It’s odd how sometimes the best events take place in facilities most unsuited for trooping. Case in point, the Paisley Museum, something of a warren of display halls, stairs and multiple levels as befits a building of its age designed and built before the word “accessibility” entered our lexicon.
On arrival, slipping and sliding up a treacherously wet and slimy ramp we were given a brief tour of the Star Wars toy exhibit before our host literally led us up the garden path (and multiple sets of steps) towards the Coates Observatory staff room proposed as our changing area. The space was somewhat small and would probably have required splitting the attendees, but our time in the building did offer the opportunity to view the newly restored orrery being unveiled to the public and (for those able to deal with the height) a chance to see the 19th century telescopes the building houses.
Following this diversion we returned to museum itself, ultimately settling on an admin office for our uses and after a brief emotional moment, we set about the business of the day.
The first task was to navigate the afore mentioned wet ramp with the less stair-capable troopers for the press photos of the opening of the exhibit at the front of the building. Professional photographers are clearly invulnerable judging by the way the one in attendance bounced across the main road, crouching admits oncoming traffic for the sake of framing his ideal shot of the costume competition winner declaring the event open. A fair crowd had already assembled at the front of the building for this and our presence attracted additional passers-by camera phones held aloft.
Once this duty was discharged we returned to the main atrium via my rampy-nemesis for a few additional official photos, before the public were admitted stopping for their own picture opportunities before making their way to the exhibit.
While the costumers separated into two groups after half an hour or so, my group and I remained in the same area for the duration as the building in general was very hot and the open side door allowed something of a no-doubt welcome cooling chill to permeate the reception area.
The short event was brought to a close with final visit to the front of the building, this time negotiating the main stairs to allow a film crew to capture some promotional material before our return to the changing area to allow everyone to de-kit.
Our presence had been very popular, in conjunction with the exhibit itself, bringing an estimated ten times the usual weekend visitor numbers through the door and we were looked after very well by the staff. If only all our event refreshments were catered by an outside company!