As the year is drawing to a close we are reflecting on 2016. We have had a brilliant year and achieved many things as a charity and would like to thank everyone who has been involved either through volunteering here, working with the team or coming as visitors or attending events. Here is a list of some of our favourite memories.
Great Hall Redecoration
Earlier in the year the paintwork in the Great Hall was restored. The double-height Great Hall had been suffering from flaking paint for a number of years and the Kelmarsh Trust was very keen to conserve the current paint scheme as it is attributed to renowned decorator John Fowler and Nancy Lancaster, the doyenne of the English Country House style, who lived at the Hall.
In July, the team attended the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum Awards and the project won the award for ‘Best Special Project’ for the Great Hall Redecoration. Earlier in July the project also won ‘Very Highly Commended’ in the ‘Highly Decorative’ project category of the Painting and Decorating Association’s annual Premier Trophy Awards. This is a project we are proud about and hope visitors enjoy the newly decorated Hall.
This year we were awarded full Arts Council Museum Accreditation. The Accreditation Scheme sets nationally agreed standards for UK museums and historic houses. To qualify, museums must meet standards on how they are managed, for the services they offer and on how they care for collections. We want to thank everyone who has been involved this year and previous years to help us achieve Museum status.
Tunnelling Through the Past Heritage Lottery Funded Project
This year we have begun work on our biggest restoration project at Kelmarsh, our Tunnelling through the Past Heritage Lottery Fund project. We would like to thank everyone that has been involved with the project and we are excited to see what next year brings! We have made some amazing discoveries whilst this work has been undertaken which have thrown new light on how Kelmarsh has evolved over the years. Our Heritage Restoration Tours were a sell out with visitors having the chance to see the work in progress. There are still some spaces on our Have A Go Restoration Experiences which are continuing in the New Year which will give visitors an opportunity to get hands on with the work being carried out during this important project.
Trainees at Kelmarsh
In the summer we welcomed two Horticultural Trainees who undertook placements with us for five weeks. By working at Kelmarsh they have been able to develop their horticultural knowledge to help them with their studies. We also have welcomed Jo Moore to Kelmarsh, who with the help of the Women’s Farm and Garden Association and their ‘Work & Retrain as a Gardener Scheme’ has had the opportunity to develop her skills and join the garden team for a year-long placement at Kelmarsh.
Events & Weddings at Kelmarsh
In July the Great British Food Festival was held in the grounds of Kelmarsh Hall and we are proud to announce they will be returning next year! They had tasty hot street food, great local produce, chef demonstrations, artisan talks, forager walks and the popular Men vs Food and Cake Off competitions. It was a great weekend out and we look forward to working with them again next July. Additionally, we are also proud to announce new events next year. FloVibe, a yoga festival, is being held at Kelmarsh Hall and the Country Fair is returning in April! We would also like to say a huge congratulations to all the couples who got married this year at Kelmarsh.