Winter Clean in the Ballroom

Completing the first room of the winter clean is always a good feeling.  It took 8 days and there were a couple of extra challenges this year.  In preparation for the next phase of external building works the window in the Ballroom is to be boarded up to prevent dust ingress from the work to the window and stone work.

In order for this to be built we have had to take down the pelmet and curtains and the big red blind, as well as move some items of furniture up to the other end of the room and take four paintings down off the wall.  This was definitely a job for the scaffold tower, which was already in use in the room for high level ceiling and picture frame cleaning.

A view of the Ballroom ‘put to bed’ for the winter from the scaffold tower.

Until we got up to the top of the scaffold tower we were not exactly sure how the pelmet was secured in place.  We soon discovered it was simply nailed to a bit of wood!  We used the end of a flat head screw driver and pliers to release the nails.  We also discovered that what from the ground looks like a pelmet that is all of one piece, it is actually in four separate sections.  Which was good news as it made it easier to handle and not as heavy as it would have been in one piece.

The pelmet was nailed in to a wooden shelf attached to the wall with brackets.

The first section of the pelmet down and ready for a surface clean.

The pelmet and curtains are scheduled for cleaning every five years.  They were last done (in-situ) in 2009.  So although they were not due a for full clean just yet we took advantage of the fact that they were coming down to remove any surface dust and debris.

Lucy passes the second section of the pelmet down the scaffold tower to Sarah.

Sarah and Lucy laying out a section of pelmet on Tyvek. Each section has been interleaved with Tyvek to keep dust off them while they are down from the window.

Some of the interesting creatures in the frieze around the top of the panelling.

Lucy uses a soft pony hair brush to surface clean a section of the pelmet, by teasing cobwebs, clumps of dust and debris in to the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner.

The bay window after we had finished preparing the area for the dust protection to be installed.

Paintings from the South wall either side the bay window have been taken down and stored at the other end of the Ballroom while the building work takes place.

You can watch our winter clean work in the Ballroom on our timelapse film.

Emily, Sarah, Lucy and Melinda

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