The Centre is now closed to visitors but the work on conserving, planning and preparing for the next season continues. In fact, the Winter months are the busiest time for some of our volunteers as we can remove items from display for cleaning, preservation and restoration. Our band of dedicated volunteers meet each Saturday and this month our focus is on returning our displays to stores. This week we were conserving uniforms that have been on display and returning the smaller artefacts to storage.
On Saturday, Roger, Phil and Sam undressed the mannequins and prepared all the removed clothing items for freezing prior to cleaning ready for storage. Did you know that freezing items, especially clothing, is an important part of the conservation process? It kills of any insects and their larvae that might have taken up residence on the items whilst on display and ensures that they can't cause any damaged during Winter storage. Items are frozen for at least three weeks. We then carefully but thoroughly vacuum each item to remove dead bugs, larvae and droppings leaving our precious clothing clean and bug free before being stored.
The task at times was complicated due to the position the mannequins had been originally placed in but the team enjoyed the day especially as it was completed to plan. Christine and Kate started planning new display ideas, Linda continued the important work of photograph conservation and recording the metadata, whilst Sam, Rod, Sue and Caterina completed some of the backlog tasks we had planned. Our recent grant from Museums Development East Midlands (MDEM) of £500 is helping us to Banish the Backlog.
We are always looking for new volunteers especially those who would like to learn new skills such as caring for collections, are interested in researching the archived stories to support our new season’s displays and are keen to join our enthusiastic group. No prior experience is necessary and if you are interested then please contact us via the website and ask for the Curator, we look forward to hearing from you.