Bulletin 100 – quite a milestone. When we bought Staunton Harold Hall eleven and a half years ago all the public lawns and paths around the house had been in public use for fifty years. We needed to mark off part of it to give the family some private area and I put up notices to tell people what we were doing, and why. I tried to make the notices interesting and information, but didn’t expect to do more than two or three. However, to my amazement, some people told me that they were coming here specially to read the notices so here we are, a dozen years later, and a hundred up.
The window cleaners came this week and, for the first time ever, broke a pane of glass. Not just any glass, but a shield-shaped pane in the astragal glazing over one of the doors. It is also very thin ‘picture’ glass, possibly put in when the house was built two hundred and forty years ago. Luckily we have the skills on hand to deal with this; Dave, our multi-talented house manager, has taken out the old putty and made a template, and Tim, our picture framer at the Ferrers Centre, will provide the correct glass and cut it to shape.
It gives me enormous pleasure that we can do so many of these jobs without fuss and ‘in house’. Some time ago, John, our china restorer, showed us how to make rubber moulds to cast plaster rosettes to repair the staircase ceiling. Ironwork, joinery, signwriting, decorating and more are skills which we have close at hand, while if the job calls for an oak beam or plant it comes from our sawmill, often cut from a tree grown on the estate. These facilities help us but, in turn, I can often point others towards the best people for the job.