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Think Tank

fatfingers

master brummie
I was getting excited then, thought there was a new science museum I hadnt heard about. Never heard that area called Eastside before.

Think Tank or whatever its called isnt a patch on the old Science Museum. I attended an open day at the depot in Cato St last summer, couldnt help but recognise some of the stuff from when I was a kid and used to spend hours in the old one. are they doing any more days like that ?

I took my daughter with me, she thought it was great, all that stuff just laid out in an almost random fashion. Every bit as enjoyable as the much larger Science Museum in that london which she persuaded me to take her to, which is by the way well worth a visit.
 

sistersue61

master brummie
Big Gee, you are right, a lot of Owens mates at school have no interest in the working of things, he took one of his spinning toys apart when the light stopped flashing, he was about 8, managed to put it back together after a fashion so that the light flashed again and with dad being a carpenter and being with him in the school holidays he loves hammering and sawing - he's better than me at putting nails in!! His dad also has a practical streak and often has his motorbike apart, so he helps with that too, guess we are lucky with that, his best mates are rugby mad too and they love being at my mom and dads in the garage with "Grandie", making things from the wood he has in there!
Sue
 

Big Gee

master brummie
Sue, I think a lot of it has to do with people of my generation ("baby boomers") having no choice but to be practical and good with our hands. Otherwise we'd never have maintained our houses or kept our cars running, etc. I had a young man call me from an insurance company asking me what I'd do if, for example, the ball-cock in our loo needed replacing - I told him I'd replace it myself and he had no answer to that!

Having said that, I'm hopeless with computers and anything electronic - haven't a clue!

Regarding Science Museums, we once spent 5 entire days in The Smithsonian in Washington DC, firstly because it was air-condtioned, but mainly because the place was totally rivetting - magic! My big memory of that visit is leaning over a balustrade and actually touching The Spirit Of St Louis!

Big Gee
 
S

Seabird

Guest
As I've said before, I was the archivist at the Science Museum before I left to start a family (no maternity leave in those days!), and I'm sure that Norman Bertenshaw, the director, whose 'baby' the museum was, would be spinning in his grave to see how his beloved collections have been split up. His dream was to see the Elkington building extended and updated, and the canal arm behind it incorporated to include an old narrow boat. The Science Museum was always treated as the poor relation of the Museum and Art Gallery and was always at the back of the queue for available funding.
 

dek carr

gone but not forgotten
As a boy I had little interest in the culture of the Art Gallery give me the Mechanics of the Science Museum any time.I,m sure most of the boys of the 40s-60s felt the same.This has to be one of the greatest losses we have had to endure in this city I would have loved to have been able to take my grandchildren there and shown them the things I grew up with. Dek
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
This has to be one of the greatest losses we have had to endure in this city

Absolutely, the old museum was a gem; I would spend hours there, there was so much to see and do.

They would play the organ near the entrance; the gas engine was always running, along with the Amos beam engine, the uniflow engine. We would arrive promptly on the house to watch the Corless mill engine run for 5minutes each hour.

There were buttons to press all over the place. I loved the sciencesection with the Fox and hen game, the telephones….

You can understand why all of Birmingham’s museums have hada steady decline in visitor numbers over the last twenty years, with the alternativesoffered by the living museums where you still can press button and ring trambells and immerse yourself in the past.

The impression I formed with Think Tank is, just because they are not interested in our proud industrial past, it does not mean everyone else is not interested either.
 

Big Gee

master brummie
I think you hit the nail on the head, Mortum - 'they' are just not interested in what this city was and what it stood for. Yet the Black Country Museum proves that today's people are indeed interested in what our ancestors did and how they lived.

Am I correct in thinking that the former Elkington works was originally intended to be only a temporary home for the Science Museum?

Big Gee
 

Phil Price

master brummie
Does anyone go to Eastside? I never have and probably never will. Have not heard anyone speak well of it.
The Council attempted to move the New Year celebrations to Eastside a few years ago and it was a dismal failure with a very poor attendance. I think it went back to Centenary Square again the following year.
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
A few years back, there was an incident outside Millennium Point when crowds rushed the barriers.

I go through there occasionally with my camera. Is very empty down Curzon Street and Albert Street.

Lots of empty land waiting for construction. Temporary car parks, such as the one at the back of Curzon Street Station.

Work is going on for a new park to the right of Millennium Point.


Millennium Point by ell brown, on Flickr


Millennium Point by ell brown, on Flickr


Millennium Point - panoramic by ell brown, on Flickr
 

wam

master brummie
As I remember it, the ThinkTank is a whole lot bigger than the old science museum, they've got a college in the building and a cinema paying for a lot of the costs and they're now charging through the nose for admission. I'd have been surprised if the council had turned it down. Then again I've never been inside ThinkTank and I don't particularly want to.
There's now a nice history section at the Art Gallery (free section) with lots of stuff to play with and buttons to push. That's why most of us used to like the old Science Museum.
 

derekw

master brummie
I've visited the Think Tank a couple of times,the first time made me think,the second time I felt sad and angry to see so much of our Industrial heritage crammed into such a small space,whoever organised the move from the old science museum should hold their heads in shame,they have showed no respect to the many workers and engineers from our industrial past.
To me,its just another case of our council failing again to honour our industrial past,the recent fiasco over the transport museum more than proves that.
 

205mal

master brummie
I totally agree with you, there is very little interest in our heritage.I visited the exhibition on Birmingham life and although I enjoyed the experience I was disappointed to note that there was no mention of the ambulance services in the city although these services existed long before the Health Service came into being.Along with a group of colleagues I have preserved a 1965 Birmingham Bedford ambulance and restored a 1959 Austin Princes which has been made into a replica of a 1950's Birmingham ambulance.There is also a considerable amount of photo's and memorabilia.All this is now housed with the Ambulance Heritage Society in Mansfield.It is our hope that we can secure a location so that all this history can be made available to the public.
 

wam

master brummie
I totally agree with you, there is very little interest in our heritage.
Close to where I live, there are the Balsall Heath Local History Society, the Moseley LHS, and the Kings Heath LHS. All of these have regular meetings with guest speakers and seem to survive on free venues, cheap events and fund raisers. I understand there are similar groups in a lot of other parts of the city. These groups seem to focus on recent history a lot as does this and the other history forums I know of. There seem to be an awful lot of people interested in either their own personal heritage (all those family history websites) or their own personal history (period from birth to the time when work or family took over). There are others that like TV history (Victorian or later depending on what shows are running at the time).
If you think of Heritage as something outside of that, then I agree with you - there is limited interest.
If you're just complaining that your particular collection isn't popular enough or that your personal interest wasn't included in a small exhibit then I think you're complaining too much.
 

derekw

master brummie
I wish you the very best of luck,if it was'nt for individuals like yourself and the many enthusiasts and volunteers,most of our heritage would be lost.
 

205mal

master brummie
I feel that I must reply to you Wam,I am not complaining about anything,I am just stating that the ambulance service did not figure in the exhibitionin the art gallery.I have been a guest speaker some of the history group meetings in your area and was impressed by the interest shown by the people who attended.For my own part I am happy to go on preserving and restoring these old vehicles and I am happy to attend more of these discussion groups .
 

maypolebaz

master brummie
Along with a group of colleagues I have preserved a 1965 Birmingham Bedford ambulance and restored a 1959 Austin Princes which has been made into a replica of a 1950's Birmingham ambulance.

They wouldn't be UOA 585 and JXX 917 by any chance mal ?
 
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