University of Hull History Network student, Ellie Hayes had the opportunity to visit the Hull Maritime Museum and see first-hand the work the museum team and Constantine are doing to carefully pack and move the objects from the museum's collection.
Here's Ellie's blog.
Volunteering with the Hull Yorkshire’s Maritime City Project has provided me with multiple opportunities that not only enhance my knowledge of the heritage sector but also let me apply my subject knowledge to real life settings.
One of the most exciting opportunities was visiting the museum whilst Constantine (a specialist removal company) were packing artefacts and preparing the museum for its upcoming refurbishment.
Observing the meticulous process of packing tiny artefacts, some of which had already been damaged due to their age, highlighted to me the difficult task that Constantine are faced with.
Not only do they have to take the time to protect and carefully prepare larger artefacts, beloved by the people of Hull, such as the Polar Bear but each and every artefact that once filled the cases which populated the museum, now carefully removed ahead of building work. Left behind are empty cases that I used to gaze into as a child.
One of their specialists, Patrick, took the time to give us a detailed demonstration of packing some of the smaller artefacts that required careful preparation with specialist materials to prevent any damage in transit.
Hearing the intricate procedures in caring for each project from selecting the correct boxes, working through the mode of handling, explaining materials used each time and the steps entailed, was a fantastic insight. We really appreciated this opportunity as it made clear to me that every artefact is being handled extremely well, and highlighted that the task they were undertaking was huge.
I cannot wait to see them returned to the refurbished museum in the future.
Seeing the cases standing empty was a strange sight, at first. I felt quite sad to see the museum stripped of its contents, looking so different from the site I had grown up visiting.
However, as the day went on the nostalgia that had initially hit me was taken over by excitement for what was to come for the refurbished museum, an exciting change to create an interactive space for the city, celebrating the rich heritage of Hull.
Another interesting part of the day was exploring the very top floor of the museum building, which has never been opened to the public before. Being able to get an idea of what it will be like once the plans are brought to life was very exciting.
This will be extremely inspiring for the public who visit the refurbished museum, and will allow the museum to display up to 50 percent more of their amazing collections!
I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that I have received due to volunteering with the Maritime project, especially from Tom and Holly. It has given me greater knowledge and a deeper insight into the heritage industry and the effort that goes into every little aspect of making it so great.
I really enjoyed visiting the site and cannot wait to see the museum again once the renovation is complete, to see how it has been transformed to be a more inclusive and interactive space for people to enjoy. I am excited to continue working with the project in the future!