Thursday, 16 February 2017

Time Travel

Hello

Thanks for calling in.

Last week wandering round The MERL at Reading University I was soon imagining times gone by.  I was back in a Thomas Hardy novel. In my mind's eye I could see Tess of the D'Urbevilles traipsing through the Wessex countryside or working as a milkmaid or maybe Gabriel Oak from Far From the Madding Crowd with his sheep. All the equipment was there, already well used, with its own story to tell.  Smocks and bonnets in the overflow storage cabinets hung immobile after all the work.




Then I was transported to my primary school and the small bottles of milk we used to have every day, even if the cream on top was frozen and had pushed the foil top off the bottle.   Look at all the adverts on the milk bottles below.


Still going strong these days are the potters, basket weavers and lacemakers, such patience, time stretching in concentration.




Bang up-to-date are the interactive exhibits, buttons to press, questions to answer. This table changed and changed and changed. Quick, quick, press the button.



All the while, this old radio was broadcasting part of a significant episode of the programme The Archers, an everyday story of country folk which started in 1950, poor Grace Archer was trapped in a flaming barn over and over again. Would she ever be rescued?


Time for a rush round outside and a cup of coffee.



Back in time for tea.

Cheerio

8 comments:

  1. Wonderful past-times - beautiful things made by hand. I love both of those stories, 'Tess of the D'Urbevilles' and 'Far from the Madding Crowd'. Two of my all-time favorites. Old radio programs remind me of my Grandparents. They had their favorites with the old radio right in the kitchen. Good memories. xo Karen

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    1. That's the great thing about this type of museum, lots of reminders. x

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  2. I loved seeing the lace making bobbins, I have quite an extensive collection myself. I too enjoyed both the books and TV series for Tess of the D'Urbevilles and Far from the Madding Crowd.

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    1. They are really beautiful aren't they. I'm not sure I've got the eyes for lace making now.

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  3. How wonderful! I love the slipware pottery and the old smocks and sun bonnets. I remember the litle bottles of milk, we didn't like the milk in the summer when it was warm and smelt like cottage cheese. We always used to listen to the radio on Sunday lunchtimes when I was a child:)

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    1. Oh yes the milk wasn't great in the heat, yuck! 😊

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  4. I love this sort of museum, it really does give a window onto how people used to live. Thank you for sharing it, Karen. x

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    1. There are so many things in the collection that bring back memories and it just shows how much the country has changed over such a short time. x

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