11 January 2013

Three indisputable facts...

Three things are clear when you work here:
1 the weeks when we are closed to the public in the winter disappear at an impossibly fast rate
2 you never know what you might be asked to do next
3 you can encounter Beatrix Potter in surprising ways and places.

With only 4 weeks left before we re-open Hill Top and the Beatrix Potter Gallery (see what we mean about time?!) the race is on to get everything relating to the new Gallery exhibition done. This is where unusual task requests come in as Rose our Operations Manager at Wray Castle and John our Lead Ranger found out. As part of our multi-media presentation of the exhibition in the Gallery we needed to create audio files of extracts from Beatrix Potter's letters and books as well as interviews with those who knew her. Everyone involved headed for Dayve's makeshift sound studio in the Gallery hoping there were no noisy deliveries scheduled for the street outside!

Dayve gets the 'cans' on as Rose does her 'best' Beatrix voice
John plays farmer Tom Storey while Liz is narrator
Rose was asked to reprise her role from last year's exhibition as an 'audio Beatrix Potter' and John (typecast I'm afraid) has become the voice of Beatrix's farm manager Tom Storey; meanwhile Liz our House and Collections Manager provided some conventional narration along with the more lyrical bits.

Now Rose has a northern accent and at the risk of being controversial that may suggest to some that she is not qualified to the be the voice of Beatrix Potter. However, although Beatrix Potter was born and brought up in London she was educated at home and her main vocal influence would have been her parents who were both born and raised in the north west of England. As there is no actual recording in existence of Beatrix speaking it has been impossible to say exactly how she would sound but some of those who remembered her recalled a soft northern accent (hence Rose).

Finally those participating in this audio endeavour suggested that they felt that the spirit of Beatrix  was strong in the room and looking more carefully in the corner (see from the photo below) we can appreciate why!
Who is that in the corner?!
You'll be able to hear the results of the recordings, once Dayve has worked his magic with the audio software when the Gallery re-opens with its new exhibition on Saturday the 9th of February.

post by Linda
photos by Dayve Ward [photographybyward]