‘Let there be light(s)!’

Next up, the Great Hall tree. From our point of view, a little more problematic as we have our beloved house to protect. As last years tree nearly touched the ceiling, it was chainsaw time again for Rich and we ended up with a 25ish foot tree being trimmed down to about 19 feet. The famous Paul Poulton ‘Jack of all trades’ was also on hand to drill sneaky little hole in the base of the tree so it sits neatly in it’s base. To prepare, Lin and Katy played a quick game of musical chairs so there was a clear run to get the tree in the East Hall door, and straight in. Having got the tree trailer as close as possible to the doors, wet weather policy had to be enforced to keep muddy footprints out of the house, so it was ‘blue shoes’ time at the ‘grab a branch’ party. The tree was man-handled off the trailer and straight in the door which was a little bit of a tight squeeze for the tree and us. With a particular amount of careful measurement and a bit of luck, the tree was just about the right size to fit through the doors of the Great Hall and still have room to move! With some gentle persuasion the tree slowly rose and got closer and closer to the paintings and closer and closer to the ceiling! Ta-da! a truly magnificent tree. Even if it was a little bigger than was expected. The base that Paul had made was just about perfect, and could even be adjusted to get the tree straight. Now the decorating began, and it was down to James, Katie, Lin, Katy Cath and myself to give it a bit of Victorian bling. (Singing along to Katie’s Michael Buble cd was not compulsory) Although it didn’t feel like it at the time, it was actual work and all in the name of enhancing visitor enjoyment. There are only a few rooms decorated and open to visitors, due to the winter clean schedule, so it felt appropriate that we could dress up the rooms that can be opened, and all contributed to a fantastic festive looking house.


About arlingtoncourtblog

Welcome to my blog! I've been keeping it to document my training as a Conservation Assistant for the National Trust at Dyrham Park. View all posts by arlingtoncourtblog

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