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FODMs Appeal for Volunteers

Apr 11 2017 News >> Latest News

Who are we?

We are a small group of retired, young at heart, enthusiastic individuals who use our collective engineering knowledge and experience providing support to Newcastle’s Discovery Museum.

What we do

We repair and maintain the Museum’s electrical, electronic and mechanical exhibits, be they small, large, interactive, moving or static.
Exhibits that visitors can operate (interact with) will, through constant use over time suffer wear and tear and possibly damage. Replacement of parts is therefore necessary, being mostly sourced from the Museum’s stock of spares. 

However, a number of the exhibits were originally custom designed and built by specialist companies that unfortunately no longer exist.  Situations like this can involve us in a lot of research work to identify alternative suppliers of suitable replacement parts.

Included in the Museum’s Science Maze are several nineteenth and early twentieth century gas and steam engines that are powered by electric motors to demonstrate how they operate, (practical limitations prevent the provision of gas or steam plant).

In addition to our role of repairing / maintaining the Museum’s exhibits, we know that some visitors may not be familiar with or understand their workings or purpose and we are happy to provide explanations wherever we can.

In carrying out this work we take pleasure in the knowledge that we are contributing to Newcastle Discovery Museum’s continuance as a valuable community resource.

What we need

We are looking for additional volunteers to help us with our work, either on a one off or on-going basis. The work will consist of cleaning, lubrication and maintenance of the operating engines as well as repairs to other exhibits.
We are particularly interested in anyone who has microcomputer experience, especially PIC's and similar devices as these were used in some exhibits that we wish to return to operation.
If you are interested or want more information then contact Ed at


Last changed: Apr 11 2017



  • Behind The Scenes Tour : Arcs & Sparks Tour

    Wed 1st Nov 2017 - 11:00 AMmore details

  • FODMs Quarterly Committee Meeting - Xmas Gathering

    Tue 5th Dec 2017 - 12:00 PMmore details

  • Behind The Scenes Tour : Arcs & Sparks Tour

    Wed 6th Dec 2017 - 11:00 AMmore details

Events Calendar


  • FODMs AGM Tuesday 27th June 12.00pm

    The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Discovery Museum will take place at 12-00 noon in the Turbinia Room (4th Floor) at the Discovery Museum

    read more
  • Energising Exhibits

    FODMs members currently run engines and carry out repairs and maintenance of exhibits and equipment within the museum.

    read more
  • FODMs Appeal for Volunteers

    We are a small group of retired, young at heart, enthusiastic individuals who use our collective engineering knowledge and experience providing support to Newcastle’s Discovery Museum.

    read more
  • 2017 Membership Renewal

    Note from The Secretary :

    read more
  • FODMs Spring Bulletin

    FODMs Spring Bulletin has been sent out to members - you can read it online here

    read more
  • Motor Cycles - Special Interest Group?

    Following the publication of my reminiscences last year on the motorcycling activities just around the corner from Discovery on Westgate Road

    read more
  • From Discovery's Reference Library "English Without Tears"

    The Reference library at Discovery contains some 14,000 artefacts, including engineering firms' brochures and publicity material, magazines, journals and books.

    read more
  • PROJECT : History of the Electricity Supply Industry in NE England

    The North East of England led the Country in the application of electricity to motive power in industry in the early years of the 20th Century.

    read more
  • Volunteers in Uniform

    Our members who help out in the Discovery Museum by repairing and cleaning exhibits, running the engines and taking our Arcs and Sparks tours now have a natty new polo shirt to wear whilst carrying out their activities.

    read more
  • Men And Sheds

    I have been asked by our chairman, Ian Burdon, to start a series of newsletter articles on this topic as an ongoing feature.

    read more
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