Seeing the Bowes Museum Silver Swan is one of those things everyone should do before they die. I saw it when I was about 7 years old when on a caravanning holiday with my parents. I thought it was a great wonder and I never forgot the experience.
In time, as the years went by, I started to doubt it had been amazing as I had remembered it. “Surely,” I thought, “It could not have moved like that!”
The next time I saw it was almost half a century later when, about a year ago, when I visited Bowes with my daughter.
It was just as I had remembered, made in 1773 and powered by clockwork. I watched what it could do but still found it almost unbelievable.
My daughter has sent this link to me. It is the video of the swan being taken apart and restored. The mysteries of it are now revealed. It adds to the wonder in my opinion.
The swan performs each day at 2:00pm and the show lasts for only 40 seconds. But what a 40 seconds!