Pirates Set Sail!


V&A Museum of Childhood
April 5, 2019

How time has flown! It seems like only yesterday that we were opening A Pirate’s Life for Me to the public during a blustery October half-term. Since then we’ve had tens of thousands of people through our doors to explore the tavern, get dressed up in the Buccaneer’s Bazaar, and go wild on our pirate ship, ‘The Deathly Scallywag’.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and our exhibitions are no exception. So, to celebrate the final two weeks of A Pirate’s Life for Me I’ve asked the staff at the V&A Museum of Childhood about their favourite objects in the exhibition.

We love Roger Red Rebel the dog. We like his naughty, thieving ways because he reminds us of Sharon’s dog Bubbles, who frequently steals clothes from the washing machine only to return them when bribed with treats. He has even mastered opening the fridge, to help himself to a little snack. Roger and Bubbles would make a great team.

Sharon, Violaine, and Jonathan (MoC Shop)

What a bunch of rogues! This display was really fun to curate and I had a great time searching our huge collection to find the perfect crew mates to look after our ship. My favourite member of the crew is Hook (back left) from a 1970s toy range called Fighting Furies. 

Will Newton (Curator)

I love old books, and ‘The Voyages and Adventures of Edward Teach’ ticks all my boxes. You know that when you open that book there’s going to be tales of far-flung places and scary scallywags. Even the book itself, with its old print and bookplates, helps you to travel back in time with the story.

Rebekah Lidwell (Exhibitions Assistant)

My favourite object is the small bronze octopus in the rock pool. There is so much detail in his little face, and he is unexpectedly ancient. I hope I look that good at 400 years old!

Stephen Nicholls (Senior Exhibitions Manager)

My favourite object in the exhibition is the seahorse plate. I love its curvy rim (sea-like and very calming). The colours clash a little but I like that, it’s kitsch! The whole thing brings back memories of 1970s evening soirees complete with prawn cocktails!

Anisha Sampath (Corporate Events Manager)

It is so hard to choose a favourite, impossible in fact! Every object in the exhibition was special in its own way. However, I have great memories of playing with the Playmobil treasure island when I was young. There was a secret hiding place for the very special treasure, but only the best pirates ever found it. Needless to say that’s where I hid my loot!

Sophie Sage (Exhibitions Manager)

My favourite object isn’t really an object – it’s the video clip of Captain Pugwash. His reassuring, clipped tones take me right back to childhood tea times….

Madeleine Hoare (Schools Officer)

My favourite object in the exhibition just has to be the play pirate ship itself. All of the SEND students enjoyed their seafaring experience on-board during Quiet Day last week. It really is fully accessible, which means our students are able to learn what a life at sea might feel like, standing on the deck and walking the plank, alongside our more mobile visitors.

Marion Try (SEND Officer)

This soft play area makes me wish I were a child! I love the variety of objects from Spongebob Squarepants to a very old octopus with crazy eyes. What you can’t see in this photo is the crocheted toys for children to play, made by one of our extremely talented colleagues Kirsty!

Anna-Maria Frastali (Social Media Officer)

There’s still a bit of time to catch Roger Red Rebel and pals in the exhibition – see if you can spot some of the lovely objects that the staff have taken a fancy to. If you have a favourite object of your own, let us know in the comments. But this is not the end! After the exhibition closes with us, you’ll be able to follows its journey as it tours around the country. Watch this space!

About the author

V&A Museum of Childhood
April 5, 2019

I work on the development and delivery of the V&A Museum of Childhood's temporary exhibition and touring exhibition programme. I am the Project Manager for the Museum's latest family exhibition...

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