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Behind the scenes in winter: Castle Fraser

Behind the scenes at Castle Fraser


One speaker: Jo Riley, Collections Care Officer

I'm Jo Riley and I look after the collections here at Castle Fraser for the National Trust for Scotland.

The castle is closed during January and February, so it's a time when we can get in and really try and do as much work that can't be done when the castle is open.
All the rooms get a really good, thorough clean and put to bed.

The cover project started 2 years ago and we've had two volunteers working on this.
Both these volunteers have come in every week, once a week and work through.
We're halfway through the castle now.
We're using Tyvek. Tyvek is waterproof and breathable, so it allows the collection to breathe.
But also, for example in the winter, when there could be burst pipes, if there was a flood,- all the items that are covered have some level of protection.
Everything is measured. We cut out the individual pieces and then they are sewn together --double-seamed so they're really strong -- and then put onto the items.
It's all bespoke and it fits well, and that's important because you don't want to put pressure on the collection.
If you've got a chair with a really tight-fitting cover, you're putting pressure on the joints because you're having to pull it on, so everything has to go on really easily ... and come off really easily.

Protecting the collection, caring for the collection is one of the Trust's fundamental roles.
The Trust is a charity; we rely on people's support.
We rely on volunteers to make all this possible.
We don't have endless money to conserve items so actually doing preventative conservation work is really important.
Working with the collections is such a wonderful job and so important to everybody's experience of the properties.
Thank you so much and please continue to support us so that we can keep looking after the collections for you in the future.

Enjoy the next instalment of our series of films revealing the work that takes place behind the scenes over winter.

The winter months see a huge operation at Castle Fraser to put the collection to bed. In this short film, Collections Care Officer Jo Riley shares the incredible work carried out by our volunteers to protect the treasured objects and furniture whilst the castle is closed to visitors.

We are enormously grateful to our supporters for making this work possible – thank you!

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