Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

A Stranger in Strangers’ Hall: If you give a child a box…

February 17, 2010 · 3 Comments

Today was the re-opening of Strangers’ Hall to the public, thus meaning it would be busy today. I got placed in the Undercroft, which is where they hold all the children’s activities. Once again I was instructed to make a robot/invention sort of thing for the children to look at. That fell way to the many little visitors that soon took up all the table space.

After learning about Victorian cleaning tools and techniques, the children were instructed to make some sort of cleaning invention or robot. Now with children there from ages 2-10 you can imagine the variation in things being created. I saw a total of 3 castles being made, 2 homes, 4 rubbish cleaning bins, a beauty bin and a video camera. I thought it was incredible watching the children who were given a box and a table of various papers and bits and see their imaginations at work. And I was also surprised that the children took to the craft. I must admit I was a bit skeptical about the idea of the craft, but the children had a great time and really used their imaginations.

Before the children came down to make crafts, a woman from the press was at the Hall to take pictures of the conservation that was happening. Today there was no conservation happening of course because it was just re-opened to the public. So we had to put together a sort of “scene” that made it look like the museum was still conserving something. One of the volunteers was used in the pictures to demonstrate how the equipment was used. He kept nicely arguing with the photographer about how he is supposed to be properly using the equipment compared with what she wanted to make a good picture. In the end, it is always what makes a better picture than wins, not the accuracy of the scene. And I know that is how most things are with the press and the media, but it still frustrates me as a historian…I’m all about accuracy, accuracy, accuracy! I guess we’ll see what the museum has in store for me later this week!

Hours logged: 3
Total hours: 9

Categories: Alli · Museums
Tagged: , , ,

3 responses so far ↓

  •   apower // Feb 17th 2010 at 14:42

    The re-opening of Strangers’ Hall was BIG news in Norwich today it seemed, I spent the day at BBC Radio Norfolk and during the morning meeting it was a major topic of conversation. One of the news reporters was told to walk down to Strangers’ Hall before his broadcast so he could discuss it during one of his segments. I’m not sure a better picture is always what wins in terms of press and media, accuracy is usually pretty important..but clearly an eye catching picture is important to grab hold of a viewer’s attention too!

  •   Matt S // Feb 23rd 2010 at 19:11

    Very interesting Alli. I’m glad you were able to inspire those little kids to use their imagination. I’m glad at all the publicity Strangers’ Hall is getting now and proud of the work you’re doing. Keep it up!

  •   allisonmschell5 // Feb 24th 2010 at 19:50

    Thanks dear! I appreciate the support!

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