Are you a National Trust member in the Midlands region? If so, your Spring magazine and Near You newsletter will soon be with you (if you’ve not got it already!) and we’d ask you to take a look at the bottom of page 2.
Near You features our Libraries Curator, Mark Purcell, as he answers a few questions about his job in a section called ‘My National Trust’. The last questions Mark is asked is if he has a favourite item in one of the regions libraries. For those readers who aren’t members or live outside of our region, let me share with you his answer…
‘The Trust has over 50,000 books in the Midlands, so it’s not easy to choose just one! A current favourite is a huge illustrated book, with hand-coloured illustrations of royal processions at the coronation of George IV in 1820. That’s at Charlecote, a library packed with important books’.
In 2013, the year which marks the 60th anniversary of our own Queen’s coronation it perhaps is quite apt that Mark chooses a book like this!
If you have been to Charlecote towards the end of last year, you will have seen our library looking quite different. As part of our electrical rewiring work we had to pack up every single book in the library. Emptying the library started in August (when we lifted and rolled the carpet!) and took until mid-November before the room was bare.
All of the books and furniture has been packed and moved to other areas of the house whilst works have been carried out. The work is still continuing and will affect the house for a while longer. Visitors to the house this spring when we reopen will not see the pristine show rooms as in previous years but will see the team working to put the house back together following the departure of the electricians.
We’re not sure how long it will take or how many pairs of hands will be needed but our aim is to have the house back to how it should be by Easter. You’ll have to watch this space to see how we do!