This past Friday was our Open Conservation Day at our church in Inglesham. I have to say, it was a real success. We had 28 people turn up, and no one had a negative thing to say. We started out with a short introduction to the church and it’s general history and architectural fabric from Dr Rushton (Neil), followed up by lunch outside in the beautiful sunny weather. (Thank you Weather Gods!) I had for weeks decided to take care of prepping the lunch myself instead of paying someone to cater it, especially because we had no real idea of how many people would turn up. So I made enough food for 30. In addition to fruit and veggie platters that I put together, I made about 50 mini quiches, half meat-friendly and half veggie-friendly. They were a hit at the lunch and all the older folks told me it was a clever idea to make finger food. Hah. I also had a dessert platter with a few pre-made cakes and biscuits (cookies for y’all Americans lol). And we served only water to drink to avoid any potential sticky spills.
After lunch we split the visitors into two groups. One group was on the ground floor learning about mixing mortars and grouts with Claudia and Christine, who also took them over to the practice wall to show them the fillings they had practiced. The second group went up the scaffolding with Jane and was able to get a close-up view of the paintings in the chancel/sanctuary area and could drill her with all their questions. I think Jane secretly loved it…even though she would never admit that to me.
After twenty minutes the two groups switched, and when the second twenty minutes was up, we had a few closing words from Jane before everyone headed out. We had all the visitors sign the visitor book, and got a really decent amount of donations from everyone who came. Half of the donations were put in the box in envelopes, so there is no way to estimate the real amount until the keyholder comes to empty the box, but if we got less than 200 pounds, I would be really surprised. We didn’t charge admission, and we only spent 60 pounds on the food…so that’s a 140 profit in addition to 28 people having a much better understanding of wallpaintings conservation, as well as the other work the CCT does. So I’d say it was a good day. Here are a few pictures: