I’ll start with a little bit of background, for anyone who doesn’t know the Museum. Our Museum is the property where composer of the Planets, Gustav Holst was born. It’s a Grade II listed building and has period room settings which suggest how Gustav might have known the property as a child. The Museum’s Regency Room is the only Regency interior open to the public in Cheltenham, a Regency Spa Town.
Tuesday 14th June – “I’ll just check the loft.”
The rain was torrential. It had been on and off for days. In a spark of genius, our Learning Coordinator thought, “I’ll just check the loft.” She was expecting to see that everything was fine, instead she saw water cascading out of the top of the Hopper and the pipework. That’s when everything kicked into action…
…We very quickly thoughout of the collections displayed below us and raced downstairs in the mere hope water hadn’t made its way through. It had. Water was tumbling through the ceiling and behind the paintings hung on the wall in our Regency Room and spilling down onto the Victorian Mirror. Very quickly, we jumped into action got out our ‘Emergency Box’ and set to work.
We quickly removed the paintings from the wall and, with superhuman strength, moved the most vulnerable antique furniture. We set about finding buckets, absorption pads and anything else we thought was capable of soaking up water.
Thankfully, after a few frantic phone calls, volunteer help arrived. This meant that we could begin trying to stop the flood and, at the same time, keep moving anything in the way of the water. (It wasn’t moving out of our way!)
Luckily, the rain began to ease. Water stopped coming in through the ceilings. The objects had been moved to safety and our initial nightmare was over.
We knew, however that this was just the start of the journey. Ahead of us we forsaw building work, drying out, conservation projects and countless sleepless nights for staff, trustees and volunteers.
There will be posts from our Curator, our Learning Coordinators and volunteers all giving their insights and experiences from the flood.
#HelpHolst #MuseumFlood #MuseumBlog