The url for this story is http://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/news/27042011-nrm-scraps-facelift . So it is a biggy. The dream of several years which I know has intensively involved staff substantially diverting them from important everyday work is over. The Regional Growth Fund turned down a £7 million bid as part of the £21 million package. This came after several other turn downs. Meanwhile as previously blogged November 2009, we will trail behind the example of the massive redisplay of the Dutch Railway Museum in Utrecht.
There will be a certain thread of opinion heaving a sigh of relief for there are those who think that the cathedral qualities of the former running shed (albeit re-roofed) and the roundhouse nature of the displays of mechanical icons had an inherent quality which appeared under threat. However it cannot be gainsaid that over many years the NRM has appeared weak at presenting an overall narrative. That was something the Dutch went for head on and with fairground ride style interpretation. It will certainly be fascinating to see how the pieces are picked up from this position.
Is it a consequence of the NRM+ demise that Mallard's stay in Shildon in being foreshortened ? Mallard drew the crowds to Shildon when she went there but also attracted the critics that such an important engine was leaving the "centre". It really depends on how you see the NRM. As a federation of locations or as the pre-eminent location with satellites. Anyway if like me Shildon is your local make sure you have clocked Mallard whilst you can.
As I find any more coverage I shall add links: