Spotlight on: Chairs for Children

“Children should be seen and not heard” – I don’t know whether or not this was ever a view held by the Winn family who lived at Nostell, but it seemed fitting as today’s post highlights the furniture at Nostell which was specifically made for children.

First up is a rather grand affair. It’s a Louis XVI style 18th century child’s open armchair with upholstered seat (or fauteuil) with tapered panel back and carved gilt frame. Ther’s also a rather nifty child’s footstool to match!

Louis XVI style child’s open armchair

To contrast with the above chair, the second example is much plainer. It’s a George III child’s mahogany open armchair with a drop-in seat covered with modern leather and squared legs. It’s inscribed ‘Lord St Oswald’.

George III child’s open armchiar

If you look closely you’ll see the keyhole-type shapes in metal at the front of the legs. This shows that there used to be a stand/footstool fitted to the front, which has been lost over the years.

Minus the seat – the ‘drop-in’ style of the chair means that the seat is literally ‘dropped in’ to the frame of the chair

Seat of the chair. You can see how the design of the seat is very simple, with a leather cover and padding tacked onto a board

Brush-vacuuming the George III chair during one of our volunteer conservation workshops

Next time you’re at Nostell, why not look out for these miniature chairs – just remember to look around at knee height!

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In which the team from East Riddlesden Hall lend a helping hand…

As you know, the National Trust is responsible for caring for hundreds of historic buildings and their contents, thousands of acres of countryside, and many miles of coastline.

It’s a very supportive network, and a great organisation to be part of. Properties, whilst independent, work with each other sharing skills, knowledge, and ideas to improve the way we care for and present our properties ‘for ever, for everyone’.

With this in mind, we invited the conservation team from East Riddlesden Hall to visit Nostell for the day. East Riddlesden Hall is a lovely 17th century manor house in West Yorkshire. You can find out more info about East Ridd on the National Trust website here: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/east-riddlesden-hall/

The plan for the day was to spend the morning getting to grips with Nostell’s winter clean, followed by a tour of the house, derelict servants’ quarters and extensive cellars. I’d also show one of their conservation assistants, Jackie, how to create a blog of their own in order to share stories about what they get up to at East Riddlesden. Skills-sharing is how we like to define it!

Jackie gets to grips with our Small Dining Room chairs

The team from East Riddlesden helped us begin this year’s winter clean. We divided into two teams, one to begin in the Breakfast Room and one to make a start in the Small Dining Room.

Vacuuming

Volunteer Lesley uses a piece of gauze to protect the chair cushion as she vacuums it. The gauze ensures that no loose pieces of thread or material disappear into the vacuum.

Nostell is a little behind in our winter clean programme because we have spent the past few weeks up scaffolding cleaning our historic plasterwork (more about this in a future blog post). So it was fantastic having willing helpers from East Ridd for a day – we managed to brush vacuum and cover all of the furniture in the two rooms. Many hands do indeed make light work!

Conservation work

Our second team, led by Angie, get to grips with the Breakfast Room

Dining table

We definitely worked them hard!

Conservation work

It’s a team effort to manhandle the dust cover which protects the Small Dining Room table – it’s very big!

Conservation work

Dust cover in place. Now the fun can begin!

After the strenuous morning, we rewarded the team with a tour of Nostell, including a behind-the-scenes look at our derelict servants’ attics and extensive cellars. We also took the time to show them how to create a WordPress blog of their own, as blogs are a great way to share aspects of the collections and their care which visitors don’t normally see (but find really interesting!)

Here is the link to the East Riddlesden Hall WordPress blog: http://eastriddlesdenhall.wordpress.com/

We had a great day – thank-you East Riddlesden!

Nostell Priory and Chippendale on BBC4!

Last Thursday (10th January) BBC4 screened a great documentary called ‘Carved with Love: The Genius of British Woodwork’. It’s a three-part series, and the first focused upon ‘The Extraordinary Thomas Chippendale’. And the most exciting part is…

…lots of it was filmed here at Nostell!

Nostell is home to one of the largest (and we like to think, best) collections of Chippendale furniture in the country. The programme highlights many of our pieces such as the medal cabinet in the Library, the gentleman’s dressing table in the Crimson Bedroom, and our Chinoiserie collection in the State Bedroom, amongst many others. Our House & Collections Manager, Chris, also gets a starring role!

Catch it again on BBC iPlayer – it’s available until 7:59PM Sun, 3 Feb 2013.

Here’s the all-important link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01psbwz/Carved_with_Love_The_Genius_of_British_Woodwork_The_Extraordinary_Thomas_Chippendale/

Enjoy watching!

I Spy With My Little Eye…

A few months ago, one of the regular readers of the Nostell Priory Conservation Blog requested that we have a post focusing on the escutcheons and handles that are a feature of our furniture. Escutcheons are the metal fastenings which surround the keyhole of a door, for a combination of protection and/or decoration.

More than happy to oblige, I spent some time walking around Nostell and taking photographs of some of the more interesting examples. Most were supplied by Thomas Chippendale.

It’s amazing what you see when you take time to look!

Prizes if you can guess which pieces of furniture they are from! (No prizes really…)

The three below hail from the Crimson Bedroom. They are a great example of how something so small can be quite beautiful.

Escutcheon

Carved brass escutcheon

Chinese cabinet

Chinese cabinet escutcheon

Drawer handle and keyhole

Ornate handle and escutcheon combination

From the chinoiserie furniture in the State Bedroom come the two examples below. The escutcheons are rather insignificant when you look at the lacquer decoration surrounding them. I particularly like the leopard/cheetah!

Chinoiserie furniture

Chinoiserie handle and escutcheon

Leopard

Chinoiserie cheetah/leopard, and escutcheon

Delicate double round handles in the Saloon, no escutcheon around the lock. Maybe this drawer wasn’t used very often? It’s from a beautiful lady’s writing table.

Writing table

Lady’s Writing Table

I’m sure you can guess the object below…

Harpsichord

Harpsichord

Below is the super small door handle on the false door in the Library. It would have to be unnoticeable so that it wouldn’t detract from the overall effect when the disguised door was closed.

False door

Library false door handle

Also in the Library, the huge writing desk…

Writing desk

Chippendale writing desk in the Library

The lower cupboards around the room also have no escutcheon (see below). This could be so that visitors’ attentions focused on the wealth displayed in the shelves upon shelves of books, rather than on other little details.

Cupboard

Library cupboard

The Medal Cabinet, with a military row of vertical drawer handles:

Cabinet drawers

Medal Cabinet row of drawer handles

What’s this piece of furniture, with no escutcheon around the lock? The picture next to it might give you a clue…

Clock

John Harrison longcase clock

It’s the John Harrison longcase clock! John Harrison is the gentleman in the photo to the left of the clock. Did you guess correctly?

An absolutely gorgeous ecutcheon below, extremely elaborate and decorative!

Escutcheon

Elaborate Chinese escutcheon

And finally, for something completely different…

LionRoar! This chap is carved around the very large keyhole of a wooden chest. The whole chest is intricately carved, interesting to examine, and very heavy to move! It dates from the late 17th century.

We hope you’ve enjoyed having a closer look at some of the details on the furniture here at Nostell. If you have any requests for future blog posts, please let us know and we’ll write one for you!

Spotlight on: State Beds

If you read the National Trust magazine, then you will have read one of the articles in the Autumn 2012 edition. It’s an article about the huge variety of state beds within Trust properties, which got us thinking about the different styles of state bed we have here inside Nostell.

Today’s spotlight blog post brings together our state beds for a closer look at them – large and small! (You’ll see what we mean about small state beds when you reach the end of the post…)

The state bed in the Crimson Bedroom is incredibly striking, and was certainly created to impress as this room has always been used as a guest bedroom. It’s a George III ebonised and parcel-gilt four post bed with shallow domed canopy, close-covered with crimson silk on turned fluted front posts and block feet, with crimson brocade upholstery. There is a reason why the crimson material is still so bright and colourful…

Bed

Crimson Room state bed

…and the reason is that the material is modern! It was made specially for the Crimson Room bed when the room was damaged by the fire at Nostell in the 1980s. The design followed a drawing for the hangings of a bed in the Nostell archives. The state bed itself may have been desighed by James Paine, as we have drawings of a bed very similar to this one by Paine in the archives.

The State Dressing Room was originally designed to be the State Bedroom, and was meant to host the most important guests who visited Nostell. The room changed to being the State Dresing Room in the late nineteenth century, when a four-poster bed was put in the room next door (the present State Bedroom).

Bed

State Dressing Room bed

The bed in the State Dressing Room is a George III green painted and parcel gilt four poster bed. It was designed and made by Thomas Chippendale, and cost £54. The bed is upholstered in modern hand-painted chintz, because the original material was smoke-damaged during the 1980s fire. The State Dressing Room is a really good example of how whole rooms were made to match the bed – if you look carefully you’ll see how chair and stool covers have been made out of the same material as the bed hangings, to create a matching suite.

The grandest bed in the whole of Nostell Priory is the one in the State Bedroom. State beds were created so that if a member of royalty came to visit houses and country estates, the landowners had somewhere suitable for them to sleep. As royalty did not come to every house in the countyry, state beds were not often slept in. This meant that state beds became a status symbol, because if you could afford to buy a highly decorative bed which quite possibly may never be slept in, then you were indeed very rich! Thus, a state bed was often a way to show off your wealth to your friends and acquaintances. During a house party at Nostell in 1936, this room was slept in by the Duchess of Westminster.

Bed

State bed in the State Bedroom

Nostell’s state bed is a nineteeth century green painted and parcel-gilt lit a la polonaise with an oval fluted canopy and domed interior. It is covered in buttoned eau-de-nil cloth, with hangings of flower-printed corded cotton. The material is extremely fragile, and so the curtain and blinds in the State Bedroom are never opened in order to prevent deterioration due to light damage. It is a beautiful bed, and the domed top is rather impressive!

When you move off the state floor and up to the second floor of the house, the beds become less extravagant. (This does not mean that they are not beautiful, as I think they are much more pleasing to the eye, and are certainly more inviting to sleep in!)

Bed

Peacock Bedroom bed

In the Peacock Bedroom is an early Victorian bird’s eye maple bed, shown in the above photograph. Some of the other furniture in this room (wardrobe, desk, dressing table, mirror) were designed to match the bed. The drapes would definitely have been necessary to hang around the bed to keep the draughts out, as the North Bedrooms are very very cold!

The two photographs below show two further four-poster beds in the North Bedrooms which we are researching to find out more about them. The rooms were slept in until the very late twentieth century by the family, and have relatively modern hangings. In the first photo (the Big North bed), you can see how high the bed is off the ground – it’s the highest at Nostell. A small set of mahogany steps would have been used to get onto the bed, which have unfortunately been lost. These days you would need to take a running jump!

Bed

Big North Bedroom bed

Bed

Blue Bedroom bed

What is particularly interesting about the Blue Bedroom bed is that the fabric of the bed hangings were modelled on the fabric of one of the beds in Nostell’s Dolls’ House. Other pieces of furniture in the room were also modelled on those in the Dolls’ House. Look out for a future blog post where I’ll compare the two rooms in more detail.

We think that the beds in the North Bedrooms are much more inviting to sleep in than the grand state beds shown previously!

However, it’s not only the main house at Nostell that boasts state beds – the Dolls’ House does too! The interior of Nostell’s Dolls’ House is decorated in the mid-eighteenth century style, and contains almost all of its original furnishings.

Bed in a Dolls' House

Dolls’ House Yellow Bedroom bed

The Yellow Bedroom bed is possibly similar to what the Crimson Bedroom looked liked when Nostell was built (1735 onwards), as the Crimson Room used to be known as the ‘Amber Room’. Unlike the human-sized state beds, the ones in the Dolls’ House are only around five inches high!

Bed in a Dolls' House

Dolls’ House Red Bedroom bed

The Red Bedroom in the Dolls’ House has undoubtedly the grandest miniature state bed (and comes complete with a grand lady, too!)

Although it’s unlikely that our Dolls’ House was definitely modelled on Nostell Priory, it’s fun to find similarities between the rooms. However, the Nursery Bedroom (below) in the Dolls’ House was the inspiration for the Blue Bedroom inside the main house. The fabric provided inspiration for the bed hangings and curtains, the dressing table and mirror were copied, and so was the colour scheme for the walls. Even the fire place is uncannily similar!

Bed in a Dolls' House

Dolls’ House Nursery bedroom

We hope you’ve enjoyed this spotlight tour of Nostell’s state beds. Which is your favourite state bed at Nostell? Let us know!

The House Team

What do we use cotton buds for?

What do we use cotton buds for? You might be surprised to learn that we use them to help conserve some our precious furniture here at Nostell Priory.

Cotton buds are useful as they are very soft and very small, making them perfect to get inside the nooks and crannies of furniture to clean away the dirt, dust and grime that is attractive to pests and which aid an object’s deterioration. They are also cheap to acquire, which is another bonus!

Cleaning with a cotton bud

Cleaning the gilt decoration on a cabinet in the Tapestry Room with a cotton bud

One of our conservation tasks was to clean the two large cabinets in the Tapestry Room.

The first is known as the ‘Flemish’ cabinet, and is a tortoiseshell and ebony cabinet on a stand. It has eleven drawers surrounding a central cupboard, and is framed by columns. It dates from 1670 – 1700.

Cabinet in the Tapestry Room

‘Flemish’ cabinet in the Tapestry Room

Examining a cabinet in the Tapestry Room

We shine a bright lamp at the cabinet to examine for pests, any mould, woodworm holes etc so that we can check its condition

Cleaning a cabinet in the Tapestry Room

White gloves are worn to protect the tortoiseshell, ebony, and gilt from the oils and grease on our fingers.

Once the ‘Flemish’cabinet was completely clean, we moved onto the second cabinet in the room. This is the ‘Golle’ cabinet.

Cabinet in the Tapestry Room

The Pierre Golle cabinet

The Golle cabinet is made out from ebony, marble and marquetry. It’s thought to be made by Pierre Gole in France. It has twenty-four various-sized drawers  (both visible and secret drawers!) which surround a central cupboard enclosing a mirror-lined and stepped interior. The cabinet is panelled with light brown marble imitating buildings in landscapes, the borders inlaid with brass and pewter scrolling foliage and plaques and painted to imitate marble. It is sat on giltwood paw feet. The cabinet dates from 1670-1700.

Pierre Goll’s cabinet was an heirloom of the d’Hervat family, and was brought to Nostell by the 5th Baronet’s Swiss wife Sabine in 1781 as part of her dowry.

Cabinet in the Tapestry Room

The front of the cabinet is magnificently decorated, and when you open the drawers you can see the bare wood. The craftsmanship behind the beautiful exterior can be appreciated.

Cabinet in the Tapestry Room

Elaborate brass escutcheon on one of the drawers on the Golle cabinet. It is decorative rather than practical, as the drawers would probably not have been used often and the wood surround would not need as much protection from rough key usage than door locks may need. Look out for a post on Nostell’s wide variety of escutcheons soon!

Cleaning a cabinet in the Tapestry Room

Work in progress

Eventually we finished cleaning the cabinets. We did the work in front of the public as part of our conservation in action programme, and they really enjoyed seeing the cabinets illuminated, as usually the Tapestry Room is kept slightly darker to preserve the tapestries which hang on the walls.

We hope you enjoy looking at the cabinets when you visit Nostell!

Spotlight on: Physical Forces

Agent of Deterioration No. 3 – PHYSICAL FORCES

One of the most visual agents of deterioration is that of physical forces, and is perhaps the foremost agent which springs to mind when we are asked not to touch things in historic houses. Although we are trying to make our collections more accessible and engaging to visitors, hopefully this blog post will show you why sometimes it is in an object’s best interests to leave well alone if possible.

The main effects to objects are shock, vibration, abrasion and gravity. Often these effects are unintentionally inflicted upon objects.

For example, the photograph below shows a detail from the corner of one of the pier tables in the Top Hall. Look carefully at the arm and shoulder – it has recently been restored as the paintwork had been rubbed off, showing the different layers underneath.

Carefully restored paintwork on one of the tables in the Top Hall

The restoration makes it look as if the figure has always been in perfect condition. Yet this has not been the case…

Look at the picture below, which shows the damage that repeated rubbing had inflicted upon the carving and paintwork. This was caused by a number of factors, all human related. The positioning of the tables are such that when a wedding is held in the Top Hall, visitors come in and brush against the tables. In the past, visitors have also tried to use the figures as hooks to hang their handbags and coats on! After a few years, you can easily see the physical damage caused.

Damage caused by physical forces

Physical forces can be cumulative and occur over time (as seen above) or can be sudden and dramatic, such as dropping an item and breaking it, or larger disasters such as earthquakes.

Effects of physical forces include scratches, dents, holes, rips, tears, and breaking. Below are various photographs of objects at Nostell Priory which have suffered from physical forces. See if you can find a connecting factor between all of the images!

Scratches and a rip on the surface of the billiard table – too enthusiastic a player, perhaps?

Close up of the tear in the baize on the billiard table

Wear and tear at the top of the spine of books in the library. This is why you should be very careful when taking books from shelves!

Indentation in the Top Hall floor. It’s possible that this was caused by a high heeled shoe initially, and has increased over time.

Sofa in the State Bedroom. This was caused by a small child who started plucking stuffing from the arm before he could be stopped. We’ve placed a covering of netting over the corner to prevent idle hands continuing the damage!

Base of one of the lamps in the State Dining Room. Due to the natural low positioning of the base, it has gained lots of chips and scratches over the years. These have possibly come from shoes kicking against it, things being dropped on it, children playing near it, who knows?

Below is a photo of the servants’ stairs. In this instance, it demonstrates a case of physical damage that is not all doom and gloom! The repetitive movements of servants running up and down the stairs for many years has worn away the stonework, creating curved steps rather than flat ones. However, rather than being a case for restorers to repair any damage, the changed look of the stairs adds to the character and history of the house, and gives it charm.

Finishing on a happy note – not all physical forces are bad! The worn away stone steps bring the house alive and show the years of ‘upstairs downstairs’ that have taken place at Nostell.

Did you guess the connecting factor – that’s right, it’s us, humans!

It’s often noted that the worst threat to historic objects are humans, and this is probably true. However if we are careful how we treat them there is no reason why we can’t enjoy these collections for many years to come.

Ellie

Woodworm Hunters

Now is around the time of year when pests start emerging and flying around once they have hatched and eaten through the wood that eggs were laid. This means that we are extra vigilant when opening and closing the house for any insects that we may see, so that we can identify problem areas.

Recently, we have noticed woodworm lurking in the state bathrooms. This meant an investigation was needed! We didn’t want any infestation (if there was one) to spread to any more of the state rooms.

Woodworm that we collected earlier

Woodworm is the universally known name for the Common Furniture Beetle. People know that woodworm are around and in their houses when they see the familiar woodworm holes (see the photo below).

Woodworm holes

Woodworm can also be known as bookworm (in addition to other paper boring insects), as seen in one of Nostell’s library books, above.

Holes can be present when the woodworm are active or whether the woodworm are not there any more. The way that we can tell is by seeing if there is any frass around the holes. Frass is the sawdust that is the by-product of the beetles chewing their way through wood.

If you look carefully you can see the small piles of frass which indicate the presence of active furniture beetles.

Today we were checking underneath the bath in the State Bathroom for signs of the pesky insect.

Underneath the bath – it has been a long time since anybody looked under here, if the dust is anything to go by!

And it’s not surprising why, as the sides of the bath are solid marble and had to be taken off professionally!

We found what looked like frass and a few dead furniture beetles. However it seemed as though the beetles we had found were coming through the floorboards elsewhere in the room. Further investigation will be needed, and possible professional conservators brought in.

Just to be sure, we treated the area to ensure that no woodworm would emerge from the areas where we found the dead beetles.

Another interesting task encountered by the conservation team at Nostell Priory, and indeed National Trust properties all over Great Britain!

Ellie

Muniments Room Conservation

One of the most striking rooms inside Nostell is the Muniments Room. It was the main hub of the house and would be where the Estate Steward would have controlled the papers and documents that organised the running of the house and wider estate. ‘Muniments’ could be anything like maps, wage slips, receipts, notebooks, and archives of the Nostell estate. Nostell’s Muniments Room is noteworthy because of the surviving interior fittings and cupboards, which were made specially for the room.

Today it was time to give the Muniments Room a good clean and sort out, in order to open up the room to visitors. Previously, the room had been a ‘holding space’ for some furniture that is now in the Breakfast Room. Now the furniture is out and we looked forward to visitors being able to come into this room. It’s often the more functional rooms that servants would have used that people are interested in.

Drawers in the Muniments Room cupboards

When we began the winter clean for this room, we found mould growth in most of the drawers. We left them out on the floor for a few months to thoroughly dry out all of the mould to enable us to remove it. Dry, inactive mould is much easier to remove than moist, active mould.

Preparing the work space

We start by cleaning off the more obvious marks of dirt and substances that are in the cupboards

Occasionally we have birds which fly down the chimney and into the Muniments Room, like this jackdaw! We caught it with a combination of sheets and a basket, before letting it free into the parkland. We are looking into putting caps on the chimney to stop the birds inadvertantly coming in. We had two jackdaws in as many days!

An unfortunate addition to birds flying around in the Muniments Room…

…which is carefully wiped off with warm water. Some people have all the difficult jobs, sorry Angie!

Lots of debris had come down the fireplace and needed to be vacuumed up.

The drawers were put back in after we had taken off the mould growths.

One of the most beautiful cupboards lies behind this door. It’s behind the door to keep the room looking symmetrical, as there is a door at the opposite side of the room. Nostell was designed to be a symmetrical house.

Original labels survive on some of the shelf compartments…

…including some which are in French! These could date from when Sabine lived in the house (the Swiss wife of the 5th Baronet), or could be an indication of how French was a language for the educated and showed good taste and education.

Here is how the room looks for visitors completely empty so that they can wander around and look inside some of the cupboards.

A job well done!

The Muniments Room  is now ready for the public to go in and enjoy! Hopefully in the future we will recreate it as a ‘working’ muniments room, with replica documents and objects for visitors to look at.

Ellie

How many National Trust staff does it take to change a light bulb?

One of the jobs that conservation assistants do on a regular basis is one that you also do at home. From the title of this blog post you can probably guess what the task is – that’s right, changing the light bulbs! I haven’t counted how many we have, but at least four or five bulbs fail every week and need changing (this could be due to the type of bulb used, a poor connection, or faulty wiring). After all, the electrics at Nostell are fairly old!
 
Many of the bulbs are in items which are easily reached, such as table lamps. Others, however, are in far more awkward places! It was these awkward bulbs that the conservation team were changing today. We had eight bulbs to change. All of the bulbs today were in the two lanterns which hang above the main staircases inside Nostell.
 
One of the lanterns is by the famous furniture maker Thomas Chippendale, and one is a very good replica.
 
The above picture is the Chippendale lantern. It is a George III gilt-bronze hanging lantern. It has a hexagonal body with narrow uprights cast with bullrushes and upspringing foliage surmounted by rococco urns and joined by arched and scrolled bands entwined with flower swags rising to a scrolled cresting. The scrolled base joined by husk swags to a tapering finial surmounted by a chimera. Although the lantern is not mentioned in Chippendale’s surviving accounts, it corresponds closely to one of his designs in his 1762 Cabinet Maker’s Director.
 
The other lantern is an excellent replica, made by Linford Bridgeman Limited in 1998, and is made of giltwood with a hexagonal body.
 
In this blog post we’re sharing with you the process of going and changing Nostell’s most awkward lightbulbs.
 
 
Team Harness!
For safety, we have to be attached to the building at all times.
Why is this, you may ask?
 
 
Because we are going on to the roof, and harnesses stop us from falling off. We will be climbing into the roof cavity in the ceiling.
 
 
Open Sesame!
 
 
Not only one person has to fit into the tiny roof space…
 
 
as in goes the second one!
 
 
We’re attached inside the roof space too, in case the floor below us falls in (it shouldn’t do, but just in case..)
 
 
 
Up in the roof spcae we’re getting ready to wind down the lantern so that it can be cleaned, and the bulbs can be changed.
 
 
The winch.
 
 
As the lantern is lowered, the conservation team gather below, mesmerised by the sight (and are ready to catch it if it falls!)
 
 
Two become three….
 
 
Angie anchors the lantern as it comes onto the stairs, and the signal is given to stop the lowering.
 
 
Changing the light bulbs.
 
 
We also take the opportunity to clean the lantern whilst it is down. This is done with pony hair brushes and low suction vacuum cleaners.
 
 
Steadying the lantern whilst it is cleaned.
 
 
A smiling Julie dusts the lantern. Who says we don’t have fun at work?
 
 
It’s a team effort to do it quickly yet thoroughly and carefully, as the lantern is in a vulnerable position when it is so low down.
 
 
From our position in the roof space, we can look down where the cable and chain goes to see the team cleaning the lantern far below us. Seeing things from a different angle, you might say!
 
 
The modern winch (from the replica lantern).
 
 
The old winch. Both are quite stiff and need a lot of strength to winch at a steady, slow speed to minimise swinging of the lanterns.
 
 
 Inside the tiny roof space.
 
We are finished! The signal is given that we can raise up the lantern. Once it was secured, the last task is to make sure that the hatch on the roof is locked up safely, which brings to an end a good morning’s work for the team.
 
That is, until the bulbs go and we have to do it all over again!
 
Ellie