By Bryce Kershaw, Projects Officer – Museums, Wanneroo, Australia
Before Christmas last year, in a moment of synchronicity, a holidaying couple from Scotland were driving by Buckingham House here in Wanneroo in Western Australia, noticed that the gate was open and decided to wander in for a look.
Buckingham House, the family house of a former dairy property built c.1880 and now a museum, on this day was in fact not open to the public but being cleaned prior to the shut down period of the Christmas school holidays.
As they had come so far we felt it would be churlish to eject our lovely Scottish visitors and proceeded to show them around and entered into a lengthy chat. This included that they lived in East Kilbride near the National Museum of Rural Life and somehow, onto a discussion on the wonderful milkable model cow that is such a big hit with the kids in Scotland.
What a brilliant idea I thought, and having finished the cleaning, rushed back to the office to dash off an email to National Museums Scotland to ask them about this fabled model. Much to my great pleasure only a day or two later, I received an email and images from Duncan Dornan, General Manager of the National Museum of Rural Life. Based on this and other input from the dairy industry here, we designed and eventually built the pictured cow (named Ophelia) now living at Buckingham House.