Conservation and a bit of a buzz!

The stable yard clock was removed this week so it could be taken away to be repaired. The painters helped by using the huge cherry picker so they could reach the clock to take it down.  The painters are going to be with us for quite a while as they are painting all the exterior woodwork to the Hall.

Ketsby Saw Mill has made a wonderful job of the new fence at the side of the Old School House, and the new fencing now matches the frontage.

This week, we have been concerned to see large numbers of bees outside the Hall. They began to swarm and eventually gathered on the roof. Jake Fincham was called in to deal with the bees and both he and Craig Cuppleditch, our Estate Steward, got suited up to tackle the issue. The bees were encouraged into a box (they follow the queen) and Jake then took them away to a good home. A warning had to be put out to avoid the two gentlemen coming down the servants’ staircase with a box of bees as they brought them down from the roof and took them out to the van!

Roger Cole, from Painting Restorations, returned to the Hall and worked with Damian Furlong, our Estate Photographer, to record details of another third of the Hall’s paintings. Labels and writings on the back of the paintings often reveal key information which enables us to attribute the artwork to an artist or era. Roger continues to advise us on the quality and requirements for the individual paintings so we can work out a programme of restoration and consider appropriate storage whilst work is being carried out to conserve and improve the Hall.

Some of our very old rugs have been collected by a London company who are going to give us a quote for their repair. Meanwhile, Robert Miller arrived from Hemswell Antiques with more furniture for the Old Rectory Guest House as well as a selection of rugs that would look nice in there. A couple were chosen for the entrance and the inner hallway, and they really help finish the look. We are still waiting for the curtains to be finished and hung, but this isn’t too big an issue as all the windows have shutters.

The Wednesday History Group visited us on, not so surprisingly, Wednesday. They had been to Sutterby in the morning, had lunch at the Massingberd Arms pub and then split into two groups to enjoy a Hall tour and a visit to the Church. The two groups had tea in the New Room before swapping to ensure everyone had seen everything before departing and going up to see the Old Rectory Guest House. Quite a full and busy day!

Paul Barnes, our Estate Manager, is determined that we should, one day, mill and sell our own flour. He returned from the mill with several more bags this week which we have put in the freezer. He is trying to acquire an old cookbook with local recipes and hopes to persuade Jacqui Rhodes, our Housekeeper, to try out some of these delicious treats!