Who are you and why do you like Upton House and Gardens?
My name is Elizabeth and I am soon to be a second year history student, studying at Christ Church University in Canterbury. For the past month I have been volunteering at Upton House and Gardens to gain further experience in the cultural heritage industry and to help achieve a career with the National Trust after finishing my degree.
My decision to volunteer at Upton began with a visit to the property last year with family and friends. I was amazed at how the house had so many interactive areas in which visitors could get up close to the collections, play games in the gardens and even enjoy a game of snooker.
Indeed it was Upton house that stood out among other National Trust properties for me and I wanted to be a part of it in re-telling the story of the Bearsted’s.
What is your role here?
In considering what my role has been at Upton House, the most accurate description would most probably be everything! I’ve had the opportunity to work in so many different departments and understand the functioning of them. Listing a few of my roles, I have worked with the Events and Marketing team in creating ideas for 50 Things workshops, doing the very important folding up of programmes for the Violin concert, tidying out the basement and helping out at the Jazz Party.Also I have had the chance to do some Front of House admin, in recording temperature, light and humidity recordings- which you have probably seen me doing- and writing up the visitor programming sheets for each week. Other roles included working in the shop, driving the buggy- which I naturally loved- being a room guide and working in visitor reception.
So all in all my time at Upton has been well spent!
What have you particularly enjoyed?
While at Upton I have really enjoyed all the roles I have been in! I particularly enjoyed meeting the volunteers and having a chance to chat with them- particularly, Anne Flower who was the first volunteer to greet me on my first day, and Ian Credland who told me if there is an opportunity in life, “Go for it”! One of the other highlights at Upton was being part of the filming of BBC’s Father Brown- well; I was the security on the front door-.
I was able to chat to the film crew as they came to and from the attics, while also welcoming the legendary Mark Williams and having a photo in the attics with Tom Chambers and Vicky!
Other things I have enjoyed would be meeting great people in the offices, who have made me feel welcome and part of the team!
What are you next looking forward to?
Looking to the future, I hope to return next year and become involved in Upton’s transformation to the Country House Bank and discovering more about Upton’s history during the war. Looking to the next couple of years I will hopefully finish my history degree and possibly will do an internship with the National Trust.