While I will never finish the tasks in front of me here, there are weeks when progress is really apparent.
The stable Clock was repaired earlier this year after being mothballed for 20 years. It is now going and it is a joy to hear the quarterly chimes as you walk around the grounds.
The large pool was becoming choked by Phragmites australis, more commonly known as Norfolk Reed, and I decided decisive action was needed to stop it before it covered the entire surface.
Research online led me to a firm called Aquatic Solutions. They arrived early on Tuesday morning with amazing machines. I spent far more time than I could spare watching them at work, mesmerized by their co-ordinated teamwork as they steadily and methodically dug up the weeds and transported them to the bank. There was very little mess, the ducks, coots and moorhens continued as if nothing was happening, and gradually the pool re-emerged, as if liberated and revealed in all its glory, sparkling in the sunshine.
Aquatic Solutions were brilliant. If this reads like an advertisement, I think they deserve it!
Now we are getting ready for the WW1 Hospital Centenary Weekend on the 18th and 19th April, which we are sharing with the British Red Cross. This is probably the biggest event that Stokesay has held in the house itself. Over the next couple of days I will be arranging a temporary exhibition of our extensive archive in the Billliards Room (otherwise known as the “Atonement” Library) to supplement the more permanent ones in other areas around the house including the Dining Room (shown here).
During the weekend this exhibition will be augmented with displays from the British Red Cross’s own archive collection and from the KSLI. There will be a Re-enactment Field Hospital provided by the Great War Society as you arrive at the house. The house and gardens are open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
I look forward to seeing you.