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December 19, 2018 December 2019, Regular Features No Comments

Summer Opening Hours

The museum’s normally opens from 1.30 until 3.30pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.  

From Christmas until the end of January these hours are extended and the museum will be open every day from 11.30am until 3.30pm.

Old Town Hall Display

To tie in with the opening of the refurbished Town Hall, we have put together a display about the Hall’s early days.   Pop in and see it any time from 8 December, (see opening hours above). 

New Acquisition

Long time Martinborough resident Ray Lind has gifted the museum a “Troughton & Simms” surveyor’s level.  It was made in London and used in the Wairarapa in the 20’s and 30’s.  Ray was given it when he retired from the Featherston County Council (later SWDC) in 1989. Like many of these old instruments it was made to last, with hardwood legs and brass fittings. 

Amazingly, the sight lines in the lens are made of spider web.  Ray’s tried the technique himself and says it’s not easy.   First you need to find a spider, then drop it from a stick so that it lets out a web.  This is then treated with hot water and laid into the minute groove across the lens. A steady hand is definitely required.  Of course you could shortcut and just use a fine piece of silk thread!

A Mouse in the House

The museum has an old organ in the sitting room and if you look closely you can see the pedals have “mouse proof pedal” stamped on them.  They also show a date of 24 February 1887 when the design was patented.    

Obviously the inside of an organ was an ideal place for a rodent residence, with the added bonus of a built-in food supply.    The pedal straps in those pre-plastic days were made of natural fibre and so a perfect snack. You have to wonder about the consequences for the instrument’s musical qualities.     Thanks to our mouseproofing we don’t expect to suffer such from that problem.

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