The Ulster Folk Museum is open!
It felt strangely comforting to do the familiar drive up to work last week. I was looking forward to seeing some of my colleagues who were helping with the collections care housekeeping duties which are part of the preparations for the reopening. A combined team of Collections Services and Curatorial were mobilised to aid the effort, the collections care team, the object handling team and my fellow folk curators. Not forgetting our busy receptionist Trish taking all the visitor bookings, not only for the Ulster Folk Museum but for all of our sites. Most of these staff our visitors would never see on their visit but whom all work so hard in the background. This week was no exception.
Having no visitors and very little staff on site, our folk museum houses and shops needed a bit of a spruce up. Enter our Collections Services team under the supervision of the collections care manager, Joanne.
The collections care team were assisted by the Object Handling Team helping to lift the objects out. They were well prepared with the van turned into a mobile conservation unit in case it rained.
Every object was temporarily removed from the house to be cleaned, you can see Xanthe of the Collections Services team helping out with the heavy lifting. Magheragallon got a clean inside by the cleaning crew and every object was then returned to their original location.
During our lunch break we decided to say hello to some old friends and some new little ones! The piglets were running around and one gave myself and Victoria a fright as it escaped. I had flashes of instant horror thinking we would have to try and catch it however our trusty farmers reassured us that he wouldn’t stray too far from his mama and of course they were right.
The donkeys and our horses were getting their lunch so we didn’t stay too long but they seemed happy to see us.
With the large number of people visiting our site over the last few years, and with the natural fires we light in quite a few of the houses, our objects are in need of a clean. Our collections services team are happy to step up and get their hands dirty and do some good housekeeping. Most of the houses and shops are now ready to go and we are all very excited to welcome you all back.
Not sure if the geese will be thrilled to welcome visitors back, judging by the noise of them as we were close by cleaning. Perhaps they were enjoying the peace and quiet! No fear geese! Our visitor numbers will be restricted initially so hopefully we humans are not too disturbing for you.
See you all soon.