Ottawa family finds 1930s homemade sled at museum

When Bruce Dudley walked into the Canada Science and Technology Museum, he wasn’t expecting to see his family’s history front and centre.

Hector Dudley's handmade sled now on display at Canada Science and Technology Museum

Bruce Dudley and his son Stewart stand in front of the sled that Bruce's father Hector made for him, which is now on display at the Canada Science and Technology Museum (Jessa Runciman/CBC)

When Bruce Dudley walked into the Canada Science and Technology Museum, he wasn't expecting to see his family's history front and centre.

In the 1930s, his father Hector built a sled for him and his siblings.

Dudley said he knew it was donated to the museum at a certain point, but was surprised to see it when he walked through the door of the newly renovated building.

"I walk in here and I think my god, there's my dad's bobsled," he said to CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning this week.  

A much younger Bruce Dudley sits on the sled in this family photo. (Courtesy Bruce Dudley )

Dudley said he fondly remembers the sled his father built in his spare time, at times using tools from his job at the Ottawa Electric Railway.

He said he and his friends took the sled to hills in Ottawa and spent hours sliding on it.

The sled's builder Hector Dudley is seen in this family photo. (Courtesy Bruce Dudley )

"This is the way we enjoyed life. We were outside all the time," he said.  

Dudley said his father's handiwork has really stood the test of time.

"It has been around for 80 years, so it says something about his ability to construct something that would last."

Family heirloom 

During the 1930s, Hector Dudley lost his job at the railway company.

His grandson Stewart Dudley said looking at the sled makes him think of the challenges his family went through. 

It also makes him think about how good a parent his grandfather was.   

"The lengths that he would go to build something like this for his children, that's very indicative of the kind of man he was," he said,  

This sled was built by Hector Dudley for his children in the 1930s and was donated to the Canada Museum of Science and Technology, where it's displayed on Artifact Alley. (Jessa Runciman/CBC)