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Catch Up

February 21, 2013

Big apologies. I’ve had a manic few weeks and have just realised it’s been almost a month since I last posted on the blog. Let’s have a catch up on what’s been going on here recently.

We are mid way through the Northumbrian half term. During this week each year we open for free on slightly reduced hours, and the House opens just the ground floor (as we are still busy with unpacking and displaying the upper floors). As I write I can hear children playing on the forecourt outside the office window, I can also hear the Desk Assistants welcoming visitors in the entrance hall below. The House feels alive again after its winter hibernation.

We began opening rooms on the ground floor about 3 weeks ago. It’s a much quicker process than putting it all “to bed,” we start by uncovering all the large items of furniture and repositioning them in the room. After the large furniture is back in place, we start to unwrap all the small objects, things like vases, inkwells and photographs and reinstate the displays. Finally nets are hung up and any rope barriers etc are replaced. We are have just started to uncover the rooms on the final floor of the visitor route, so we are on course to be ready for the first official day of the new season, 1st of March.

We’ve also taken delivery of a new oak settle which we commissioned a carpenter to make for us based on one of the original settles in the Dining Room. We are pleased to encourage visitors to have an Armstrong Moment by recreating an oil painting which shows Lord Armstrong sitting in the inglenook reading a paper.

Oooh and we’ve done a bit of filming with Countryfile, the lovely Matt Baker came to see us for the day! I’m not sure how much more I can say so all I’ll do is ask you to watch out for us in the March 3rd episode.

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