Monday, 28 September 2009

Acting Director NRM appointed.

I see a poster on uk.railway says

"Helen Ashby has been appointed as acting NRM director.
The selection process for the full time director is in progress. "

Nothing as of this moment on the NRM press release site so I might say this awaits confirmation. A story that is quite fast moving.

Nothing in the NRM web page on vacancies at all.

First posted 28th September. By 1st October, no change on the web page. I was at the museum yesterday. I applaud Rails & Reels and I liked the display of such esoteric items as the Belvoir Castle wagon and other horsedrawn items. Have I not clocked those before? Someone would have undertaken quite a shunt to move the prototype HST over towards the workshop and get L&Y Saloon 1 in its place for use with filmshows.

Even so success surely does not mean a public body will not have a proper recruitment process? One member of the staff said to me "I believe headhunting has occurred". Regardless of what I personally think about the NRM and it really is considerable admiration, I am very clear and many conversations over the last few years have convinced me of this, it has a difficult reputation with quite some chunk of its "audience", the one's who go out and buy railway magazines. In those circumstances and in the recent development over what has happened with the parent museum director, it is surely inappropriate not to advertise the significant number of vacancies that must be due at the NRM with both the railway heritage press and on the museum's own website? I challenge the museum to undertake to do both those things.

Reading NRM Volunteer News 14 I found a list of departing staff. Janice Murray, Richard Taylor, Jim Rees, and Stephen Richards. I don't know their job titles because there is no published museum staff structure. That list was since News 13. I know senior positions in the areas of Archives, Engineering and Display were covered. Add to this, since June the search for a director. Is it not a bit strange for the museum's website about Vacancies not to deal with this?
(and just in case you read and wonder, I do not imagine myself as a candidate for any of these).

And another amendment made 1st October. An informant says in respect of the NRM Director job "Advertised in The Times Executive Vacancies a month/ 6 weeks ago I recall". My question: was this ever advertised in any of the railway heritage magazines or on the museum's own website where there is a vacancies page? Could someone answer that?

Information as of 8th October direct from the museum itself responding to questions I posed. Helen Ashby is the acting director but counts herself out of the permanent position. The museum directorship was advertised in the Guardian and the Times. Headhunters have also been retained. Recruitment is progressing. This vacancy was not placed in the railway press or on the museum's website.

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