A previous post commented on the approach to restoration of museum objects at the Berlin Technical Museum (‘Polishing the Past’, 26th January 2021). But readers might be interested in another excursion I made while working through a summer in Munich some years ago.
I told the city information desk in Munich I was interested in trains. ‘Oh, you must go to Nördlingen’, the man said. This took me to a small Bavarian town with a long history and some old engine sheds, rather like what I think of as Carnforth in the UK. Inside was a treasure trove of old locomotives. Ekkart, the town’s pharmacist and volunteer guide for the day, showed me around. He explained they were getting about 15,000 visitors a year (pre-pandemic). With many locomotives to see, it wasn’t hard to work out why. Everything from Deutsche Bundesbahn’s last survivors to ‘Krieglok’, black and red monsters from World War II. ‘They built 5000 of these between 1942 and 1945,’ explained Ekkart. He pointed to the ‘Krieglok’. ‘This one is from Romania’.
We both stared at it. It was festooned with