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Start of Winter

November 15, 2013

We closed our doors for the last time this season on the 3rd November.  That gave us 13 working weeks to deep clean every object, piece of furniture etc and then get it all back in its rightful place ready for opening our doors again in the February half term.

I was on holiday the first week we were closed but while I was away the others cracked on and had cleaned and packed away the Entrance Hall, Butlers Pantry and Kitchen corridor by the time I got back.

This week began with an event for our volunteers which we call “Behind the Stanchions.” For a couple of hours we remove the barriers in the rooms, switch off the alarms and allow them unrestricted access to room they wouldn’t usually get beyond the doorway of.

I spent Monday afternoon in a meeting with a fantastic group of volunteers who are updating the room information folders which the Room Guides use to answer visitors’ questions and further their own knowledge of the history of the family and the rooms.

 On Tuesday I got my first real taste of Winter work when we began to pack away the Library. We started by cleaning & wrapping all the small items and putting them away I the three large cupboards on the south wall of the room (on top of which our famous cloisonné lamps sit, the first in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity). We then cleaned and covered the furniture so that the next time we can get in there we’ll be able to do the high level cleaning.

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Today (Wednesday) we have no electricity. I’m writing this blog post by hand in my notebook to type up and post on Friday. I’m in our staff tea room where we’ve lit a fire and are working by the light of head torches. Philip has managed to source a battery operated iPod dock so we’ve got Wham wailing Last Christmas. Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up!

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