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  #1  
Old 11-08-17, 05:12 PM
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Jelly Terror Jelly Terror is offline
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Default IWM - Dodgy Royal Norfolk

I was more than a little disappointed recently, to see that IWM Duxford has used for its display inside the Royal Anglian Regt. museum, the dreaded 'crash helmet' Britannia as the example of the Royal Norfolk cap badge (apologies for the poor quality of the first image)...

IMG_4136.JPG

The badge has also been reproduced for their large, printed wall display :

IMG_4137.JPG

JT
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Last edited by Jelly Terror; 11-08-17 at 05:26 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-08-17, 05:32 PM
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They have also used the pre-amalgamation Q/C Suffolk cap badge within the same display...

IMG_4139.JPG

...a badge which has been the subject of debate here on the forum previously.

JT
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Last edited by Jelly Terror; 11-08-17 at 10:29 PM. Reason: Typo correction
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  #3  
Old 11-08-17, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jelly Terror View Post
I was more than a little disappointed recently, to see that IWM Duxford has used for its display inside the Royal Anglian Regt. museum, the dreaded 'crash helmet' Britannia as the example of the Royal Norfolk cap badge (apologies for the poor quality of the first image)...

Attachment 175742

The badge has also been reproduced for their large, printed wall display :

Attachment 175744

JT
A total howler there Jelly! Your second image dates the badge to 1935!!
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  #4  
Old 11-08-17, 05:48 PM
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Smile Museums and badges

JT, sorry you were disappointed with IWM's badges at Duxford, this is not the only museum displaying dubious badges, quite why they don't get someone with a bit of knowledge to advise them on items displayed is beyond me.

Having said that they do have some good badges, but there if IWM can't find good stuff who can?

Rob
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  #5  
Old 11-08-17, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Nozzer View Post
A total howler there Jelly! Your second image dates the badge to 1935!!
Of all the various examples out there, it just so happens the worst possible offender was selected as the display badge.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonofacqms View Post
JT, sorry you were disappointed with IWM's badges at Duxford, this is not the only museum displaying dubious badges, quite why they don't get someone with a bit of knowledge to advise them on items displayed is beyond me.

Having said that they do have some good badges, but there if IWM can't find good stuff who can?

Rob
You're right of course, Rob, there are also some super badges and other items there for us all to see. Duxford is a fantastic museum and an absolutely brilliant day out for visitors all ages.

Cheers,

JT
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  #6  
Old 12-08-17, 02:37 PM
altcar73 altcar73 is offline
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A prime example of such museums employing people who will give you the square root of a jar of pickles and starve to death getting the lid off. Common sense and a little research - plus an interest in what you are doing goes a long way........... Those reading this who are curators and who do not fall into this definition, no offence intended. Its just that I've lost count of the number of similar examples I've seen in the past. Invariably when the error is pointed out the response is "Oh, I didn't know that!"

Dave.
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  #7  
Old 13-08-17, 01:44 AM
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Default Dodgy Royal Norfolk

I've found exactly the same lack of knowledge at both the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Navy Museum in Portsmouth. It never ceases to amaze me that the people responsible for our national collections of military and naval artefacts have so little knowledge and, often, very little interest. I have already commented elsewhere on the site about the way in which the National Maritime Museum's online collections of buttons and badges show many items familiar to collectors which are either listed as 'unknown' or simply misidentified. The larger the institution the more common this appears to be.

After I left the Navy I undertook an MA in Heritage Studies and applied for several positions at maritime museums. I soon realised that the major things against me were the fact that I had actually been to sea and that I had an interest in the subject, indeed that I collected items myself! I was even told that no museum would employ someone who actually collected naval memorabilia and was advised to say that I wasn't a collector. Whether this was because they were worried that I might steal all their artefacts to add to my own collection I don't know.

So I gave up on any career within maritime museums and applied to join the NHS as a hospital administrator - a job I knew nothing about at all and in which none of my previous knowledge or experience would be any use whatsoever. So they obviously gave me a job!

Pete
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  #8  
Old 13-08-17, 06:27 AM
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Pete,

Exactly! Heaven forbid that any military museum should employ anyone who has the slightest knowledge of the subject, or indeed interest in it. BUT, if you have a degree in biology, and enjoy hiking as a pastime then you're the man for the job!

Dave.
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  #9  
Old 13-08-17, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Guzzman View Post
So I gave up on any career within maritime museums and applied to join the NHS as a hospital administrator - a job I knew nothing about at all and in which none of my previous knowledge or experience would be any use whatsoever. So they obviously gave me a job!

Pete
Awesome story Pete, you've got to laugh at the absurdity of it sometimes.

As far as I am aware places like the Australian War Memorial officially discouraged collectors as curators out of concern for leakage from the collection. However there were a few that I knew years ago who had fairly substantial collections of their own. I don't know what it is like now but 20 and 30 years ago the ones that I knew also had a great interest in the subject.

Leakage from museum or historical collections into the market place by people who have a conflict of interest has been a problem. Years ago I was heavily involved in the historical collection of one of my former units. The unit no longer exists and now a few of us are in the process of cataloguing and storing the collection for the future it comes as no surprise to see articles missing. In particular one photograph now missing I am well aware appeared in a book by a well known author/collector some years ago - knowing the people around at the time I can almost join the dots from the individual who removed it from the battery photo album, to the collector it was given to, and the author who used it!

Keith
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  #10  
Old 14-08-17, 06:28 AM
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Default IWM - Dodgy Royal Norfolk

Hi Keith

A valid point I agree - and I'm sure that we can all relate similar stories. Although surely it is wrong to discriminate against all collectors because of the behaviour of just a few. It's a bit like saying that as I enjoy reading I can't work in a book shop because I'll steal all the books or because I eat food I can't work in a supermarket! I'm sure that there are some people working in book shops who HAVE stolen books - but no-one bans everyone who enjoys books from working in one. In most cases it is actually regarded as a positive thing!

It is also like saying that because you are a collector you have no morals (applies to some dealers perhaps!) and will just steal anything you want. In the cases I know of where items have gone missing they have been stolen and sold for their commercial value - not stolen simply because an individual wants something for themselves.

And most people I know who work in museums these days are simply there because they wanted to work in museums and the heritage industry and not because they have any particular interest in what the museum was about - they would just as soon work in a museum of medieval nose flutes as a regimental museum! I am of course talking about those with professional qualifications and not volunteers.

Partly this is because when the National Lottery started up about 20 years ago there was a huge investment in museums and the heritage industry. This encouraged lots of people to obtain qualifications in these subjects. Then, when the funding bubble burst and the money beagan to be diverted to 'worthier causes', a lot of museums had to close and jobs became harder to get. You were lucky if you could get a position in any museum.

Anyway, the thing which seemed to weigh more against me personally was the fact that I had actually served at SEA in the Royal Navy! God forbid that some salty old sea dog should be let loose amongst their beautiful collections!

And one final point. Although I obviously couldn't be employed as I couldn't be trusted not to steal the exhibits, I have undertaken projects at several maritime museums around the country over the years as an unpaid volunteer. There seemed to be no concerns that I might steal things for my own collection as long as they didn't pay me!

There are more points I could raise but I've been boring enough already!

Pete
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  #11  
Old 14-08-17, 07:02 AM
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I've heard that it's best not to turn up at such a job interview waving a bottle of rum & wearing an eye patch, a parrot on your shoulder, a Jolly Roger T shirt & shorts that reveal your peg leg.
I feel that the days of a collector being the man most likely to steal from a museum have gone, if they existed, & that items are more likely to be nicked purely for the resale value by employee Joe Public the something for nothing Bargain Hunt viewing ebayer car boot salesman who nowadays is fully aware that the stuff has monetary value.
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  #12  
Old 14-08-17, 08:48 AM
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Pete,
Your story comes as no surprise to me, if you had a nice cushy little job of which you had no commitment or interest whatsoever would you want someone coming to work with you that might know something about the subject and worse still have an interest?

Rob
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  #13  
Old 14-08-17, 10:05 AM
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Pity because in the fifties/sixties the IWM Lambeth had a wonderful extensive collection of badges and shoulder titles including variations. The display covered two rooms are probably as near definitive as possible
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  #14  
Old 14-08-17, 10:50 AM
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First of all can I say that I have an excellent relationship with the Curator of the Kings Liverpool collection but there are a number of errors among the exhibits in the Liverpool Museum ( for example wrong collars on a Liverpool Scottish officers tunic, IOM volunteers shoulder title described as 7th (IOM)V.B. shoulder title ).

I think one of the main problems with Museums today is that we are now living in a touchy ,feely world and generally ( with some exceptions ) displays such as that Carnforth mentions in the IWM, which would appeal to collectors and historians are not what Museum Authorities now consider will attract younger visitors and a couple of old tin hats that kids can try on, finds much more favour than a comprehensive display of insignia to a particular Regiment.

On the news this morning there was an article about how cats eyes on our roads may have to be called something else as the perception is that cats have been harmed in some way if they continue to be called cats eyes. I am a little surprised that in this P.C. mad world, we still have Regimental Museums although at the rate they are disappearing it may not be long before they are all gone.

I am sometimes tempted to got through Terry Wise`s book "A Guide to Military Museums", my edition published in 1984, to see how many Museums in the book are still in existance.

P.B.
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  #15  
Old 14-08-17, 12:13 PM
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Default IWM - Dodgy Royal Norfolk

I know what you mean about the PC brigade! I live in Nottingham and Nottingham Castle contains the Regimental Museum of the Sherwood Foresters. A few years ago the museum was moved from the galleries it previously occupied into what had been the museum shop. Although the room was fairly small it contained an excellent display of items telling the regiment's history. I think the whole thing was put together by two former members of the regiment.

In the 1950s the Foresters served in Kenya in operations against the Mau Mau and this was reflected by a display case showing items captured from the insurgents/rebels or whatever you want to call them. The last time I visited the museum this case was missing and the artefacts on display jumped straight from the end of WWII to the late-1960s. I asked what had happened to the display case and the artefacts it contained. I was told that a Kenyan visiting the museum had seen the Mau Mau artefacts and had become extremely angry and irate about their being there and had demanded their removal. This the museum authorities had done.

What next? If a visiting German objected to the items on display from the two World Wars would they be removed too? It's too pathetic for words.

Pete
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