History Matters || Magic in the museum

Glass negative: Squire John Wesley and his sister Rose.
Glass negative: Squire John Wesley and his sister Rose.

This photo of Squire John Wesley and his sister Rose is part of a small collection of glass negative that were developed after being rescued from a mine hole.

The collection was recognised by Geoff Strange as photos his father would have taken in the 1890s.

Such an ingeniously constructed animal!

Cheryl Muldoon and Olga Dawes, the museum education officers have been setting up displays showing how children entertained themselves in the early days and there is plenty in the museum to occupy children over the holidays.

The Mystery Box of items causes some puzzlement and the pieces and their use are best described by older relatives.

The quizzes of "Who Am I?" and "Find the Beardies" send them round the Museum searching for special items, and there is a small prize of an ice block for successfully filled in sheets.

The Mystery Box of items causes some puzzlement and the pieces and their use are best described by older relatives - in fact it is a perfect place for you to take the grandchildren.

For instance talking about that Box Brownie, buying the black and white film, inserting it, lining up the picture, winding on; off to the chemist to have it developed, waiting and paying for the developed film and negatives the next week.

Cabinets display toys that were in vogue over the years, pre-Barbie dolls, matchbox items, meccano, doll's house furniture; cane hoops, there are books to read.

There are Diprotodon teeth and leg bones from an 1980s excavation at Reddestone. This Diprotodon was a giant marsupial - a species of Wombat-like megafauna that roamed these parts in the Pleistocene era.

Pumping water was one of the chores that children were expected to complete before they went to school. Water in the early days often had to be pumped from underground or dragged back to the house in buckets from the creek or dam.

Get the young ones trying their hand at our courtyard water pump - but first they must name at least six reasons why water is essential.

There are telephones to talk on and typewriters to tap away at. Entry is a gold coin for children; the museum is open 10-12 and 1-4 weekdays and 1-4 weekends.