Birmingham Museums Trust set up the Conservation Club as a way of getting the local community involved in their museums. Our wonderful volunteers have given over 500 hours of their time to cleaning our heritage sites. They have learnt about preventive conservation - the way we keep the historic houses and their contents safe from damage from thing like damp or insect pests and been truly fantastic in caring for our museums.
I really enjoyed meeting all the volunteers at the training session held at Aston Hall in December. We don’t overheat the building as an effective way of keeping the humidity levels at a safe level for all the wooden furniture in the house so the building is not the warmest in the winter! But the enthusiasm and energy of our volunteers sustained us through the session. After the training, all of our volunteers were experts at handling the portable vacuum cleaners strapped around their waists. They could use the variable suction to avoid damaging fragile surfaces, and they knew what to look out for in the way of rodent or insect pest infestations.
The team is brilliant. They are so dedicated to caring for Birmingham Museums Historic Houses which is sometimes particularly unglamorous. There are 20 of them into total. You can see a few of them here in action here:
As a team we have now carried out a thorough clean and condition check of Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall, Soho House, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter and a large part of the Museum’s Collections Centre.