Tuesday, 23 November 2010


In the run up to Christmas each year there is a display of Christmas trees in St Mary's Church in Whitby.  This year I suggested that the theme for decorating the museum's tree should be snowflakes.  This is inspired by the beautiful drawings of snowflakes in the museum collection done by Captain William Scoresby Junior.  He was a successful whaling captain and while in the Arctic regions he surveyed the coasts of Greenland and Jan Mayan island and studied the flora and fauna and ice and snowflake formations under different weather conditions.  The museum has a substantial collection of his scientific instruments, many of which are on display.  He also made many beautiful sketches of ice formations and of birds he observed.

Here is a picture of some of the drawings by Scoresby and some of my 'test' paper snowflakes.  On Thursday   25th November at 2pm a small group of us will be attempting to make enough to cover our tree, please join us if you can.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A bear?

One of the objects in the museum collection that really has impact is this colourful totem pole from Nootka Sound.  Nootka Sound is on the north west coast of Vancouver, one of the areas visited by Captain James Cook in March  1778, with two vessels, the Resolution and the Discovery.  They were in search of the North west passage.  This totem is from a much later date and stands at the back of the main room of the museum, close to the back doors.  It is a beautiful and colourful object and I have been trying to find out about the significance of the bear (shown here in my photograph) as the other figures all have an explanation listed for them.