So a couple of weeks ago I blogged about the beautifully presented, interactive, swish but ultimately disappointing National Maritime Museum at Greenwich. On reflection I still hold the same opinion of the place- it used all the latest interpretive techniques, it gave different views and it showed many slices of the UK's association with the sea. However, it didn't hit all the high targets it set for itself, in that there was no overall compelling picture, or narrative- no arc of tech development, or all encompassing view of the country and it's relationship with the sea.
Last week however, on a quick jaunt out west with family to Swanage and the New Forest, we looked into the Tank Museum at Bovingdon , and it was at the complete opposite end of the scale. Shortly things will change, as by June they expect to be in new accommodation, but for now, it's practically just loads of tanks. I mean, loads of them. In fact, it's probably fair to say they have all of them.
There's a little info board by each, and some attempt to group them according to which faced which in battles around the world, but to me it made clear that no amount of interpretive gloss can make up for just having loads of what you're trying to show off.
Sure, they could have had animated maps of battles, or memorabilia of crews, or a few more models, but they were about tanks. And had lots. And that worked.