Renegadenemo wrote:Nor do I buy the idea that putting Mallard back into steam would be difficult or expensive. How many skilled and experienced steam enthusiasts must there be out there who would mortgage their soul to the devil for a chance to work on that machine?
Wear and tear - what a load of rubbish. Whether she ran from London to Edinburgh or just a half a mile up the track and back the public's appreciation would be the same.
The bald fact of the matter is that the museum community have no excuse, ethical or technical, for not giving the public (for whom museums exist, let's never forget that) exactly what they'd like to see.
Bugger. Just spent half an hour putting together a reasoned argument taking issue with the above points, and then lost the internet conection. So, briefly:
Difficult and expensive? Check out the NRM's restoration of Flying Scotsman, unique and possibly even more iconic than Mallard:http://www.flyingscotsman.org.uk
Would I like to see Mallard return to steam? -Undoubdtedly. Would I be prepared to see resources diverted from Flying Scotsman, when there are at least two other A4's in running order that can be seen hauling trains on the main line as they were designed to do? -No.
Would the public's appreciation of K7 be the same if she was restricted to pottering around at 8 knots compared to planing at high speed as she was designed to do? -of course not, and the same applies to the Mallard argument re. steaming for half a mile or from London to Edinburgh.
The purpose of museums is not primarily to entertain; rather it is to take care of and preserve exhibits, whilst informing and educating the public as to their history and significance. There is no reason why this shouldn't be done in a way that has broad appeal and is entertaining, but "live" exhibits, much as I enjoy them, aren't the only way to achieve this and it isn't always
desirable. There is always going to be a trade-off between operating and preserving historic machinery; this is a difficult balancing act to perform and the fact that the museologists got it so badly wrong in the case of K7 doesn't mean that they are wrong every time.
Finally Bill, none of this should be taken as detracting from the fact that I think the BB team are doing an absolutely f****** fantastic job!
It is not the critic who counts.....