Warrington Museum to unveil newest addition

The pipit bird

The old bird room

First published in News

WARRINGTON Museum is set to unveil its newest addition - a new gallery.

The Cabinet of Curiosities Gallery has been 18 months in the making and opens at the end of this month.

We recruited an unusual character to take us through the progress.

“I’m Pipit, a little brown bird that used to spend the summer in the meadows at Bewsey but I’ve lived in the Bird Room at Warrington Museum for over a century now.

“It was great at first there were hundreds of other birds from all over the world all crowded into these wall cases.

“It wasn’t so bad because we could still see daylight through the roof lantern light. Then sometime about 50 years ago everything changed.

“First they put in a kind of false ceiling so it was really dark in here. Then they took all of us out of the cases and most of us ended up hidden away in these dark cupboards.

“Then about 18 months ago everything changed again.

“Some of the humans who work in the museum came and opened up all the cupboards and started taking pictures of us all. They took me out and put me in one of the display cases and I thought I was going on show again at last.

“It was quite sad to see some of the other birds; the big parrot’s tail had fallen off and lots of them need their feathers preening and their beaks had faded.

“I did wonder what was going to happen because they took the Woolston seal away. He’s quite a character and I thought the children will really miss him!

“Then one day I realised that all the other birds had disappeared. I think they forgot about me…to small to see I suppose.

“Next thing a group of workmen came in and started to knock down all the old cases. Fortunately one of them saw me just in time and put me on this grey box high up on the wall.

“They did work hard; first of all they filled up a large hole in the floor and then they took down that horrible ceiling and made a lovely new lantern light.

“Then about two months ago all the workmen went away and I realised I could almost see daylight again with these lovely lights that change colour in the lantern light! It was lovely but I was very lonely in this big new space.

“The museum staff started bringing back some of my old friends. Oh it was so good to see them and they looked so bright and clean again and the parrot had even got his tail back again!

“They told me they’d been on a trip to see a couple of people called conservators who’d very carefully made them look just like new.

“So now we’re all waiting to see if any of us make it into these fantastic new cabinets ready to meet the public again. There are even rumours that the wolf and the Woolston seal are coming back. I’m frightened that I’m going to end up in a cupboard again and miss it all!”

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