In the days after the fire, we mapped all the collection objects that, because of the pace of the fire, sadly weren’t among other collection items salvaged on the night. The duck, along with two parrots, a pair of chickens, three more ducks and, rather surprisingly for animal harmony, a cat and two lions, had to be left to fend for themselves.
And what strength…what guts, that duck has shown us all.
Tuesday 8 September was a big day at Clandon Park. It was the day our archaeologists started to pick through the debris in the Saloon, a beautifully grand room on the ground floor. Carefully briefed with our plans and so aware of where any objects might be, they began to trowel through the ash. The first object to be dug out was our little duck friend who had flown all the way from the first floor, dodging a collapsing wall, falling roof and ceiling to land safely about 40 feet away.
That moment felt nothing short of miraculous, and the news spread quickly across the ‘salvage village’ and was met with big smiles. Ever hopeful that objects could be found amongst the ash, it was fantastic to have our optimism rewarded. The duck has slight damage, but is remarkably intact after a fall through fire.