What We've Been Up To. Week Ending 04/05/2014

The Easter Break saw most of our volunteers taking a well-earned rest as the weather becomes milder.  By now, however, people have returned eager to keep up the momentum that has engendered all the recent progress at the Town House.

As we are now into festival time in Brighton, the Town House is currently a venue for Artists Open Houses Festival (Sat-Sun) and House 2014 (Thurs-Sun). This means that anyone who wishes to come and see what progress has been made can do so while viewing the collective work of various local artists which are on display.  As a result of the cracking pace of the work that’s been done at No.10 this year both the servants' quarters there, as well as certain rooms at No.13, are being used to showcase Brighton creativity.

Previous issues of this newsletter have mentioned the huge amount of work which has been done to date on our silhouette project.  According to project leader Liz, 352 biographies and 529 files of information have been produced to date and will soon be online.  Anyone interested in this vast project can find out more about it on the website www.profilesofthepast.org.uk

Another area in which a large amount of work has been done is the MyHouseMyStreet project. The members of this group project have been steadily training new volunteers, implementing communication structures and both brain-storming and developing research methods.  As so much of this work goes on behind the scenes the priority for them now is to update the MyHouseMyStreet website which, at present, does not adequately reflect the hundreds of hours of work which is continually being carried out.

As work progresses on different rooms at the Town House it has become obvious that archiving needs to be brought to the forefront of our activities. Archiving is one of the most important objectives of any museum or historical building, where the emphasis is on conservation and cataloguing. At the Town House the storage of volumes of paperwork, mouldings, maps, architectural salvage, books, pamphlets and artifacts has always been an important factor. As more restoration work is undertaken however, it is becoming obvious that archiving space is at a premium.  Already The Keep is storing some of this vital historical information for us, but we have now reached a stage where the possibility of  storing and showcasing more archives off-site is being discussed.

Excitingly, one of our volunteers, Becky, has now finished two authentically reproduced Regency female costumes. Both of these will add interest to the Town House when on display and will be useful for future events on site.

We’re currently preparing for the role the Town House will take as a member of the Brighton Heritage scheme. This will introduce school parties to the Town House and involve them in workshops and presentations either at No.13 or down in the servants quarters at No.10.  Our Super Seamstress Becky is moving from full-length costumes to miniature – but still completely authentic – sets of clothes so that children can learn how many clothes, without benefit of zippers or Velcro, they would have had to contend with in the nineteenth century.

Photo of wall showing brick and flint substrate partly covered with new plasterThe first layer of plaster goes on the kitchen wall…

Photo of basement of number 10, showing old dresser with crockery and pans, flanked by two pairs of wooden chairs…as the kitchen starts to come back to life again.

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