Bugs and brushes: waking up Speke Hall

Ellen Roe carefully dusts a glass lamp at Speke © Emma Williams

Ellen Roe carefully dusts a glass lamp at Speke

Latest update 12.02.2014 12:06

They’re lifting off the dust covers at Speke Hall from 19 – 23 Feb as the house prepares to come back to life after the long winter season. However – it’s not a question of getting out the Pledge and giving everywhere a quick spray ready for visitors – as Taya Drake, Speke’s House Steward explains: 

'We wanted our visitors to see how we actually care for and prepare Speke Hall for the new season' says Taya. 'So, across half-term we’ll be demonstrating the curious techniques we use for cleaning items in the collections here at Speke'.

Hogs, ponies and bugs

'Our conservation volunteers will be down in the Victorian kitchen and scullery over half-term using hogs hair and pony hair brushes, lint free dusters and renaissance wax to clean the collection of lacquered pots, kitchen utensils and wooden furniture.
Visitors will for the first time be able to access the Scullery, and on the afternoons of 19,20,22,23 Feb we will be showing how we care for textiles using museum vacuums and mesh which ensures we don’t damage precious materials and tapestries. This work will be taking place in St Raymond’s Room which is rarely open to the public'.

Meanwhile a children’s bug trail around the house will show younger visitors how tiny insects such as beetles and moths can cause huge damage precious objects by chomping through paper, books, wood and textiles.     

New coastal walk

Outdoors, Speke Ranger Ian Ford is busy making sure the gardens and estate are tidy after the long winter break. 'There’s plenty to do across the estate, even if the weather isn’t fantastic' says Ian. 'We’ve got a new coastal walk which is great for spotting winter birdlife, a new woodland trail – and of course our Victorian maze and  children’s play area. I think everyone is ready to get a breath of fresh air after what seems to have been a long winter – and Speke is a great place to come for a family day out'.    

Speke’s Stables Tea Room will be open for delicious cakes, sandwiches, hot and cold drinks, whilst Home Farm Restaurant will be offering hot meals, soups – and Liverpool speciality pud ‘Wet Nellie’.