Category Archives: Back to Backs

‘The Last Post…?’

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‘And now, the end is near…’

While we were in the neighbourhood, a trip to ‘Back to Backs’ seemed like a plan! This unique property is slap bang in the middle of Birmingham city and has been the haunt of trainee Husnara who has recently completed an amazing wallpaper exhibition relating to the properties. They are basically a bunch of really small houses bunched together (small enough for me to totally lose count how many times I bumped my head or stubbed a toe!) sharing a common courtyard, washroom, outside toilets, and made for a real close community vibe when they were occupied in back in the day… As the buildings around them changed over time, they reamain an amazing snap-shot of the cities history. A bit of a fluke they survived! fellow trainee Bethany treated us to an after-hours trip around Dudmaston Hall, (A beautiful house set in lush grounds) the highlight of which was a Henry Moore sculpture in the property’s contemporary art collection. We were quickly whisked off to nearby Wilderhope Manor for some grub, a pint, a chat and a well earned rest. The property has had a recent face-lift and has been split up into dorms. Of the many trips up & down the winding staircases, on only one occasion I didn’t bump my head or trip over a floor beam. The reason for our visit was our end of training course presentation the next day. (Upon arrival, my quip to fellow trainee Mel -who was a little dubious about our accommodation- that she was booked to sleep in the barn, went down like a sack of the proverbial.) Having been fed and watered, t’was time to hit the sack ready for the final day. Slap up breakfast devoured we all headed downstairs for our project presentations. All were tough acts to follow so when it was my turn to go, any mental preparation I had done went out the nearest window. Along with any ‘speech giving’ confidence I had managed to round up. Somehow I muddled through and before I knew it myself the other trainees and esteemed guests were standing in the rain and wind outside for the graduation/ presentation/photo op. Adding a touch of glamour to the proceedings was none other than the lovely Helen Lloyd who wrote all the good bits in the ‘Manual of Housekeeping’… The conservators Bible….

Having plenty of time to reflect on my year during my journey home, (while singing along to an awesome road-trip playlist) I have lost track of how many people I would wish to thank. The staff at Dyrham, have been relentlessly amazing from day one. Every skill I’ve learnt has been nurtured and every opportunity has been explored. I have had without doubt the best year of my working life and although it’s been at an amazing opportunity to work at an wonderful property, the staff have made it such an awesome experience. Most importantly the Lovely (but bossy) Katy Dainton needs a special mention. Not only did she put up with me for 9 months, but was fundamental in my Dyrham experience. Much love also has to go out to Eilidh, Cath and Lin for their help and support as well as my beloved team, Bridget, Margaret & Jane.
It’s been emotional……………

Stay Tuned…