Lego trains arrive at the Wenham Museum
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WENHAM – It is not easy to work in a quarry, even if you have done it yourself with plastic blocks.
Three people spent about a month and a half setting up a working Lego quarry for the 10th annual Lego Train Exhibition at the Wenham Museum,
The exhibit, which opens February 16 and 17, was built free of charge by the New England Lego Users Group for the museum.
“It’s a very big success. It’s a very big draw, ”said Kristin Noon, museum director general.
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“This year we have a really cool career,” she noted.
One of the builders, Linda Dallas, said the quarry takes a lot of effort. While people of a certain age may remember working with regular Lego blocks as a child, the toy company has since branched out into robotics which allows people to program machines to perform tasks.
This was the case with the quarry, where trucks and diggers worked while trains rolled on the tracks around the quarry.
Dallas said the entire museum exhibit took “probably about 50 man hours” to come together on Friday and Saturday mornings.
However, in addition to the quarry, the members also built houses, vignettes, and even their own trains. A train in the shape of a dragon aroused a lot of interest among children.
Museum regulars Kit and Elliott Perkins enjoyed the exhibit. 4-year-old Elliott even found a footrest to stand on for a better view.
“This one was special. He knew today was Lego Day, ”said Mum Kit as Elliott watched the passing trains.
“We love coming here, especially because the staff love to receive us and treat us well,” said Dallas. “It’s good to contribute somehow and help the museum – and show off a bit.”
“The food is good,” added Patrick Connolly of Georgetown, another Lego builder.
Asked about his contribution, he joked: “My humor, my beauty, my youth.”
“For this particular show, it’s mostly trains,” Dallas replied.
Connolly said he constructed buildings, trains and vignettes for the exhibit.
When asked if their Lego hobby is having an impact in their home, Dallas said that she and her husband are both passionate. “Our master bedroom is our Lego bedroom,” she says.
Displays have taken over shelves and other spaces to the extent that “We sleep in the guest room”.
Connolly said his basement held a large chunk of his Lego. “I’m a huge military geek and a Star Wars fan,” he said.
“Most of the band members have at least one Lego part,” Dallas noted.
Little hands, big cleaning
Although there is a gap between the display and the audience, small hands could be seen reaching out to the models.
Dallas had to remind children not to touch each other and was asked how to prevent accidents.
“It’s a challenge,” she replied. One wrong move, and “suddenly something you’ve spent a week building is on the floor.”
The Lego Train Display, which is open again on Sunday, is one of two events that feature trains for the school holiday week, Noon noted.
While the Legos will leave after the weekend, the museum has a permanent collection of vintage toy trains, and the theme will return on February 23 for a “Potter Party”.
The event pays homage to Harry Potter, and in addition to wand-making and a potions class, the day’s events will include a Hogwarts Express model train.
A “Lego-palooza” is also planned for February 20 and 21.