Its almost summer time and Helen , our Assistant House Steward, has an update on the House Teams activities so far this season.
So what have we been up to since my last update and what’s coming up now we’re approaching the middle of the open season? Well we’ve finished our planned winter deep cleaning within the tight deadline and as you can see from previous posts we now have new areas open and a new display of the convalescent home for officers we had here during the first world War. In terms of conservation, we’ve had to get our heads around a new cleaning plan and different routine again and start our ‘Conservation in Action’ tasks for the season.
One of the biggest tasks for the start of season is the audit and inventory check of our collection. This means going around and making sure we know where everything is and checking each item’s location is correct. This includes everything from a light fitting or radiator cover to a Dutch old master or piece of Chinese porcelain. We have over 5000 pieces in the collection so this is no small job! We then load all of the up to date information onto the Collections Management System (CMS), which means it up to date for everyone, including the public, to view. We also use this time to look at what other jobs need doing with the system, such as adding new photographs or deleting duplicate records.
As well as completing our inventory audit we’ve also been busy cleaning! Much of our conservation work gets done in front of the public and so far we have cleaned the Tea Room, the Saloon chandelier and the sconces in the Saloon. There’ll be many more projects to come through the year (keep your eye on facebook and twitter!) and each has to be planned meticulously to spread the workload throughout the team.
We’ve also welcomed several new members of staff and interns to the team and have been busy getting them up and running on all things Polesden. I have also been busy with updating a lot of our health and safety documents, restocking the salvage store and preparing for further salvage training for all property staff.
There’s always something to do and we get involved with many different projects across the board including looking at lightbulbs, auditing inventory marks, creating new experiences and tours and researching into Polesden’s history. Keep an eye out on this blog to find out about the latest projects and come and visit us – you may even see some ‘Conservation in Action’.
Look at our collection online at: www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk
Assistant House Steward