I’ve joined the society! Annual membership is a whole £3, bless them – can hardly be worth having a bank account and all the rigmarole that goes with the admin for such a small amount. If it was £5, or even £10, I think most people would still do it. Anyway, I’ve visited the museum a couple of times before, once on a Sunday during summer open season, and once on a Thursday morning working session. Last time I chickened out of joining, but now the deed is done.
They are a most hilarious bunch – somewhere between Dad’s Army and Carry on Up the Toolshed. The museum has a collection of farm implements and hand tools, as well as old bikes, a working forge and a gypsy caravan. The caravan was donated a couple of years ago in a state of decay, and is now almost fully restored, thanks to John, and John. There’s also John-the-Policeman, Richard, Dina and a few others. All are retired engineers, mechanics, carpenters and designers. Chaps who know how things work and presumably enjoy hanging out with other people of similar mind.
I spent the morning helping Richard hang a couple of chipbord doors on the new wood shed. It’s a far-from-refined structure, but I think most of the guys were too startled to know what to suggest I do. Hopefully over the next few weeks, they might let me join in with something a little more special. We’ll see.
The interesting thing was the sense that all this history could soon be lost. A generation of men (and they are mostly men) who understand how these things work, and are happy to spend the morning outdoors even when it’s only a couple of degrees above freezing are rapidly disppearing. “It should all be written down in a book”. Quite.