What We've Been Up To. Week ending 06/04/2014

This has been a somewhat disjointed week at the RTH, and one in which we have finalised a lot of ‘housekeeping’ business.
Perhaps it may, at first, seem of  little interest to anyone not actually working in the RTH nevertheless, in keeping with the object of this column, comes the news that we have formalised a lot of the project work aims; have outlined work paradigms; formulated new roles; and set out deadlines for individual projects.
The need for this sudden flurry of re-organisation has been highlighted by the fact that our volunteer corpus has enlarged a great deal in recent months: and between these new volunteers are scattered  certain skills and experiences we are delighted to be able to exploit.
Anyone who still held to the misconception that volunteer work is all cups of tea and cosy natters might consider that these measures sounded somewhat ‘corporate’.  However, Heritage remains an area which, without free contributions – of time, experience and labour, as much as money – would not achieve very much. The need to utilise these resources in the most productive way possible impacts upon all Heritage initiatives.
We have already seen how the informal adoption of professional  schemas benefits our work at the RTH, especially, of course, in the areas of research and archiving.  Wonderful work was done in this area previously – until volunteers were called away to take up paid work. The team which has recently formed is now working hard to utilise old constructs, put in place new ones and ensure that work in this area will be structured in such a way that the loss of anyone currently working in that field will not impact negatively upon the whole area of research and archiving.
 Of great importance in the above project is the fact that, once put in place the public will have yet another resource available: members of the public will be able to gain access to a valuable collection of  books, old documents, publications, images, letters and interesting snippets of information about Brighton’s past. 
Apart from the above,  last week the first of our Film Nights for this year was held. There was a good turnout for this initial presentation and, with the lure of Sid James and Diana Dors in a vintage film called Lady Godiva Rides Again, another full house is anticipated.
In anticipation of a private reception to be held on Saturday night the kitchen at No. 10 is looking marvellous. The painstakingly authentic restoration that’s been done there has led to the emergence of another large space at the RTH which is now usable.  Already a group of artists have been to view it preparatory to holding an exhibition during the summer. Although it will be some time before the  1820s oven/stove can be installed, the original kitchen is at last a useable historical space.      Huzzah!!

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