14 December 2012

No space too small!

Although Hill Top house has closed its doors to visitors for the season, not everyone who works there gets the winter off. Scattered around there are small spaces where lots of work is still getting done, keeping things going for pre-Xmas visitors to the garden and shop, or laying the groundwork for next year's visitor season.

So here's a glimpse behind the scenes at some of those essential spaces that our staff and volunteers use in the course of their work. We thought it might be useful to have a yardstick by which to judge the spaces, so for our first candidate, the Hill Top Shop Office, we can tell you it is just over 2 'Peters' wide...(see below)
special Hill Top measuring  scale
The eagle-eyed may recognise Rose here (released from Wray Castle for a little while)
Like a magic kingdom the Hill Top shop office is entered from a secret door in the shop .. .it used to be a corridor (can't you tell?!) with a ticket office window on the left and was where visitors came through from outside into Hill Top garden.

Next comes the Hill Top Property Office, located in half a small barn borrowed from next door's farmer, luckily the animals moved out first....an estimate here would be 8 'Peters' wide. Whenever there is a meeting in here people have to swap seats to let anyone in or out of the door and if you're last in you get the small camping stool which puts you at the level of others' elbows....

Cath, Jo and Robin with a lot of files - no paperless office here!
Last but not least is Pete the Gardener's shed, located a few steps from the back door of the house it has the most fantastic wisteria-covered roof in early summer. Sorry we can't give its size in 'Peters' as Pete the gardener would be too upset at any mention of a rabbit in relation to this shed!

Room for Pete's gardening tools and not a lot else!
One of the things that amazes our Trust colleagues from other properties when they come to Hill Top is that a place as busy as Hill Top is run from such very small behind-the-scenes corners. In these small spaces shop stock is decided and ordered, plans are worked up to help give visitors an enjoyable time, tour group visits are organised, volunteers are contacted, war is plotted against garden pests and hundreds of other tasks too numerous to mention are carried out smoothly and efficiently.

So the next time you visit your own broom cupboard or smallest room you might spare a thought for our hard-working team members beavering away in something similar!

post by Linda
photos by Pete the gardener.