follow them.