In an earlier blog (5 March) we had two photographs, passed across to us by photographic archive Volunteer Alan Clarke. We asked if any of the people who appeared could be named, and received the following…. from none other than Peter Saunders, Curator Emeritus, and special friend of the museum.
“I don’t recall who the ‘gentlemen’ are but the thin chap with the luxuriant hair, moustache, and wearing the same tweed jacket in the photos – with the uniform of the Wilts Local Volunteers in 1977, and the Home Guard trophies in 1976 – is the then curator, me. The photos were taken while still in the old museum in St Ann Street. I note that the long hair continued in fashion into the 1980s, though by then the parting had changed sides…”
“… the photo of me with the Giant and Hob Nob and the fire engine from Downton was taken in 1981 when we had just successfully brought these treasures from St Ann Street to the new museum site, the King’s House. The fire engine was transported on an AA trailer and, dated 1768, was said to be the oldest vehicle ‘rescued’ by the AA in Salisbury. I’m smiling that our largest objects had arrived safely, and in the knowledge that we were about to engage in a little sleight of hand. It’s little-known that when onlookers and the press had departed, these objects, enormous compared with all the new museum’s doors, were walked to the rear of the building to be located in what was to become the Salisbury gallery. Few saw us unceremoniously easing them through a wall that had to be partially demolished to allow access.”
Thank you Peter! We should have recognised you anywhere!