The Sea Company

Saturday, May 12, 2007


For this episode we worked in role as the museum staff, organising the exhibition of artefacts from the salvage. We started off by discussing what the exhibition would look like: glass cases containing the artefacts with writeen information about each object; a display about the salvage operation; live interviews with people from the salvage company; videos of the salvage and old footage of the Titanic; a children's area with hands on activities; facilities for disabled people (audio materials for blind people etc). Sombody phoned the salvage company to ask them to prepare display boards about the salvage operation ready for the exhibition.

Advertising: we want people to come from far and wide to this exhibition (it co-incides with the 90th anniversary of the sinking.) We began to plan an advertising campaign, with the team drawing / creating their advertising ideas: posters; TV and radio adverts; internet adverts on related sites; letters to members of the various Titanic societies;hot air balloons and aeroplanes with banners! Lots of great ideas for names for the exhibition 'Hidden Secrets of the Titanic' being the most popular.

At this point we resumed our role as the salvage company, preparing the display boards for the exhibition. The team created photographs with captions, recounts of dramatic moments from the salvage and interviews with members of the team which we stuck onto big display boards ready to send to the museum. While we were doing this we received a letter of thanks from the museum, our payment in full for the salvage and an invitation to the opening ot the exhibition. The letter said that there would also be some sort of presentation to us on the day.

Back at the museum: preparations for the exhibition continue. We planned and made Exhibition guides, giving information and plans showing people the way round the exhibition. We made labels for each of the artefacts to go on display with information about who they belonged to.We then enacted the process of physically setting up the displays, unpacking the artefacts and putting them with their labels into the display cases and placing the display boards around the room. The rest of the museum room was signed by pieces of paper stuck up representing the children's area, entrance area, toilets etc.

The opening day! The class split up into museum staff and salvage company members, with a classroom assistant inrole as the museum curator. I was in role as one of the salvage team, approaching the exhibition full of anticipation. We paused outside the entrance to the museum to say how we were feeling about finally seeing all the artefacts we had salvaged on display. 'Excited - proud - nervous'. We were welcomed to the musuem by the curator and shown round the exhibition by the museum staff. After a while the curator summoned us to a meeting where she thanked us for the great job we'd done and presented us with a plaque.

Back at our HQ in Cromer we put the plaque in pride of place in our newly refurbished reception area and reflected on the whole dive and salvage. The team then began remembering other events from our history - the burglary, the salvage of The Red Flotilla, John Davies ....... I felt things were begining to draw to a natural end. We'd shared some great times together, but maybe it was time to move on ..........


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