D-day commemorations exhibition

Thursday 1st September 2016 at 13:39

I found that setting up an exhibition takes quite a bit of preparation. Once you know the amount of space you can start planning the sort and amount of exhibits you can fit. I had to select items that were reasonably "portable", fortunately a lot of the radio equipment is fitted in sturdy boxes with carrying handles. Mannequins with uniforms are not so easy to move so they were quickly discarded from the planning list. 

The next issue to think about is logistics, I wanted to be able to move the majority of equipment in a single journey, so that meant measuring everything and planning how I could fit it to the transport available. Another part is planning the manpower required as I did not want to leave my dear collection unattended whilst I was on the road. With family and friends helping out I was able to make a schedule for the move.

Obviously an exhibition of rare and expensive equipment needs to be guarded around the clock. During opening hours it needs the constant attendance of a guide to explain things to visitors and run demonstrations.  Again a lot of planning was required  to ensure we could man the exhibition during the week. It did mean that the opportunities to visit other activities during the D-day commemorations were limited but we were all kept prettty busy on the exhibition site.

The exhibition itself was a great success. Thousands of visitors passed through the museum and the associated exhibitions including mine. I did a number of successful demonstrations, one of the most fun was demonstrating the "Lichsprechgerät", a very special mode of communication via a ligth beam. Most people are blown away that this technology existed in the 1940's and it is also a fun thing to demonstrate to kids how you can stop the transmission by passing your hand through the light beam!

Dismantling the exhibition and getting everything home safely was another major undertaking. We decided to cut the exhibition one day short because a major storm was approaching the area and I wanted to get everything safe before the storm hit. Logistics were not helped by the road closures around the visit of the US president to the area but we managed to get things sorted in the end!