Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Work Experience at Montacute House

A few weeks ago, before the opening of the house, we had Ellen, a work experience student, come to us for a week. She was very enthusiastic and is planning to write an alternative house guide for us, aimed at teenagers, in the hope of  catering for this age group which makes up the minority of our visitors. Here are her impressions of the Trust.

During my half term holiday I spent a week with the National Trust doing work experience at Montacute House. Before coming to the Trust, I never knew how much effort it takes to keep the house running like clockwork, and make it as enjoyable as possible for families such as my own when we visit. I thoroughly admire their dedication and commitment, especially as many of those who contribute to the success of Montacute House are volunteers who have given up their valuable time to preserve the history of their local area.

During my week of work experience, I was very lucky to be given a private tour of the house by the house steward, Mark Rogers. I was amazed at how knowledgeable he was about the house, and how passionate. He showed me around an area of the house which is meant to be haunted by Lord Curzon, and with much of the furniture covered in dust sheets and the window shutters closed, it did feel quite creepy! I found myself looking over my shoulder rather a lot as I walked around the house for the rest of the week! 

I helped set up a couple of displays around the house, including the samplers collection on the first floor, which was really enjoyable and gave me a great sense of achievement, knowing that I had helped prepare Montacute House for the beginning of the season in March. I have enjoyed my week of work experience so much that I am going to start volunteering at the house as much as possible in my free time in the hope of inspiring other young people and instilling in them the same passion for preserving our heritage that has been instilled in me. Thank you, National Trust!

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