Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mum comes to Marshall Part II

 We did decide to go to a 'city' for one day as we both love trains and I wanted Mum to see the B&O Rail Museum in Baltimore where they were holding a Civil War Day. This is a great museum with some superbly renovated engines and many interactive displays. The layout had improved since my last visit but I was surprised not to see a large turnout for this event, although it meant better viewing for us.
This was Alan, a volunteer, who was extremely helpful and knowledgable
 Alan giving a tour of thr turntable room but unfortunately we had to leave soon after he started as we were due to board the steam train for our ride to Mount Claire. We were excited as we clambered up the steps but couldn't believe it when not even 10 minutes later we'd reached our destination. No wonder the tickets were cheap.
After a quick tour around the house, we wandered around the Civil War displays.
 This gentleman explained how the tools in front of him were used to treat the soldiers who had venereal diseases. Apparently they were cured after one treatment or chose not to disclose any following attacks as soldiers never came back for a follow up. Not surprising looking at those instruments...

 Mum next to my favoritist train in the world, the 490. I'm going to buy one of these when I win the lottery and travel round the world in it.
This is the 1604 Alleghany, Mum's favorite train, the most powerful American steam locomotive ever built. I'll buy her one of these so she can follow me on my trip.
We were so engrossed in the locomotives that we realized we only had 20 minutes before the museum shut for the day. We rushed to the shop for souvenirs but were crushed to discover that there were no postcards of the trains in the museum, no booklets about the place, in fact nothing at all to commemorate our visit. We'd loved our trip but when we got home I sent an e-mail to the museum lamenting about our day. Here it is, and I also attached 2 photos of our favorite trains.:

Dear Sir/Madam,

My mother has traveled from England for a visit and I was extremely excited to take her to your glorious B&O Museum in Baltimore on Sunday October 14th. I last came a couple of years ago to meet Thomas and walk around and on this most recent visit I was delighted to see how wonderfully the displays in the the Turntable room had been improved from my last trip. The layout and presentation of your museum is exemplary and it's obvious how cherished these trains are. We spent the day thoroughly enjoying every aspect of our trip, from a ride on the train, the Civil War displays, lunch and climbing in and out of engines and carriages.
The day sped by and we realized we only had 15 or so minutes before the museum closed for the day. We walked to the gift shop and were very disappointed to find absolutely no informational brochures or small booklets on your museum that could be purchased. No postcards of any of the trains here at all. Both of our favorite trains, the 490 and the 1604 Alleghany had no mention or any images in the shop. We actually couldn't believe it and inquired at the register where we were ruefully informed that our eyes were not playing tricks on us, and many others had also expressed their dismay. Why oh why do you not have any literature or images available in your store? There must have been many deeply dismayed folks as ourselves that have left your fine establishment and their final impression has been one of regret that there were no colorful postcards/posters of these amazing vehicles to show or mail to friends or family, or a brochure/booklet with information about the museum to read on the way home. Thank God I took some photos myself that I can now print for my mother to take home, and I shall have to do some research on the internet regarding train models as your web site is also sadly lacking.
We walked back to our car impressed at how wonderful it was to even have trains in the parking lot, but once again feeling sad as we discussed our lack of souvenirs of our favorite trains. So I've attached a couple of images for you to get started.
Please please, start blowing your own whistle, you have an incredibly memorable museum, don't let people forget their visits.


Not a nasty letter in any sense but I never received a response which has really upset me. I sent another e-mail yesterday but don't expect a reply to that either. A sad yet typical example of customer service these days. I'll post a report if I ever hear from them, but as things stand now, I shan't be returning to the museum to give them more money. I'll just bring out my 490 pictures to moon over occasionally.

So I've been hounded by a couple of readers wanting to know about poor Mum's stitches so here's the story. When she shut the bathroom door firmly, a bunny ornament that had been nailed to the wall above the door fell down and landed on her head. There was quite a lot of blood coming from the wound but after applying pressure I managed to stop it which I was really relieved about as I'd been ready to call 911. I sat her on the sofa for a bit with a fleece round her but coudn't see the wound clearly so decided we'd have to go to the emergency room. And I'm glad we did. Mum had wanted me to just clean it but I was petrified about infection and as it turned out she had to have 3 stitches in her noggin.
Mum was a real trooper and handled the whole episode extremely well. The doctor was superb and only shaved a tiny bit of hair away. We were given some ointment to put on it and told to have it checked after a few days and then stitches could be removed after 10 days. It healed quickly and never once had any redness. And she had blue stitches which matched her jeans, which was nice.
Poor Mum was more concerned about not being able to wash her hair as the ointment was quite greasy but she held up well and I was very impressed at how well she dealt with the whole incident. I'm sure some of my younger friends wouldn't have held up so well.

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