I’m handing over to Sophie for this post, our new Visitor Experience Intern.
Hello! My name is Sophie and I’ll be bringing you behind the scenes sneak-peeks, tales of the staff and volunteers hard work in the Mill and across the estate, and lots more stories from the goldmine that is Quarry Bank’s archive.
I was lucky enough to join the team back in November, as part of the Visitor Experience department. Since then I have had all sorts of tasks to be getting on with: digitally cataloguing press cuttings, updating Quarry Bank’s Facebook page, writing and editing articles for the website and fun with some power tools, helping to install the beautiful new exhibition, ‘Drawn out of Love’, (see last weeks post). I also assist Kate (Visitor Experience Officer) with answering inquiries, taking group bookings and all sorts of event prep.
What I really love about my role is the variety; each day is different and gives me the opportunity to work in an environment steeped in history, with so much more to uncover and share with people just like you. Working at Quarry Bank has already given me so much back-of-house experience of working in a busy National Trust property and I am excited at the prospect of preparing for Quarry Bank’s busy Easter and May Day events, as we approach Spring.
Now we are very much in the swing of the New Year (or trying our best to be), I look forward to a new project, of my very own, cataloguing the Quarry Bank Collection online, to give you all access to the many weird and wonderful objects in the Mill and Apprentice House, as well as the ones hidden away with Ally (Collections and Archives Officer) in the Curatorial department. Helping me to do this will be Quarry Bank’s Collections and Archives Interns, Helen and Josh, who have been busy photographing and labeling the collection, ready for me to upload to the National Trust collections website, which you can view here:
Helen tells us a bit more about what they’ve been up to during their internships:
We’ve been slowly working through the collection with our volunteer photographer, Nick King, having an archive ‘photo shoot’ each week, so Sophie can digitise them. We’ve photographed everything, from old games of draughts, to fragile barely-there garden tools from the apprentice garden. I’m also very excited to be transcribing letters – it is incredible to be reading the philosophies of British politicians and finding out about the trials and tribulations of the Greg’s. Josh and I have had some debates whilst deciphering what a particular scrawled word actually says.
And Josh adds:
Photographing the collection is really important as it gives greater access to the collections currently in store. Instead of the current limited access, people will be able to enjoy the whole collection, on a system which has the ability to display over 5000 objects. Digital cataloguing also ensures the objects at Quarry Bank are, not only available today, but are safeguarded for future generations.
I’ll leave you with our top moments as interns so far:
– Escaping the office to gather information and chat to volunteers for an article about Quarry Bank’s winter walks.
– Getting competitive with a Christmas quiz at the Volunteer party.
-Learning all about the Quarry Bank project and the exciting plans for development in the future.
-Transcribing a letter, written to Robert Hyde Greg, from radical liberal reformer Richard Cobden.
– Navigating Santa’s sleigh across some creaky floorboards to the events store cupboard.
– Installing the new exhibition, ‘Drawn out of Love’, using a very modern spirit-level – an iPhone!
– Venturing out to the very grand (and cold) Lyme Park for a Cadbury’s Easter training day.
– And of course, lots of sweet treats that find their way up to the staff corridor…
Look out for a blog post about Quarry Bank’s Learning Interns very soon.
If you like the sound of interning for the National Trust, follow the link below to search for current opportunities across the country.