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Old Fulling Mill museum bracing itself for post-exam “chaos”

Posted on 5th October 2008. No Comment

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Durham’s “number one” archaeology museum, the Old Fulling Mill, is said to be prepared for hordes of students to descend upon on it now that the exams have finished. With long days stretching out before them and no real plans, students are expected to arrive to view the collection of archaeological finds in their droves.

“As I said at last week’s staff meeting, ‘it’s going to be all hands to the deck’,” declared Museum boss, Arthur Montgomery. “Now that students have no lecturers or labs to attend and no essays to write they are at a bit of a loose end and looking for things to do,” he explained. “We have to realise that we are surely going to be a big draw.”

Mr Montgomery is sure that his expectations of crowds of students pouring through the doors will be realised: “Why else do students come to University than because they have an appetite to learn? Now that the exams are over they need a new source to sate their thirst for knowledge – that’s why our enlightening exhibits on Neolithic hunting implements and Medieval ploughshares will be in such demand.”

In preparation for the “inevitable mobs” the Old Fulling Mill has taken a number of precautionary measures. “We’ve placed crash barriers along five hundred yards of the riverbank to help everyone form an orderly queue,” Mr Montgomery explained. “Although towards the end of the line the waiting time may be up to five hours, we are pretty sure that people will remain cheerful because of the rewards for patience.”

However, should this not be the case then the Museum has been liasing with Durham Police. “We will have ten men in the area along with four dogs and a van of riot trained officers,” explained PC Dave Hemmingway, “no one wants to think about a situation where a mob of students might driven mad by their lust for learning and try and force their way into the Museum at night or storm through the queue but we have to be prepared for such situations.”

The Old Fulling Mill is not the only one of Durham’s cultural attractions preparing for the arrival of students looking to replace their regular diet of learning. Whilst the Oriental Museum is only taking bookings in advance and the Botanical Gardens is preparing areas for people to queue overnight, the Heritage Centre on North Bailey is not taking any risks. Manager Gerald Cardigan has expressed concerns the facility may not be able to cope with demand and the Centre will be closed until July with an armed guard posted for security.

College bar profits are said to be up.

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