I joined the National Trust in September 2011 as an Operational Risk Business Partner in London and the South East. Clandon is one of the properties that I’ve supported since I started.
On the night of the fire I was on a walking holiday in Scotland and only saw the pictures on the BBC website whilst browsing on my phone. On my return a few days later I arrived at Clandon to become part of the Project Team. I have fond memories of the caravan that became our HQ in those early weeks.
The biggest challenge I had was waste material. It was clear early on that the ash and debris within the building was contaminated following the fire. This caused concerns regarding the health of staff and contractors working within the building and also those responsible for cleaning recovered artefacts. It also meant that the waste material removed would require specialist disposal.
I appointed an environmental consultant as specialist advice was required and after my first meeting with them, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. As waste started to leave the site, I was able to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
I’ve learned a lot from the Project Team about Clandon, its place in history and why it’s important to reconstruct those key features.
Although I’m part of a national team within my field, I work independently visting many different properties and people across the region, so for me it‘s been great to be part of a team working closely together, sharing ideas and supporting each other. I’ve also learned a lot professionally as the challenges faced at each turn have needed a bespoke solution.