Custard or Cream for the double decadent Christmas Pudding

Published : Thu 24th May Author : National Trust

Custard or Cream for the double decade...nt Christmas Pudding

The Passport to your Future (PTYF) programme consists of both collections and CMS placements. This means that some trainees focus more on the collections management side of things whilst the other trainees main focus is conservation and care of collections.Being a care of collections trainee at two “small” London properties means that I can get stuck into anything and everything that comes my way, be it cleaning, cataloguing or  caring for collections…key words are multi-tasking, all round team player. The day had finally arrived for us to clean, catalogue, inventory mark and photograph the kitchen at 2 Willow Road (2WR)…WHO…WHERE?

2WR is a unique Modernist home designed by architect Ernö Goldfinger in 1939 for himself and his family. With surprising design details that were ground-breaking at the time and still feel fresh today, the house also contains the Goldfingers’ impressive collection of modern art, intriguing personal possessions and innovative furniture.

During the closed season between November and February a mammoth project was underway to photograph all the objects at 2WR, unfortunately we couldnt get to the kitchen in time…except for tea and biscuits on those bitterly cold dark days…so we decided there was no better time than the present to unravel the contents in the “tiny” kitchen from which Ursula Goldfinger impressively managed to cater for upto sixTY…yes 60 guests at a time…what a legend!

Stage 1: Busy at work!

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Stage 2 : Cleaning

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Stage 3: Into the photography department, position object in middle of sheet, position lights so there are no shadows, capture image so that depth, marks and damage are all visible.

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Stage 4: Inventory marking: clean surface with acetone, apply thin layer of paraloid, wait to dry….write number in hidden location to last for 100 years, wait to dry…apply second layer of paraloid…wait to dry before handling!

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Stage 5: Each tin has been marked, photographed and catalogued…oh and before you ask they are all empty.

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Stage 6: The most interesting object most of us have ever catalogued…20 year old Christmas Pud. Looks alright to me!

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Republished by kind permission from the NT Passport To Your Future blog (