Hello all! I hope you’re having a fantastic time over the Christmas period and that you’re all ready to welcome 2013, we’re certainly excited about next year here at Quarry Bank and we have some exciting news that we will be sharing with you over the next few weeks!
But for now I’d like to introduce you to two of many of our treasured volunteers here at Quarry Bank; Steve Roberts, a Volunteer Education Guide and Terry Harland, a Group Welcome Volunteer. I caught up with them recently to find out all about their volunteering stories.
Terry, a member of the National Trust member for over 30 years, had always intended to become a volunteer for our organisation “in appreciation of the pleasure I have experienced over the years”. Terry chose to volunteer at Quarry Bank out of love for the property and the nostalgia it induces for him; “the sounds and smells in the Mill invoke happy memories of my mother who was a weaver , albeit in a woollen mill in Yorkshire”. Steve was seeking a new challenge after retiring as Head of Claims for an insurance company which allowed him to meet and interact with new people and took up the role as it “provided a way of using my time to help teachers and pupils”.
Steve loves the challenges he faces in his role, this year saw the introduction of new educational tours, which had both a new tones and new learning objectives which Steve has to ensure is compatible with the needs of each school group. One of his volunteering highlights included one of his greatest challenges; providing a tour for visually impaired children.“We arranged with the interpreters for the demonstrations to include as much handling of objects as possible. The pupils enjoyed all the sensory experiences including the noise of the machines, the different smells in different parts of the mill and the feel of the cotton and objects.”
Steve, like Terry, is often called upon to help out in other roles and enjoys the variety provided by such opportunities but mainly Steve’s greatest joy comes from helping “all visitors I encounter to enjoy the experience at Quarry Bank”.
Terry’s favourite aspect of his time at Quarry Bank is meeting all our visitors and introducing them to the property, whether they be in huge groups from other countries or individually, and has appreciated all the support and guidance provided by the management and staff at Quarry Bank which for Terry makes it such a wonderful place to volunteer. But most of all Terry loves the chance to dress up in Victorian costume, and Terry, Steve and I became a team this year at Victorian Christmas and had a fantastic couple of weekends all dressed up! Christmas at the Mill is one of Terry’s highlights and if you’ve ever visited us at Christmas you will no doubt have admired the sumptuous decorations, and the transformation of Quarry Bank into a Victorian Christmas wonderland is overseen by Terry and Jenny (featured in the costume post), a task Terry thoroughly enjoys every year.
What shines through when talking to Steve and Terry about their experiences as volunteers, is their genuine enthusiasm and the warmth of affection they hold for Quarry Bank, and it is such attitudes, thankfully shared by all our volunteers that contribute to the excellent visitor service and the depth of experience that everyone at the property strives to deliver.
Happy New Year!