Last weekend we went to Bristol Harbour Festival and, as always , had an excellent time. Good food, drink, music, and surprisingly weather, even the bus journey home was enlivened by a child spilling a box of brightly coloured beads and the frantic dash to retrieve them all as they rolled around the floor of the moving vehicle.
The Bristol M Shed museum had just re-opened by the harbour on the site of the old Industrial museum. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to visit.
The museum aims to tell the story of the city from prehistory to the present day. The Telegraph reviewed it better here than I can. I was, perhaps predictably drawn to the transport section which featured a full size model of a carriage horse.
The display next to the horse showed a 12th century prick spur and a 14th/15th century long necked rowel spur, a wavy-edged medieval horseshoe, a harness pendant and, most fascinating, an 18th/19th century poultice boot.
The model horse had the following caption :
“Henry the horse, early to mid 1900′s
This life-size model of a carriage horse is affectionately known as “Henry”. He may have been made as an early museum model although he could have been used to demonstrate harness at Fullers Carriage Works. He has been copied and used in many other museums around the UK.”
It was such a nice day I didn’t really want to bother a curator about Henry’s somewhat unconventional bitting arrangements….
Maybe I should write & tell them that it’s upside down….