It’s the time of year when the house team get a lot of comments along the lines of “oh as your closed, you must get a rest” – if only! In reality the team probably have more to do during the winter season. We don’t even call it the ‘closed’ season any more as we are still open for tours and events at the weekends until we reopen on the 28th February next year. So what do we do? Well the first thing to take in is the amount of planning that goes into it. I had to start this months ago to make sure we could fit everything in we needed to around the events and other things that can’t be rescheduled. This master plan then gets used for our weekly tasks lists over the season to make sure we are keeping on schedule.
This week has been very busy for us with hardly a moment to breathe or have a cup of tea! Just some of the tasks we have done are:
- Trained 24 conservation volunteers ready to start helping with the deep clean
- Our woodwork conservator Graham took part of the floor up in the hall, repaired it, put it back and polished it as well as putting some of the bits that had fallen off items over the year back onto their items
- Completed the deep clean in the Study
- Packed up the Smoking Room Cabinets and furniture
- Supervised our electrician working in the showrooms
- Rolled the carpet in the Central Hall
- Supervised our new book cataloger working on the books in the Library
- Our clock conservator, Peter Watkinson, was in to mend the turret clock
- We’ve had the winch on the chandelier in the Central Hall Safety Checked
- Run the first of our weekend ‘Glorious Glimpses’ tours
The usual comments we get about our work in the winter tend to revolve around tea, cake and a little light dusting. Whereas the tea part is very important to us (I’ve measured it at two degrees centigrade in the Saloon before now!), reality as you can see is a bit different. In the coming weeks we’ll be braving the cold to complete the deep clean in all the areas we can’t do in front of the public, setting up for the big Christmas event (more about that later!) and hosting the housekeeping study days for National Trust house staff in January.
So think of the house team this winter as you sit down in a warm room and come and visit us on a tour or at Christmas.
Happy winter season everyone!