Costume calls (12th April)

Today was a busy day and an insight into the workings of the museum.  It started off with an OMT (Organisational Management Team) meeting.  That might sound dull but it was anything but – varied doesn’t even begin to describe it.  When the museum is planning an event (and there’s lot of them) every team is often involved in some way.  The Museum is gearing up for the Horses at War event (16 – 17 April) so as well as all the usual organisational updates you might expect; staffing, visitor numbers, marketing etc. there’s also a detailed update on the horses – making sure they’re well looked after.  There’s a discussion about transport and whether the routes will be affected as well as making sure that none of the logistical planning has a negative impact on the horses – e.g. making sure they’re not startled by loud transport noises.  It was a great reality check on the amount of work that goes into planning every last detail of an event and also the number of specialisms that go into making the museum what it is.  After that I had a meeting with comms and got to go through one of the doors on site not accessible to the public – it definitely felt a bit like Narnia!  After talking through the blog and what it might include and look like there was just time for a quick change into my costume for my first experience of being an engager in the Museum.  I was in one of the Co-op stores and quickly got stuck into trying to get to grips with some of the history of the space I was in, from learning about the Co-op divi system to trying to make some of the lavender bags that are on sale from the counter.   I was slightly in awe of the staff who were really natural with the customers and knew the answer to every question I fired at them.  What was reassuring and definitely helped me settle in was the number of repeat questions that came up but also how open the visitors were to conversation.  It wasn’t the historical grilling I had feared but rather a chance to share stories, reminisce and often hear just as much from the visitors about their experiences as we were telling them about the store.  This also makes a really nice organic wider sharing as some of the stories visitors told me then fed into later conversations with other groups coming round.  All in all it was a great day and a great start to understanding the way the museum works.  I’d forgotten how tiring it is being on your feet all day so I’m signing off for a bath!