Tag Archives: object handling

Plenty More Room On Top

Our volunteers at the museum regularly put their shoulders to the wheel to help make sure that our visitors have a memorable experience. One of those experience s in ‘Object handling’ which is always popular – an opportunity to play with stuff, hands on. These sessions often have a bus theme, and on the day that I called in the guys were in full swing with fare tables, caps and various ticket machines.

For someone of – ahem – my vintage, it can come as a bit of shock to realise that bus conductors will be a distant memory for anyone under the age of ten, and probably unknown to those under eight. So it’s no longer safe to assume that our younger guests have any conception of why there were conductors and what they got up to. A significant part of the experience is therefore an initiation into the daily work of the ladies and gentlemen collecting fares on the RT, trolleybus or tram.

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I found volunteers Peter Brown, John Campbell and Joe Ross accepting this challenge. As you can see, our heroic trio were under various states of siege on the day, and not just from the younger patrons. The desire to handle a Gibson ticket machine obviously runs deep in the population at large, so it’s just as well that there were two to hand on the stall. I’m not ashamed to admit (well not much) that I had a go myself with one, and you’d be surprised by just how heavy they are.

Joe is the novice of the team, having some 3 months under his belt as a volunteer, but he was in safe hands with the experienced pair of John and Peter. Both have volunteered for a number of years, and been involved in many activities to support the work of the museum. Peter is also active with the London Bus Museum at Brooklands, so I think we can safely say that he has the bug badly.

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You can also see in the accompanying photos two trainee conductors I met, Uma and Niyam Shah – I think a couple of weeks at the Chiswick training school and they’ll be ready to apply to the Traffic Commissioners for their badges. I can’t help but think that Uma might have the edge on her brother if they find themselves on the 15. And hurry up, it’s my turn with the cap…….

Dave Olney, Volunteer

Half Term Object Handling

School half term is a great British institution, and as we all know no half term holiday is complete without a visit to London Transport Museum. So half term always produces a spike in visitor numbers, and the museum’s volunteers put their shoulders to the wheel to help maximise the activities on offer.

So on Thursday 1st October 2012 in the galleries of the museum I found Ash Ketchum preparing the object handling stall in anticipation of the rush, and she was soon joined by Ken Richards. The stall had a bus theme and was designed around bus ticketing through the ages.  Ash has been fanatical about London buses since she was a young child, and has a family history around public transport in South East London. She has only been a volunteer with the museum since August 2012, so very much a new recruit. On the other hand, Ken has been a volunteer since 1998, originally joining up when he saw an appeal for volunteer guides in ‘On the Move’, the Underground staff magazine at the time; Ken was a Booking Clerk prior to retirement. Since then he has been involved in a range of activities, most recently delivering the ‘Finding the way’ object handling theme.

Later in the day came the rush – inevitably youngsters can’t resist the opportunity to produce a ticket for themselves and try on a hat. Ash and Ken were kept very busy – all I can say is that I hope that the museum has a very large cache of old tickets for future use.

Two young visitors fascinated by the stall were Tatyana De Freitas (above) and Frankie Newman Smith (below), both shown here getting stuck in. Frankie has London Transport history in her family, so perhaps a volunteer in the making..?

Dave Olney, Volunteer