Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – Royal Army Physical Training Corps Museum

The pommel horse and vaulting buck on display at RAPTC

Remedial conservation – Restoration of historic gymnastic apparatus
AIM grant: £640

The Royal Army Physical Training Corps (RAPTC) Museum tells the story of the branch of the Army dedicated to physical fitness. Its collection includes many items of historic and current-day training equipment, and in 2018 the Museum was gifted a 1960’s-era pommel horse and vaulting buck. These had seen many years’ use by Army gymnasts and P.T instructors before being relegated to a storeroom where they had remained for an extended period.

Consequently, conservator Stephen Umpleby ACR was approached to make a survey of the objects and draw up a plan for their restoration in liaison with the Museum Curator. A preliminary survey showed that it would be possible to stabilize their condition through re-stuffing the affected areas, stitching closed the tears and inserting backing repair patches to cover the holes. The latter would be skived down and dyed to blend in with the original material.

The AIM grant covered the cost of the initial assessment and all subsequent treatment to the objects.

The restored vaulting buck and pommel horse now occupy pride of place in the RAPTC Museum gallery where they will help to portray the history of Army physical training for many years to come. The AIM Pilgrim Trust conservation grant helped get our historic gymnastic equipment into shape.

Eli Dawson, Curator, RAPTC Museum

Pictured: The pommel horse and vaulting buck on display at RAPTC