Welcome to our first 'Day in the Life' blog. A lot goes into making our museums wonderful places to visits and caring for our collections. This series of blogs invites staff at Wakefield Museums to tell you about their day. First up is Alison Creasey:
The day begins and ends with the setting out of chairs.
It’s a special day today, because the puppets are coming out to play. All manner of puppets: gorillas and orang-utans and iguanas and a turtle and a butterfly and a BABY SLOTH! and a crocodile and a frog – and even a little fluffy anteater, with an ickle bickle ant getting eaten on his tongue!
They’re coming out today because it is RAINFOREST DAY. And a class of special educational needs pupils are coming to play with them. Everybody is a little giddy with excitement, because this is a new venture, and hence could always go hideously wrong. But it doesn’t – it is brilliant because the kids are just as fab as the puppets.
Then I come over all First World War for a couple of hours. A lot of things are coming over First World War these days, but it’s only Wakefield Council who has George Kellet as their man in the trenches. You should look him up. He’s ace. He’s also on twitter.
I have some timetabling to do now. Scheduling with schools when I can do their sessions on the Victorian Schoolroom or Roman Castleford or Medieval Bones or the suchlike. I don’t know which is my favourite: I get to shout at children when I'm their Victorian teacher, which is always a laugh, and makes their real teachers jealous…. but then Medieval Bones has taught me more about scurvy and tooth decay and rickets than I ever imagined I would know.
I have just enough time to pop down to Sandal Castle with my box full of bug pots and magnifying glasses. Sandal Castle is a great place to find all sorts of creepy-crawlies like spiders and centipedes and toads, and I have a school coming there tomorrow to do just that – so out come the chairs for the pre-bug-hunt briefing. Last time, we found a pink grasshopper. Like, BRIGHT pink. Barbie pink, if you will. Google it – it’s an actual thing. This time, I’m hoping for a bumper crop of frogs. They’re lovely to hold (but just for a few seconds, and only if your hands are damp), and they’re great for black death anecdotes.