Welcome to the National Museum of the Royal Navy blog. A great way to keep up to date with the latest news and developments from around the museum.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Children Take Over the Museum!

Welcome to Children’s Takeover Day. Today, the Museum staff will step aside and let the pupils of Year 6 at Stamshaw Junior School in Portsmouth run the place – for one day only!
The fun starts at 10am, as we open to the public. We will be blogging live and some of the pupils will be “tweeting” throughout the day at http://twitter.com/NMRNP. Pupils will be holding guided tours in the Museum and on HMS Victory, running an Art competition, and conducting the official opening of the relocated Museum shop. They will also be taking over the shop, security, and even the Director General’s office. Keep an eye on the blog all day as we keep you up to date with everything that’s happening. Or better still, come down and join us at the Museum!
Stamshaw Pupils arrive to take over the Museum

This might help you with one of the questions on the trail
We are having a special trail in the Victory Gallery all day with prizes for the most correct answers and the fastest to complete the trail. Come and find us in the Victory Gallery to take part.

At 11:45am we officially opened the new Museum shop. We made a speech and then Graham, the Chief Operating Officer helped us to cut the ribbon and he made a speech too. Then we had lots of cake and fizzy pop!

I declare this shop open
HMS Vernon Monopoly Set
Aislinn and Bethany are giving behind the scenes tours of the Museum today. They go into the store rooms where the public don't normally get to see and they talk about some interesting objects such as the Monopoly game that HMS Vernon made, a punishment book from HMS Leviathan, a desk from HMS Resolute and some ships bells.

One of the stores is cold to help preserve some of the old items. The walls can be moved back and forwards
You must wear gloves to look at some of the delicate items, so that you don't damage them. The punishment book is really interesting because it shows what punishments sailors got for different crimes like theft and drunkenness!

The desk in the furniture store was used in the film National Treasure and is from HMS Resolute.

The Ark Royal's bell is in the attic store and it used to be used for babies being christened on the ship. The babies' names are engraved on the bell.
Aislinn talks about Ark Royal's bell

Chloe, our Director General for the day, decided she wanted a cup of tea and got one of her new assistants to make it for her. Meanwhile, another of her assistants took an important phone call because we had run out of bananas in the office!

Mohamed and Emily were giving guided tours of HMS Victory. They started on the deck where Nelson fell in the Battle of Trafalgar and explained how he was injured. Then they went down to the middle gun deck and explained how the cannons worked and let everyone have a go at firing them (not for real otherwise they would have been squished when the cannon rolled back). Mohamed showed some of the weapons that the sailors used in the battle and they looked very sharp and dangerous.

In the Hold is the safest part of the ship because it is at the bottom and not near where the cannons fired. Supplies are kept here such as food and fresh water. Mohamed explained what happened if there was a hole in the ship and how the sailors would try to fix it.

There is a part of the ship where Nelson died but the exact area is not really known. There is a memorial stone and a painting near here and Emily told the groups that Nelson's last words were "Thank God I did my duty."

There is also a barrel like the one Nelson was put in when he died. He didn't want to be buried at sea so they put him in the barrel upside down, and put brandy in to preserve his body. Then he was brought back to England and buried in a Cathedral.

Emily and Mohamed remembered a lot of information and were very good at answering questions on the tours.

In the Communications Centre, we were able to see everything that was happening in the Museum on the security cameras. We also made announcements over the tannoy so that all the staff and visitors could hear about the tours, the art competition and the shop opening and all the other important things happening today.


Control was handed back to the Museum staff this afternoon, and the children headed off for their coach. They all seemed to have a great time learning about how the Museum is run and the staff enjoyed learning from the kids too. All of a sudden it seems very quiet in here.............

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