Museum working party 2nd March 2023

An overcast morning in Tywyn, but no rain in the offing as the team gathered for the working party.

Pete Thomas, Charles Benedetto, Max Birchenough, Allan Black and John Olsen were joined by Ian Evans inside the museum for the first job of the day, to take down and pack away the Carwyn Jones photographic exhibition. Carwyn’s giant portraits of North Wales quarrymen and their video’d memories have been a part of the celebration, in 2022, of the granting of World Heritage status to the North Wales Slate Industrial Landscape, but now they are moving on to New York, no less. It took as many as four of us in concert to lift these images off the balustrading around the stairwell and then carefully peel the boards away from the plywood support frame, the Velcro proving to be very tenacious. With all hands either peeling or deconstructing the frame, we had neat stacks of ply and the images by coffee time.

Pete had to leave us at coffee break, but we were joined by Andy Sheffield, on light duties, to have coffee, chat and biscuits in the cafe.

Post coffee time Allan and Charles got cans of wood hardener and brushes to stabilise the soft areas of the wagon frame, now gracing the site between the pedestrian entrance ramps of Wharf Station.

John then fetched the bubble wrap and soft foam packing material from the loft space of the Gunpowder Store so that he, Max and Ian could begin the lengthy business of protecting the large portraits in preparation for their return to Carwyn. With multiple layers and extra protection on the edges it took us until the end of the morning before we were satisfied that the protection was adequate; the two ‘parcels’ were then conveyed to the Gunpowder Store for safe keeping.

Allan and Charles had exhausted their supply of wood hardener by this stage in the morning with the second half of the frame still to treat. Although we had more hardener in stock it was decided to wrap it up for the morning, clean the brushes and cover the frame over against potential rain.

Photo by John Olsen