Volunteer, Sutton Hoo
Richard gives his story on why he decided to volunteer here at Sutton Hoo. Find out what he loves about volunteering with us.
I first thought about volunteering at Sutton Hoo following a visit to the site shortly after I had retired. I approached the team and was invited for an interview with Sally Metcalf who explained what was involved. It all sounded an ideal vocation where I would enjoy meeting visitors and co-volunteers in the ambiance of this great historical venue.
Since then I have mainly been involved in Meeting and Greeting both at Tranmer House and in the Exhibition Centre.
In Tranmer House I welcome visitors and talk through the history of the house, particularly the part that Edith Pretty played. I also make myself available for any questions.
In the Exhibition centre I direct visitors through the short film that plays on a continuous loop system, answer questions and generally aim to help make their experience at Sutton Hoo enjoyable.
One of the things I like most about volunteering is meeting such a diverse cross-section of people. Having lived and holidayed in various parts of England, I find it’s easy to build rapport with visitors who come from all over the country. There’s also a great sense of camaraderie amongst co-volunteers.
There have also been some amusing moments such as when I offered the possible theory of why Edith might have taken so long to accept Frank Pretty’s proposal of marriage. In those days of social class distinction, her father may not have considered Frank suitable as he was ‘in trade’. He sold corsets. Edith’s father was himself in the higher echelons of manufacturing gas ohmmeters. One of our visitors remarked that after all, they both dealt with products that kept things in!
I would strongly recommend the role of volunteer to anyone who has a passion for history and who enjoys meeting people.