Museum staff and designers PLB have been busy working on the new Museum design.
Over the past few months, staff have been out and about holding focus groups with REME soldiers and officers, members of the local community in Arborfield, and members of the local community in Lyneham, including families.
We’ve listened to what you’ve said and have looked at the strengths of the collection and the key stories which need to be told.
We have now begun creating the new layout and selecting subjects and objects to be included.
The visitor will begin their experience in galleries looking at World War Two and find out why the Corps was formed. They will end their experience in a display dedicated to REME successes. The bits in between are still being worked out, but it is planned to have a large display dedicated to the trades learnt by the Corps, a new vehicle hall showing the variety of vehicles and operations which REME have been involved in, and also areas dedicated to REME achievements outside of military duties, such as sports.
We are returning to our collections of oral histories and letters to try and find key information which will allow the REME story to be told by REME members in their own words. We are also searching through our Pictorial Archives to be able to use more images of REME both at work and at play.
Over the next few months we plan on having more focus groups to trial the ideas we are developing.
In the meantime, packing continues and we have started to dismantle our display cases and return items which had been on loan to us.
All staff are hands on with this, including our Business Manager, Lt Col (Retd) John Edwards who can be seen below dismantling our Wokingham display, and the subsequent empty case and wall. Items on loan to us from the Wokingham Council have now been returned and we have donated the panels of information to them for use in their own displays.
Jennifer Allison – Curator