Thank you to our Christmas volunteers
There's nothing quite like a National Trust property at Christmas time, from trees of twinkling lights to creating Christmases of times gone by. What better time to say thank you the army of dedicated volunteers working behind the scenes who bring it all to life. From craft volunteers who've been busy beading, knitting and making since the end of summer to those who don the red suit for the festive season.
Thanks to our green fingered visitors and volunteers
Baddesley has brought the outdoors in this Christmas to celebrate the festive season colourfully, drawing on their own beautiful gardens. All summer long Baddesley's gardeners, staff, volunteers and visitors have been collecting and drying flowers.
Everyone has had a chance to get involved by helping to grow and dry flowers. It's given our supporters a chance to contribute towards the decorating of Baddesley Clinton this Christmas. Once all of the dried flowers were collected, teams of volunteers got together to create the amazing beautiful wreaths, swags and posies that are now adorning the house. We hope that those who helped us grow and dry the flowers will be back to see the finished result!
Lanterns at the ready
The volunteer team at Shugborough have been working hard since September to make the estate ready for the festive season. 15 volunteers have created 300 lanterns ready to be displayed in Park Farm courtyard. They will also be on hand to help visitors create their own lanterns, every weekend in December.
Over 4 days in November, a team of 12 volunteers will be working hard to decorate 10 trees across the estate. Festive visitors will be able to marvel in the adventures, travels and triumphs of the Anson brothers with this festive display. One of our special trees was made by hand by Steven, one of our wonderful ranger volunteers.
Who needs a Christmas tree anyway?
At Sudbury our volunteers have been hard at work since late summer preparing for a Regency-style Christmas, a period before Christmas trees were a festive must have. They've been busy manking beautiful blancmanges, delectable pies and historic biscuits - though not all as tasty as they might look! For conservation reasons we can't have real food on display in the Hall but we think our puds are pretty convincing. We’ve knitted our way through hundreds of balls of wool, with over 300 items already made. From festive oranges, lemons, mistletoe to some not so prickly woolly holly there's all sorts ready to decorate Hall for a magical, homemade Christmas.
Helping visitors to step back in time
This year the volunteers at Charlecote have been helping to recreate a 1918 Christmas. This has involved hand crafting nearly 4000 links of paper chains in red and adding white flowers to many of the decorations to symbolise a time of peace after such conflict. A different story is told in each room of the house at Charlecote Park to relive what was happening at the estate after the war. Staff and volunteers will spend the next 10 days carefully installing the Christmas trees in each room (the tallest being 15ft in the Great Hall), and adding the hand made decorations.
When Christmas starts in Spring
Christmas starts in the spring at Croome when they plan, plant and grow. As the seasons progress volunteers pick, dry and forage for anything interesting. Volunteers make amazing Christmas decorations of a particular size and scale to dress the court which are enjoyed over the festive period by the many visitors to Croome. Croome has a Christmas flower team responsible for the festive floral displays, many return to the job year after year.
" It's such a privilege and such fun which is why I keep coming back for more. "
At Christmas, the house comes alive thanks to the volunteers and their hard work and enthusiasm. You can only imagine the wonderful Christmas's that have been had in the house in the past. If our flowers can add to help the visitor experience to feel that, then that in itself is reward enough.