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Ely College

Ely College

Taking a trip down memory lane in Meridian Trust’s very own Museum of Technology

Over the last few years, Dave Bausor, Lead Practitioner for D&T at Ely College and D&T Lead at Meridian Trust, has transformed a previously unused classroom into a museum of technology.

The D&T Days Gone By Museum is situated adjacent to the D&T department’s main foyer, acting as a learning space that students can use to explore and interact with a wide range of technological based items to understand how they are made and how and why they have developed over time.

All sorts of items have been donated by the local community and Facebook forums, from old typewriters to hair dryers, video players, walkmans, kettles and irons, even a teas made and soda stream… you name it, Dave has probably acquired it and now has it in the museum!

Items have been donated from the Falklands Islands, Hong Kong, Jersey and many places across the UK but one stand-out exhibit is a television made in 1951. Dave recalls how the lady that donated it shared her experience of watching the Queen’s coronation on the television in 1953 with her parents gathered around the small black-and-white screen in their living room.

Dave has donated his own personal collection of items too and is a self-confessed Dyson addict with all of the original set of iconic yellow and grey styled iterations now exhibited in the museum.

Tony Ryan, Chief Executive of the Design and Technology Association, officially opened the museum in in the Autumn of 2019 and since then students have enjoyed interactive and engaging lessons inside the museum. Dave said: “Our students’ interest in the design museum has been fantastic to witness and I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to achieve since we opened it despite the pandemic and resulting lockdown.

We are the only school in the UK to have a sit-in museum of this type and scale which makes it an amazing resource not only for our own department but the Trust and its schools too. I’ve also written a number of articles about the museum in the D&T Association publications.”

He continued “Parents and visitors love it too and are often struck by the volume of items we have during open evenings or tours. They enjoy spending some time taking a trip down memory lane to reminisce over the things they used to own. The items in the museum have so many stories behind them and it’s wonderful to see them gain a new lease of life in this way. The room provides a really immersive learning experience and helps to bring our teaching to life.”

Now, Dave is in the process of creating schemes of learning supported by the museum to further its use and impact in the school and across Meridian Trust. The museum is still evolving and developing and has begun to overspill into the Ely College foyer and other rooms throughout the department. We are even followed by the Design Museum on Twitter too! Dave has lost track of which ‘phase’ of development the museum is in but, it’s safe to say that he will keep going and will no doubt have to find more creative ways to display the exhibits as they continue to flood in.

If you have an item, are clearing out a loft, or have something that is broken then please do get in touch with Dave. Or, as he often says, “don’t ditch it, donate to Dave” and he will get it on show in the museum.