My Work Experience Week at Pontypridd Museum!

My name is Cerys, for one week I am here at Pontypridd Museum for work experience! I’ve always had a passion for history and I thought it would be a great opportunity to come here. In school I am currently studying history (The American West) but in previous years I’ve studied both World War 1 and 2.

I started work experience with a tour of the museum! The displays are very interesting, my most favourite displays being ‘the man who never was’ which is about a corpse washed ashore in Southern Spain. Fake documents were passed to German Intelligence, as a result many lives were saved, and ‘World War 2 Air Raid Precautions’ this is a great display showing how rationing continued after 1945 and National identity cards were compulsory.

I have been given many tasks to complete over the course of the week at the museum. The first one being a shop budget.  Catalogues were provided and I was able to choose items which would likely sell in the gift shop.  I mostly chose World War 1 and 2 books as there are good displays throughout the museum about both wars.

My next task was to choose my top 5 exhibitions in the museum. After I had chosen them, I uploaded a picture and a short, detailed comment on each exhibition on the museums Twitter page.

On Tuesday I watched a short documentary on the town of Pontypridd, it was a very interesting, informative video.  After I watched this documentary I looked around the museum to find an exhibit which I thought could be improved.  After looking around, I chose the ‘music in Wales’ exhibit, as the display looked very crowded.

On Wednesday afternoon I helped do object marking. This was a great experience as I was able to see the objects up close, and touch them, which the general public cannot do.

On Thursday my next task was to do a History pin exercise.  I uploaded pictures to the website, and this was very interesting and fun as the pictures showed the workhouse in the Graig, The Old Bridge and other aspects of Pontypridd which I would never have imagined being there.  As this day was the 122nd anniversary of the Albion Colliery explosion in Cilfynydd, I watched a short video about the tragic events which occurred that day, 122 years ago.

On Friday I helped do light monitoring which was interesting; I would never think that sunlight or artificial lighting could affect historical objects. It turns out that light has a huge impact on the quality of an item, all museums must regularly check how much light is hitting objects in order to preserve them for as long as possible!

I also helped put entries into the accession register, which is a book used to record which items are brought into the museum and information about them. I came across some very interesting items, including a rationing book from after World War 2!

I have thoroughly enjoyed my week here at the museum, the members of staff are very helpful and the varieties of tasks set have all been interesting. I advise anyone who lives locally, to visit the museum as you will learn so much about the history of Pontypridd!