In the last of our blogs looking back at 2014 members of the team have picked their personal highlights. We have also chosen a selection of projects and events that we are particularly looking forward to in 2015.
“2014 has been a great year at Snowshill and I have had many highlights. At the top are when I am lucky enough to be able to organise and show off Snowshill in a different or more intimate way. Welcoming people like Marc Allum from The Antiques Roadshow Magazine or hosting Escape to the Country means that many more people will get to see the things I am lucky enough to see all of the time. But I also really enjoy organising the special out of hours events for families, groups and organisations where visitors get the opportunity to see Snowshill at its best, in a more intimate way, just the way Mr Wade intended it”. Gosia – Marketing Officer
“It has been an absolute delight to hear Charles Wade’s doorbell for the first time after a silence of probably 60 years. The intricacy of the movement and the workmanship in even the tiniest details is a joy to behold. We now know that the tune chosen by Wade when the doorbell was operated is ‘I’m called little buttercup’ from HMS Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan. Was this a favourite song of his or just something that was popular at the time and easy to get hold of? No matter, it is just so lovely to hear it playing after all these years. It wasn’t quite on a par with opening Tutankhamun’s tomb but for me, the excitement of locating a section of Wolf’s Cove canal basin was certainly a source of great joy and pride. So often in archaeology, a day’s work is concluded after hours of fruitless scraping with nothing to show for it at the end. This excavation was different as we knew roughly where everything should be located. This did not, however, diminish the excitement when a feature turned up exactly where it should be! Small finds on the excavation were minimal so the main delight was reserved for slowly unveiling the model village after it had lain buried for over 40 years. Knowing that we were putting back something that was lost at Snowshill was immensely inspiring and motivating and proved to be great compensation for the hours spent attempting to draw site plans in the rain and trying to get the life back into numb fingers after hours of pot washing. 2015’s Easter excavation, with luck, will prove to be just as exciting”. Jenny – House Steward
“The Turquoise Cellar installation by Gideon Reeling. It was really exciting to see after all our planning. I also enjoyed seeing volunteer Phil Ash’s work on the Wadian lighting in the manor – particularly in 100 Wheels and the fire in Dragon. Filming with ‘Escape to the Country’ was a highlight – although I’m not sure I’m looking forward to seeing myself on television! Lastly our team trip to the Tower of London – we were so lucky to see the wall paintings and go up on the roof”. Sue – Conservation and Engagement Assistant
“I really enjoyed helping reorganise the salvage store. It was also good to see things like the doorbell being repaired and returned from the conservator, that also seemed to please a lot of the volunteer room guides and visitors! The Apple Festival was also a definite highlight for me”. Rosa – Volunteer Management Intern Summer 2014
Charles Wade’s doorbell
“Last year we finished inventory checking our entire collection. It took 18 months and lots of hardwork but it was such an enjoyable process. I learnt so much more about Mr Wade and his collection and I can’t wait to start all over again!”. Vicki – Assistant House Steward
2015 will be a year of changes for Snowshill Manor and Gardens. We are looking at changing our opening hours and introducing more guided tours into our visitor offer. This will mean lots of changes to the way we look after the Manor and will be welcoming new volunteers to the team.
It will be all change in the garden this year with new members of staff. It is always really hard for us to say goodbye to those leaving the Snowshill team. It does mean that we have several roles available and these can be viewed at http://www.ntjobs.org.uk/ Some are closing soon!
We have moved our summer archaeology activity to April this year. During the first two weeks of April visitors will see our guest archaeologists in action in the garden. They will be looking to uncover more about Wolf’s Cove, Mr Wade’s model village.
After our interns Harriet and Rosa made such an impact last year we have decided to do it all over again! We will be taking applications in April for another two interns, one will concentrate on volunteer management tasks and the other will work with the visitor services team. Keep checking the intern section on the jobs website http://www.ntjobs.org.uk/.
We are also looking forward to seeing special projects develop further in 2015. Our Turquoise cellar installation will be growing with the addition of a plans chest where we hope to display some of Mr Wade’s drawings and photographs. We have an exciting programme of conservation work ahead with visiting conservators working on clocks, ceramics and paintings in the collection.
Finally we are also looking forward to writing more blog posts!