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Researchers Give Halloween Help To Derek the Demon…

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Derek the Demon, the head is one of The Bayard’s ColtsResearchers from WMG at the University of Warwick have helped Walsall Museum by creating a 21st century clone of a centuries old Demon head just in time for Halloween.

Nicknamed Derek the Demon, the head is one of “The Bayard’s Colts” a curious surviving relic from Walsall’s past.  He is one of seventeen clubs, which were carried behind the Mayor in ceremonial processions. They are at least 300 years old, and probably much older, but their exact age, their origins and even their name are shrouded in mystery.

The museum had been working with innovation consultancy West Bromwich based Digital Native Academy (DNA) to look at how the colts can be made more accessible to younger audiences. DNA engaged the services of WMG’s SME team at the University of Warwick to access expertise in visitor experience technologies.

The WMG SME team, through its ERDF funded International Institute for Product and Service Innovation,  used their skills in visitor experience, 3D scanning, polymer science, and 3D printing to develop some 3D models of the Colts, including Derek the Demon,   that museum visitors could handle.  However that wasn’t all they did as WMG  SME team Technology Transfer Specialist Bed Wood said:

“We also gave our clone of Derek the Demon a  21st century update – a pair of glowing eyes that activate and change colour if we send him a message on Twitter…”

“We are pleased that The WMG SME team have enabled DNA to look at more possibilities for client projects in the future, and that we have enabled Walsall Museum to look at the potential of using new technologies in engaging visitors.”

Geoff Henderson, Managing Director at Digital Native Academy said:

“The relationship we have with WMG is very much about collaboration, not only are we gaining from the advanced 3D modelling, manufacturing and design skills they have, but they are learning from our experience in the culture and heritage sector too.”

Jennifer Thomson, Community History Curator at Walsall Museum said:

“We are excited by the prospect of potential further developments with this project to widen access to the colts. They are an important part of Walsall’s local history.”

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