The end of the winter clean is in sight!

Today we finally finished cleaning the Cartoon Gallery, the last of our biggest rooms to winter clean.  It has taken us a little longer than usual as we’ve been doing a lot of extra jobs around the house as building work has begun.

Lucy, Melinda and Sarah high level cleaning in the Cartoon Gallery

Colnets are at Knole again building a protective screen along the East front show rooms.  We are having an internal dust screen put up so that when repairs begin to the external render, stone work and the windows, the contents of the rooms should be unaffected by the dust a debris created.

Dust screen at the East end of the Brown Gallery, once the electrics have been installed to make provision for lighting, vinyl will go up to create a sealed screen.

For the screen to go up some of the tapestries and paintings have had to come down.  We had a bespoke painting storage rack made to go in the Spangled Dressing Room, which is a temporary store-room during the building work, for the various paintings to live in over the coming months.  Some of the paintings took 5 people to get them down, cleaned and into the racking safely.

The beginnings of the dust screen in the Spangled Bedroom. In-between the 2 screens is corridor visitors will be able to walk through.

Our temporary painting rack in the Spangled Dressing Room

However the task that took the most people was moving the Billiard Table.  It needed to be moved back about half a metre to make way for the dust screen.  The screen could be built around it but it makes it more complicated.  Once we established that the Billiard Table didn’t have a slate top we felt more confident that it could be moved back from the window.

Troops awaiting instruction

Straps and wooden battens in place to support the base of the table as we lift it.

We drafted in just about everyone that was at Knole to help us, builders, electricians, fire system engineers, the Premises Team, Fundraising Manager, Project Manger and our Building Survey.  Graham Marley, furniture conservator, was on site to lend a hand too (Thanks everyone!)

1, 2, 3 LIFT!

Job well done, thank you everyone.

We still have a couple of spaces to winter clean before we open, as well as
a lot of floor waxing.  Each wooden floor is waxed twice, first time by hand with a furniture wax and the second time by broom with a liquid wax, before being polished.  Then it’ll be time to take off the covers and reinstate the rooms ready for visitors!
Emily, Lisa, Melinda, Sarah and Lucy
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