Williamson Gallery Evacuated after Mercury Spill

I’m sure I remember playing with mercury in the science labs at school many years ago, probably explains why I’m a bit crazy.
Anyway a bit of extra publicity for the ‘Your Time’ exhibition coming up at the Williamson in Birkenhead.

From the Echo…
HALF a pint of noxious liquid mercury spilled from the pendulum of an antique clock at a Wirral art gallery yesterday forcing a full-scale evacuation.

The heavy metal spillage at about 12.30pm yesterday forced Wallasey firefighters and Merseyside Police to cordon off Slatey Road and evacuate staff from the Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead.

Gallery workers were in the process of setting up a new display of clocks and watches from the Antique Horological Society. Exhibits included everything from pocket watches to impressive longcase clocks. Exhibits come mainly from private collections and are never normally seen by the public.

But last night Rob Smith, head of Arts & Museums said an accident involving one of the long case clocks had sparked a major alert.

He said: “The accident happened during preparations for the gallery and museum’s new ‘Your Time’ exhibition of antiquarian timepieces. A pendulum filled with mercury was broken during the installation.”

Six firefighters had to don specialist chemical suits and call in an Instant Unit from Kirkdale to tackle the toxic spill.

Wallasey Fire Station’s watch manager Graham Beckwith said it had posed quite a logistical problem for three teams of fully equipped fighters who had to operate in a confined space.



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