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Personal View of Michael Day, Director of the Jersey Heritage Trust, interviewed by Beth Lloyd. Was not interested in museums or collecting as a child-was interested in collecting train numbers. Got a passion for football-wanted to be a goalkeeper for Aston Villa-played for local league team. Was born in Nottingham-a midlander. Went to Nottingham High School from 8-18-a public school and got the exams he needed to get. Enjoyed part of his school days-got involved in things with enthusiasm-responded to the teachers-struggled at history at school. Enjoyed sport-his father played cricket throughout his life-is interested in all sports. He has a brother who is 2½ years younger than him who is an equestrian competitor. When he went into sixth form he wanted to get into languages but then realised he didn't like them-applied to do English at Leeds University. First Record-Some Kinda Wonderful by The Q-Tips. Enjoys modern rock music. Was nervous about University but when he realised people were feeling the same he was alright. He read English but as an option he took a course on folk life studies which he got really interested in-pursued this interest avidly which led him to museums. Was interested in folk music-in the early 70s he collected songs. At the end of his first year went to Norwich and went to a museum which he was impressed by-at the end of his second year decided to write to museums for work and got a job as a paid volunteer in Bristol on an exhibition project and went back at the end of his third year thinking museums was where he wanted to work. After six weeks of work a job came up in the museum that had first inspired him in Norwich and he applied for it and got it. The folk life studies was a world view with a particularly celtic view-thinks a lot of it has become less relevant to people's lives. People want to get back to their roots and traditions-especially in Jersey. Second Record-Emmylou Harris, Dolores Keane and Mary Black performing The Grey Funnel Line. His life has been full of coincidences that led him to museums and Jersey. People were supportive in the museum profession. He was allowed to do displays, enquiries and tours as a student. At Norwich he started as Trainee Assistant in Social History and then he moved through the museum-he gradually moved towards things he was interested in like trade and industrial subjects. Museums and social history cover a great range of topics-has a breadth of experience. Became particularly interested in urban industrial history which he researched and lectured in-the 1970s was a period that was changing from the Industrial Age to the Post-Industrial Age-factories were being closed down at that time. Museums have changed in the past 20 years-has different ideas from when he started-thinks museums are now more directed towards the users. There are no limits on museums-just need an imagination. Was interested in the Caen Museum-he enjoyed it because it challenged him-there will be a need to connect to people in the future. There's a need to be educational but without being didactic. Has never been a great museum visitor-goes for a professional point of view-many don't appeal to him. In Norwich his career was progressing gradually-knew the city very well-had no desire to leave but his opportunities would have been limited if he had stayed. Was aware of the things happening in Ironbridge and he applied for the job and got it. He was a curator of Social History and manager of Blist's Hill Open Air Museum-a recreated late 19th century town. It was his first experience of management-it was very challenging and threatening-a difficult culture to work in. Third Record-Sylvia Sass singing an opera aria. Ironbridge was one of the most exciting times of his life professionally-built 8 new recreated buildings in his 3½ years working there including a bakery which is what his father did. His experience at Ironbridge will help him when dealing with Hamptonne. He got confidence from the project management training he undertook. Has had some training in management since Ironbridge. Is not very patient but has had to develop it. He is very enthusiastic in his work. Decided to move from Ironbridge to Jersey-was interested in setting up the organisation and a museum. Was interviewed for the job-expressed some concerns about the job and was forthright in his approach and got the job. Has no regrets now although the first year was difficult and frustrating. The new museum was due to have started being built before he arrived but it was caught up in a political debate and was delayed. In Jersey there is a pressure cooker atmosphere because it is a small place-he represented change and was seen as a threat. The people who were arranging the new arrangements between the Jersey Heritage Trust and the Société Jersiaise contributed greatly in solving the situation. There was an agreement meeting towards the end of 1987 at the end of his first year when it was agreed and if it hadn't been he would have left-gradually it started to be turned around. Is very proud for all the people that have helped that the Museum is running. Fourth Record-If I Had a Boat by Lyle Lovett. Sails in order to relax-sails competitively. Enjoys playing badminton and listening to music and likes to juggle. Has ambitions in his personal and professional life but is looking forward to the unexpected. Fifth Record-You Are Everything by REM.
Date: June 28th 1992 - June 28th 1992
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