I am looking forward to the challenges ahead regarding the Mount Stewart Conservation Project.
I am currently working as Visitor Services Manager and a large proportion of my job has been taken up managing the property events programme. My new role within the Conservation project will take on a different type of event management when I will be tasked daily with ensuring that Mount Stewart is open for business as usual, but, with the opportunity to reveal various new and old discoveries and provide a great experience for all our visitors.
I will be assisting the conservation team with the creation of new opportunities and identifying unique and interesting aspects which will be uncovered through this rediscovering process. I will be reviewing and developing communication channels to help you plan your visits to this fabulous house during the forthcoming years and I hope to be able to encourage everyone to become engaged in some way with this exciting restoration programme. It’s a whole new adventure for me, and I am embarking on this new journey with both excitement and trepidation. I hope that you will be able to enjoy this with me.
Things are moving on now at an ever increasing pace; the phase ‘getting ready‘ is almost complete. I can say a lot of head scratching has been done because of the structural problems we have uncovered.
However during this stage while opening up floors we made some very interesting discoveries. The newspaper mentioned in a previous blog post gave us dates; whilst the bones of the different animals found in the same room gave us an insight to the culinary tastes of workmen in 1912! The bones when analysed where found to be from different animals including sheep, geese, rabbit and chicken.
At the moment we, the project joinery team, are in the chapel erecting three floors of studwork. The work being carried out by us in the chapel is to provide an area in which the project conservator can store items such as; furniture, curtains and carpets from the various rooms while the work is carried out in them. All the rooms in the house are full with furniture and family memorabilia, all of which are very important to the property and need very careful storing and maintenance. Unfortunately for the project conservator, this makes her life here in Mount Stewart that little bit more complicated.
We have been working steadily and progress has been coming on well. Although we all (and I personally), miss our project apprentice joiner Callum while he is away on his trip to China.
As you would be aware the Chapel is out of bounds to the public for sensible health and safety reasons while the construction work is under way. I have included a few photos of the building work so you can see what is happening. Also the whole building works has been filmed using a time lapse camera and I for one can’t wait to see the footage!