Museums have always given me great delight in seeing how people lived and how they developed the things we now take for granted.
Since moving to the Redlands I had not visited the local museum until the other day. I found the Redland Museum at 60 Smith Street, Cleveland to be an absolute treasure trove of early Queensland artefacts. With the attractions beginning even before you get inside the main building.
The Displays Start Even Before You Get in the Door
There is an interesting and diverse collection of items covering maritime, military and educational displays and, because of the Redlands' history, a fabulous collection of farming implements and machinery.
As you enter the building the museum has an excellent exhibition titled, 'A Legacy of Light'. The display consists of photographs from five generations of one family covering the period from 1863 to 2012.
A Legacy of Light - Photographs of Five Generations of the One Family
The photographs are truly amazing and cover the various photographic types from old sepia to modern colour. This is a display that should not be missed by anybody who enjoys photography or just likes to see photography as art.
Moving on into the main display area provides the visitor with a panorama of different tableaux and representations of bygone Redlands. The giant model of the beautiful Whepstead home shows how the rooms were originally laid out to keep the kids (not necessarily the young ones) occupied for hours.
Then down the stairs to the first part of the transportation display. Bread wagons and other beautifully restored wagons stand to the side. While the main viewing area is a mural of Cleveland's Grand View Hotel behind a tableau depicting the ever patient horse waiting on its owner to finish his drinks when he can collapse into the sulky and his faithful horse will take him home without need of direction.
It was here I realised museums had begun to catch up with me. Just beyond the buggies and carts sits a cream 1965 mini minor sedan. This is the same as the car I borrowed from my mother when I started driving. The artefacts of my life are now museum pieces.
I photographed the car but the realisation of my antiquity apparently caused my hand to shake.
Moving on I took in the huge display of farming equipment including a working, mobile steam engine. After ogling the mechanics of the machinery and satisfying my curiosity as to how some could still be working I moved back into the main display hall.
This area is bordered by alcoves displaying objects with a theme. For example, one depicts a room of an early residence and another is an occupational setting. Down the centre of the area glass cases contain small objects such as, medical implements and crockery dating back to the beginning of the Redlands.
There is a wonderful display of textiles and vintage garments. Many have photographs of them being worn by their original owners.
Next is the Australian Toy Hall of Fame displaying a room full of toys most modern kids wouldn't have any idea about – although I did see an early spelling machine. Once again there are several exhibits I can recall as a young lad.
Back to the main display and there stood the washing machine I used working out west after leaving school. It was good to see the mangle's emergency release for squashed fingers still in place. If not for that safety feature I'm not sure I could type today - the release often saved my fingers in those early years.
Then, at last, I came to the most moving memory of my day. I spotted a facsimile depicting many holidays spent with my granny. There was an old bed with a 'goesunder' strategically placed to alleviate the necessity to go outside during the night.
Putting aside my realisation that history has caught up with me – or me with it – my visit to Redland Museum was a really wonderful experience. The staff and volunteers were all helpful and friendly and made the experience more enjoyable with their knowledge and enthusiasm. The building is crammed full of historical memorabilia that, not only helps to understand times gone by but, lets the visitor appreciate how they helped develop modern Australia.
The Redland Museum is open
Monday to Friday: 10.00am to 3.30pm
Saturday 1.00pm to 4.00pm
Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm
Public holidays – contact the museum on 07 3286 3494