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shewhomust

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Beamish in January [Jan. 10th, 2017|05:27 pm]
shewhomust
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We spent Sunday at Beamish museum. Not everything was open, but there was enough to entertain us; the car park was busy but it's surprising how many people you can lose within the museum:

Back street


The place wasn't really deserted, but this is a back street, between the fish shop and the chapel, looking towards the school. The photo gives a good idea of what the light was like - bright but mellow sunshine coming and going, and a haze on the air which wasn't entirely caused by the fact that, to my surprise, they were frying at the fish shop - see the thread of black smoke from the chimney? It would have been a very early fish and chip lunch, so we went instead to the school, where a very elegant young man, with a fob watch, a well-kept moustache and a flower in his buttonhole, demonstrated the workings of the - and I've forgotten the name of the instrument: like a player piano, in that it can be powered by pedals to play a paper roll, but also capable of being played by hand - a name I recognised as soon as he said it, but which has now evaporated, leaving no trace... There were pit ponies in the stables, dhaggy, stocky little creatures, and there was more music in the band hall:

Music in the band hall


"We're the East Stanley Temperance Band - " said someone who was getting enthusiastically into character.

"Oh, no, we aren't!" said someone else, who wasn't.

We took the bus to the town, where we visited the new pharmacy, and the photographic studio, where you can - though you'll have to book in advance, there's a queue - have your photograph taken with what looks for all the world like a plate camera, and receive an old-fashioned print with a speed which gives away the fact that no glass plates were harmed in the taking of this photograph. But the lady assistant showed us a selection of (reproductions of) early photographs, including James Clerk Maxwell's colour photo of a tartan ribbon. The baker's shop was warm and smelled of coconut, and I bought durham_rambler a cake hot out of the oven, and tried not to translate its price into pre-decimal currency.

Another bus to Pockerley and a quick visit to the Georgian faem, but by now we were winding down and running out of time. There's always more to see, but it will have to wait for next time.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sovay
2017-01-10 09:07 pm (UTC)
The place wasn't really deserted, but this is a back street, between the fish shop and the chapel, looking towards the school.

That is a beautiful photograph. I love the contrasting colors on each side. It looks like a painting.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2017-01-11 10:13 am (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: pigshitpoet
2017-01-11 05:43 am (UTC)

ha-hah!

this is priceless...

"We're the East Stanley Temperance Band - " said someone who was getting enthusiastically into character.

"Oh, no, we aren't!" said someone else, who wasn't.

cheers
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[User Picture]From: desperance
2017-01-11 07:04 am (UTC)
It's Monty Python, isn't it?
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[User Picture]From: pigshitpoet
2017-01-11 08:50 am (UTC)
; )
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2017-01-11 10:14 am (UTC)
But then, what isn't?
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[User Picture]From: sam_t
2017-01-11 12:32 pm (UTC)
Pianola? There's a fantastic pianola museum in Amsterdam, if you're ever there and want to see more of them (or just a small but very enthusiastic museum which will serve you wine as you listen to demonstrations).
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2017-01-11 03:40 pm (UTC)
I don't think it was pianola - which seems to be another name for a player piano - it's annoying not to be able to remember (I'm tempted to say that I think there's a C in it, but I'm so often wrong about half-remembered names!).
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[User Picture]From: sam_t
2017-01-12 09:04 am (UTC)
There were a few different manufacturers (as well as the big names in pianos), and the technology had a few iterations, so maybe it was a brand name? I can't remember any of them, anyway, so I'm not sure that helps!

Can you remember what it was that made it not a player piano/pianola?
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2017-01-12 09:58 am (UTC)
Can you remember what it was that made it not a player piano/pianola?

It could be played manually, as well as by the paper roll - I got the impression that this wasn't true of player pianos. But perhaps I'm confused?
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[User Picture]From: sam_t
2017-01-16 12:31 pm (UTC)
You can definitely play a pianola manually. I don't think the Pianola Museum had an example of one that couldn't, although I may have missed something there, as the technology went through a few changes (the first ones were an entirely separate piece of machinery that you wheeled up to your ordinary piano until its hammers touched your keyboard).

There are apparently many pianolas out there which are now just pianos, the mechanism having stopped working or been removed. I spotted one in a pub a few years ago - the landlord had no idea! Most of the mechanism was there but I suspect it wouldn't be a simple job to restore.
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