Museum working party 14th July 2022

Another warm and sunny morning out in Wharf yard but Charles Benedetto and John Olsen had a job in the museum to occupy them.

The museum is playing host to North Wales artist Carwyn Jones multimedia exhibition of Quarrymen of North Wales featuring A0 portraits of the five men and a video of interviews they gave about life in the quarries. John had done some work during the week attaching velcro tabs to some of the frames constructed last week so that the first three portraits could be mounted in the longest frame quite quickly. However it required assistance from Keith Theobald and Mark Carwardine to hold the somewhat flexible plywood frame upright as the portraits were lined up and attached and then lift the entire assembly up and over the stairwell balustrade for the strategically placed clips to engage with the balustrade top.

We paused for a coffee and biscuit break in the hot sun, out on the platform, in the company of Mike Green before returning to the relative cool of the museum to assemble the second frame.

This frame held one portrait and a large landscape format board that gave the names of the quarrymen and the quarries in which they worked. Although only holding two items it was still a four man lift to get it locked onto the balustrade top opposite the first frame, as access was limited by the signalling equipment present.

The final pair of frames held just one item each and the first to be assembled was the A0++ title board. Once the frame was together and square, the velcro tabs had to be added in the appropriate locations to match those on the reverse of the display board; additional velcro hook tabs had to be attached to the display board where they were missing or had been replaced by loop velcro. Once these issues had been resolved the placement only took two persons to achieve. The final frame was to hold the final portrait beside the title board; this too required the velcro hook as well as loop tabs to be added in the right places before the portrait and frame were lifted over the balustrade and engaged with the title board with overlapping velcro tabs.

But the mornings work was not finished as Keith needed assistance in clearing the office of the slides given to the museum by Don Newing’s family and the safe storage of boxes of Don’s files in the long term storage space behind cabinet C12. Only when the puzzle of fitting the many boxes into the confined triangular space was achieved were we able to re-secure the panel and call a halt to proceedings.

Pictures by John Olsen and Keith Theobald.