The Trust Waves Goodbye to Eureka
Last Thursday, Neil Bollen (metal conservator), Neil’s son Rupert and Alma Rahat (University of Exeter) came to Street and took the Eureka machine away to be conserved and given lots of TLC in an AHRC project.
Moving the machine proved rather a challenge. As shelving had been installed in the storeroom around the machine, it all had to be moved out of the way to make room for the machine to come down the aisle. This meant moving lots of our most recently accessioned Point of Sale material from Clarks which is stored here temporarily until it is catalogued and moved into the archive permanently.
We decided that the alternative route out of the fire exit across the wet and boggy grass in the Trust’s apple orchard wasn’t really a viable option on such a grim day!
Neil had made a wooden cradle for the machine cabinet to sit on whilst it was being moved, so it proved a challenge to slide the cabinet off and onto it safely. The next step was to get the machine and cradle onto the trolley. Then it was plain sailing to wheel the machine out of the Barn and through the external doorway.
On turning the bottom table base unit upside-down to go into the van, we discovered that the base unit is actually mounted on wooden wheels.
There was another anxious moment when it transpired that the machine might not fit into the transit van as it was too tall. Luckily, sliding it off its lifting cradle meant we just had enough room by a whisker. Neil & Co drove off into a mini hail storm as dusk fell, but arrived in Exeter safely. Here the engineering technicians gave a hand in unloading the machine.
The following morning, it was winched upstairs into the Harrison Building where the doorframe had to be dismantled in order to get the machine through into its new home. And we wondered why the machine hadn’t moved for so many years.
The next steps will be for Neil to take a closer look at the machine and for the project team to meet and start planning the project in detail. Exciting times ahead!
More news to follow as the project progresses during 2016…