What have we been up to?

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, the end of the summer holidays doesn’t mean any less work for the team.  The weekly deep clean and daily visitor route cleans continue, and in the afternoons we have got on with some small projects and other regular tasks.

Melinda has been taking the lead on completing the show room light plans.  These plans aid us in making decisions about blind levels in each room at different light / weather conditions.  Once we have taken different readings around several points in the room with blinds at different levels, we can make a decision about which level is suitable.  We need to keep as much light out as possible, particularly direct sunlight, but allow enough in for visitors to see.  Unfortunately our artificial lighting is not very effective at illuminating he rooms so it makes it very difficult to control the natural light without putting visitors into darkness.  During our conservation project, due to begin next year, the artificial lighting will be improved allowing better illumination of the show rooms with less natural light.

Sarah conducted the third check of pest insect monitoring traps around the house. We have 70 traps in total in show rooms and store rooms.  It takes several hours to get round them all.  Sarah has to identify any insects caught and note them down on a spread sheet, the data is added in to an electronic version of the spreadsheet which then automatically adds up all the numbers of insects identified.  Traps are replaced with new ones, to be checked again in December.

Results for September:

46 Webbing cloths moth
8 Webbing Clothes Moth larvae
2 Common Furniture Beetle
67 Silverfish

The quarterly stock take of equipment and materials was completed at the end of September.  Vacuum bags, furniture wax and floor wax were all counted.  These three items in particular we use a lot of, especially during the winter clean.  I will be putting in order for new supplies this week.

Lucy and Sarah have been busy in the needlework store room photographing and packing objects.  There has been quite a backlog of objects to get through as there hasn’t always been much time to spend up there sorting them all out.

Here are some of the objects that have bene safely packed to go ont he shelves.  Can you guess what they might be?

I’ve been busy planning the winter clean, which involves scheduling how many days are needed for each room and when will each room be done.  Several factors have to be taken in to account, such as events that may be going on in the show rooms, staff availability, any building work.  The winter is anything but a quiet time!  I have also been training volunteers who brave the cold and help the team with all the cleaning tasks required.

On Monday the team are off to Tyntesfield for a visit and to meet their conservation team.  We  hope to pick up some tips on how they worked through their conservation project, so we can be as prepared as possible for when building work starts at Knole in the very near future.

Emily

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