The Museum is open (hooray!)
The Museum re-opened for the summer season on April 1st. Sorry it took us so long to blog about this (it takes quite a lot of work to get the Museum ready – cleaning, painting, sorting shop stock etc.!) but here we are and here we will be every day until October 31st!
The weather is beautiful in Boscastle and we’ve had a busy first week. We will start updating you on the changes that have taken place at the Museum over the winter. First of all, the outside has changed quite a bit.
New A frame sign advertising 2017’s exhibition: Poppets, pins and power (more details on this to follow soon).
The outside of the Museum has been painted, we have a new “Selling the Wind” sign as the old one had become weather worn, the shop window has been replaced (it was leaking and rotting), we have new brackets for the guttering (no more rust) and the wall has been re-pointed. There are signs outside advertising Steve Patterson’s guided walks (which start in July) and candlelit evenings (the first of which is Saturday April 15th from 8-11pm).
Other changes: Joan’s garden has been extended so we can get more plants out and more information on herbs and herbalism (thanks to the Friends of the Museum organisation for paying for this). We have also created a wishing well outside the Museum (to left of this photo).
For many years, the Museum has raised money for air ambulance. Over the years, we have raised over £20,000 for this charity (which did Boscastle a wonderful service during the 2004 Flood). Here is the old air ambulance display from inside the Museum:
The old air ambulance display was removed a couple of years ago to make space for a display on the history of the Museum, including a detailed look at the Museum founder Cecil Williamson. Since then, we have tried a couple of other ways to raise money for Air Ambulance but then we settled on the idea of a wishing well outside.
Our reasoning was: it will raise a lot of money for a great charity, the wishing well would collect the natural water that flows out from the slate cliff behind the Museum and create a nice feature for visitors, Cecil Williamson was very interested in wishing wells and Cornwall has a long tradition of water being used in magic and for healing so it seemed fitting but most of all, we thought it would be apt to restore and reinstate an aspect of the Museum’s history. Photographs below show Gerald Gardner at the wishing well at the Witches’ Mill on the Isle of Man. The Museum wishing well was modelled on this design.
The wishing well has a grate created by a local craftsmen. This image is inspired by the “Moon Mirror” in the Museum’s collection.
Creeping thyme has been planted around the well and cuckoo flower behind (this area is still very prone to waterlogging) and the water fills up naturally from the slate cliff face behind the Museum (it is natural run off). The white spar stones were collected from the Harbour.
The well’s roof is topped with a black cat ready to pounce!
This sign made of Delabole slate incorporates the motif of the moon and the cat to ties the imagery of the well together.
A few “behind the scenes” photos showing the work in progress.
Below: Boscastle builders Hedley Venning and Steve Martin unload the concrete base for the well. This concrete section forms the main part of the well. It has been covered with stones gathered from the Harbour.
Below: Tom, the Museum dog watches from the library.
Hope everyone “makes a wish” and donates to the Air Ambulance next time they visit the Museum!
More blogs on what’s been happening at the Museum this winter coming soon…