Thursday, 19 March 2015

Our Winter Works

It's March! Spring is on its way, and more importantly, The Hardmans’ House is coming out of hibernation. Edward and Margaret’s doors re-opened to the public yesterday (Wednesday 18th), and we look forward to fascinating a new wave of visitors with the Hardmans’ life story over the coming months. We’re kick starting the year by running a series of blog posts giving you an insight into what happens in the house between November and March. What you might be surprised to hear is that in many ways, the 5 month period in which the house is closed, is busier than when we’re open to the public!
As much as we love the Hardmans’, they did have a tendency of never throwing anything away. Although this means we have a gloriously detailed collection to be put on display, it also means that there are around 13,000 artefacts that must be checked and monitored each year – no matter how small they may be! To put this into perspective, Speke Hall our neighbouring Trust property, has a mere 7,500 objects, despite its mansion house proportions. If you’re interested in seeing what intriguing objects we’ve got squirreled away in drawers and cupboards, you can view our collection online at, just search under 59 Rodney Street to find out more!
Over the Winter, our team of staff and volunteers dedicate their time to ‘putting the house to bed’. All renovation and conservation works have to be completed before the open season, so it can be a bit of a race against the clock to get everything done in time! The exhibition must be taken down and put back into storage, fitted dust sheets must be brought out to cover the furniture, and the whole house must be cleaned from top to bottom. We’ve also had some more adventurous projects to keep us on our toes this year. Our longcase clock has been restored along with many other of Mr Hardman’s watches and clocks. An inventory photography project got underway, with a studio being set up in the exhibition room to begin the mammoth task of providing online visual records of our collections. There were fire safety works to be done, dry rot in the skirting boards to see to, windows that had to be replaced, as well as having to reorganise and track the contents of the cellar after the woodworm infestation of last year. All in all it’s been a very busy Winter!
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been drawing the works to a close, ready to put everything back in its rightful place for opening. Our wonderful new exhibition ‘From Street To Studio’ has been installed and the contents of the cellar have been brought back and put in their original positions after being in ‘deep freeze’ for several months.
If you’re interested in finding out more about what we’ve been up to at The Hardmans’ House, keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates from the blog. Or even better, come talk to our volunteers and see for yourself! Tours will be running Wednesdays – Saturdays, 11:00am – 3:30pm, why not book a place today?

Megan Thrift
Winter Conservation Volunteer
The Hardmans' House

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