Meeting Queen of the Castle - trainee Sarah Johnson

Published : Tue 13th Mar Author : National Trust

After much anticipation and excitement as well as a good deal of nerves my first day at Castle Drogo arrived. The excitement has grown each and every day, the nerves have all but disappeared as the whole team have been so supportive and made me feel at home. My feet did not touch the ground during the first week. My line manager has been awesome and quickly set up a computer for me to access the on-track training. I was delighted to be spending my second day with the conservation team, it was such a privilege to be working alongside such a knowledgeable, experienced team. Helping the team to wake up the house in readiness for visitors, we moved furniture back into place in the Drawing Room. Dusted inside cabinets with secret drawers, and put up curtains in the Boudoir.

It was a privilege and rather daunting to attend a Project meeting with National Trust experts. A building project to save the castle is due to get underway later this year, and this is the main focus of the team. Water has been invading the castle through the roof and the granite walls. This problem caused a piece of the ceiling to come down in the Scullery & larders, unfortunate for the castle, but lucky for me as I was able to complete my first piece of interpretation.

My second week started with a very busy Monday, an all too brief chat with the volunteers, a meeting about future community engagement, and observing the visitor reception team. Being on the front line at visitor reception was wonderful, to be able to greet visitors warmly, and see the delight on the children’s faces whilst choosing their prize after finishing a trail. Then of course the training at Heelis. It was fantastic to meet all the other trainees, and I look forward to keeping in touch with each and everyone. Again, I felt so privileged to be at Heelis, and enjoyed the excellent training. The past two weeks have been overwhelming, I feel incredibly lucky to have been chosen for this placement. I fully intend to make the most of every day.

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