Sunday, April 1, 2012

Post 1856 Maritime Project Completed

Late last year we received a grant from the Maritime Museums Program Support Scheme (MMAPSS) to undertake a project upgrading our whaling and Resolution displays and artefacts. Since early January we have been busily working away on the project. It has included conservation work on the trypot and whaling artefacts, digitising of photographic collections, researching, writing and making new interpretive panels, and making a purpose built display case for the Resolution bell.

A number of local suppliers have provided services and helped us including JCB Cabinets, 2899 Gallery, NIBS, Brent Jones and Framed Picture Framing Services. Haylee Fieldes, now located in Perth, has designed the new interpretive panels and given the whole space a refreshing new look and feel. Volunteers Sue and Don Brian undertook hours of research on Norfolk’s whaling history and unearthed many stories, songs and images for us. The new display includes a large screen that shows a selection of images from the early and later whaling days, together with a soundscape of songs and stories. Sue spent many hours scanning hundreds of images from our photographic collection relating to whaling and the Resolution. Included in the soundscape is a recording made by Ray Hall in 1962 of Cobby Robinson recounting a whaling incident that occurred some time in the 1930s. The danger and drama of whaling in those early days is vividly caught in this recording.

As previously reported Janelle Blucher has been researching the recovery of artefacts from the wreck site of the Resolution in Port Vila harbour and has made many interesting discoveries. Many thanks to the people who have come forward and supplied information and images on her building and loss. She has also made a good contact with a local dive shop owner in Vanuatu who has told of the blasting of the wreck site in the 1980s by the New Zealand Navy and found reference to the ships service in the Pacific during WWII.

Amongst the objects to receive conservation treatment are the trypot, hunting implements, oil lamps, whale bones and baleen and the whaling managers desk. Rehousing the baleen and bones into new storage conditions will ensure they are properly secured for the future. The Resolution bell’s new purpose built cabinet, made by JCB Cabinets, has provided it with an airtight environment which was urgently needed to protect it from air borne salts, moisture and dust.

Albert Buffett has provided the names of the men in a wonderful photograph taken around 1940 and included in one of the interpretive panels. Leaning back against their whaleboat are from left to right: Edgar “”Jimmy” Edwards, Henry Buffett, Andrew “Peacock” Evans, Nathaniel “Sattie” Menzies, Louis Bataille, Augustine “Hares” Adams, John  Charles “Teeny” Menzies and Wilfred Randall.

Please come upstairs to the Pitcairn Norfolk Gallery to see the changes that have been made to our whaling and Resolution exhibitions. The Pier Store Museum is open 7 days a week 11.00am to 3.00pm.

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