Photos, Cockerels and Introductions...
This blog is by Jon, one of the Visitor Experience trainees on the Passport to Your Future programme
I walked up to the main entrance to Godolphin house this morning and realised how lucky I am to be working here! This place is stunning I met Gin & Kitty as they were about to open up the visitor center.
Waking up to birdsong and the cockerel was amazing and reminded me how fortunate I am to be living whilst volunteering at such a beautiful picturesque location. Unlocking the site was not just about opening doors for public to wonder around but turning on electrical appliances in the reception and around the site.
There is much to do to set up before visitors arrive in the morning. Opening up involves opening the Kings room for public viewing then making sure the visitor reception is ready for the days volunteers to welcome the public. The routine for visitor reception consists of collecting the till drawer and float from the volunteer room safe, turning on the lights, heaters, boiler and coffee machine. Also, we move stock to the front of the fridges, open the front doors and leave the reception ready for volunteers to commence sales.
After opening for the public we had the enjoyable task of laminating information posters. These illustrated the beautiful art exhibition being showcased in the Kings room. There are many places around Godolphin that will invite visitors to read them. We placed them in the main and reserve car parks, visitor centre board and customer toilets. Volunteers play an important in advertising as they take posters away and distribute around different places. The art exhibit was not the only posters we put up. We had posters for events managed by the VE team at Godolphin for other West Cornwall NT (National Trust) sites managed by us.
While we were walking around the site we came into contact with several employees from the main house. There are many volunteers and employees here and will take quite a while to learn everybody’s names. They had just finished preparing the house for use by a party of 12 people who were renting the house for the weekend. They explained to us how the house generates funds by being made available for holiday lets.
After lunch Barbara Moffat the artist turned up and started to prepare for her exhibition of photos capturing the spirit of Godolphin. We helped her to attach and centre her art work within the king’s room until she was completely happy with the overall gallery.
For helping hang the photographs up Barbara gave me (Jon) the choice of whichever piece I wanted. I choose a picture of an old jug from Godolphin which was the only colour piece within the collection. I felt the picture embodies the old spirit of the estate with the modern spirit of the National trust to give a beautiful piece of art representative of the estate in its current form.
During the day we asked several of the customers what they would like to see that will encourage them to return to Godolphin. The resounding theme from visitors was to see more interactivity within the estate; mainly for the younger audience. One couple said that even though they came to have a look at the house they would enjoy seeing the younger audience having fun and getting their hands dirty.
A second couple whom I (Jon) thought would be from the curious minds cross section informed me that they visited heritage sites for their beauty and not to ‘learn’ about their history but would learn about the history if what was presented really stood out to them. Unfortunately I never asked them for an example of this. Next time a similar comment is said I will be sure to try to get an example of this as it may be something I can build on to help improve the overall VE goal of the estate as an NT owned Business.
Overall the first week has been amazing and we both look forward to future events and learning everything there is to know about West Cornwall.
Republished by kind permission from the NT Passport To Your Future blog (http://ntpassporttoyourfuture.wordpress.com)