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Drip Drip Drop

January 3, 2013


We came back to earth with a bang today, our first day back after our Christmas holiday. Katherine, Philip and I were the only house staff back, so we set about clearing a show room which is having a reshuffle before the new season. We were working on the Red Landing, the middle floor which consists mostly of bedrooms. We needed to relocate a clock and so Katherine was showing me how to remove the pendulum when I heard a strange noise.

At first I thought it was a heater clicking on but then quickly changed my mind, deciding it sounded like water. I opened the door to the Red Bedroom, which has a small dressing room to the side where water was pouring through the ceiling and clearly had been for a while. The historic carpet was sodden and all the furniture at that end of the room was standing in water or being splashed. Never a dull moment in this place!

 This was not our first flood incident (the first being the Billiard Room in 2008) so at least we knew what needed to be done. Philip and I started to pull furniture out (and by pull I, of course, mean carefully handle remembering all conservation training we’ve ever been given). Katherine went to find Paul, who arrived with a “Bloody hell!” and dashed off to see if he could work out where the water was coming from. Katherine and I hit our salvage store for plastic sheeting and blotting paper.

 It’s a bit of a mad dash to empty a room when something like this happens, it goes wherever there is a dry space and can then be organised and checked over when the room is clear. I’ve uploaded a gallery in this post so you can see the chaos of the removal efforts and a few of the water pouring into the room.

 So now the main carpet is on blocks in the Gallery with a fan going the keep the air moving to hopefully prevent mould growth. The rug is in the Armstrong Room on blocks with another fan going. The furniture is standing on plastic sheeting and blotting paper all over the Red Landing. The worst of the damage so far seems to be on the bottom drawer of a chest which stood directly under the leak. It is dark wood veneer with an inlaid design, the inlay and veneer is lifting off the main drawer and is unlikely to ever look the same again.

 It turned out the leak came from a burst water pipe above, so hopefully now the water is off and the pipe being repaired, the room can dry out.


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