Amgueddfa Blog

Blog Homepage

#popupmuseum - The story so far

Graham Davies, 22 September 2014

Here’s an update on our pop up museum project. 

We’re creating a pop up museum about Cardiff with the Cardiff Story, helped by the HLF, for the Welsh Museums Festival and the Museums Association Conference at the Wales Millennium Centre on 9-10 October. Before we set it up, we’ve asked the people of Cardiff and beyond to help us collect stories and objects to get it up and running.

So far, we’ve held 3 workshops at The Cardiff Story.  We’ve collected over 30 Cardiff stories on film and story cards and seen weird and wonderful objects that all say something about Cardiff in their own unique way! The process has brought people together in conversation by sharing their Cardiff story.

The latest workshop was held at the Cardiff Story between 6-8pm on 11 September. Cheese, wine and soft drinks were on offer to add to the social feel of the evening. By the end of the session 20 people had popped in to share their stories. We also took a video camera out on to the streets and filmed 20 voxpops from a very diverse range of passers-by! Some of them are hilariously funny and will be shown at the pop up museum at Wales Millennium Centre.

The First Object

A polystyrene corgi was the first object to make an entrance. It had been left out with the rubbish on a street in Roath – but was rescued, given a wash, and now lives happily with its new owners in a Cardiff living room.

Designing the pop up museum

As the number of Cardiff stories and objects grow, so too does the need to think about how we will display the material we’ve generated. The pop up museum will move to the Wales Millennium Centre on 9-10 October for the Museums Association Conference so it will have to be very flexible and easy to put up.

We’ve started rummaging around in the depths of National Museum Cardiff’s stores for cases, shelves, seats, anything! Here’s a selection of what we found:

  • A lovely big table where people can sit and chat about their stories. One idea we had about displaying objects was to place them in Perspex boxes on this table and pile them on top of each other as the display grows over the two days.
  • A couple of lovely cases currently in the contemporary art space at National Museum Cardiff. These will allow us to show objects from the Cardiff Story collections and national collections that reveal something about Cardiff at the Wales Millennium Centre.
  • More seats! Some rather nice grey square fabric cubes.
  • And finally…..Billy the Seal!

We’re not sure yet if Billy can come with us to the Wales Millennium Centre, but we’re looking into what’s possible. Billy’s skeleton has been part of National Museum Wales’ collections since the 1940s. Billy came to Cardiff in 1912, when fishermen aboard a trawler found him in their nets. He was given the name Billy and brought to Cardiff where he set up home in the Victoria Park Lake.

Billy apparently escaped during flooding and swam down Cowbridge Road. On the way he stopped at a local fish shop and ordered ‘no chips, just the haddock thanks.’ He then made his way to the Admiral Napier for a pint, ‘half a dark’ to be precise, but was captured and taken back to the lake.

We don’t know if these events actually happened, but many local residents swear the story is completely true.

Follow this blog to find out if Billy can escape again!

Further information

Next pop up museum workshop:
27 September 11.00-1.00pm, Cardiff Story

For more on setting up your own pop up museum follow this link:

http://popupmuseum.org/pop-up-museum-how-to-kit/

Graham Davies

Interim Head of Digital Media
View Profile
Comments are currently unavailable. We apologise for the inconvenience.