Headstone Manor Museum

Headstone Manor Museum

Hello folks.

It’s me again and in this blog I am going to be writing a blog that is close to my heart.

I haven’t been asked by the Museum to write this blog post but I thought that this would be a cool way of creating awareness of Headstone Manor Museum ahead of its Grand Opening.

The reason why this is close to my heart is because the Museum itself was the first place that I gained work experience. The Museum gave me an opportunity to put the skills that I developed from university into good use. I invested and devoted three years of service of working at the Museum so to go back to where it all began was a very special moment where I could reflect and be proud about what the Museum did for me.

This situation came about because I was invited to attend a special preview of the Museum and I couldn’t resist the temptation. I was flattered to be invited so I gladly accepted.

When I arrived at the Museum, it brought back memories of the route I used to take to get to the Museum, seeing familiar faces was quite comforting, it felt like I was there yesterday.

There was a good turn out of people who wanted to see the preview so I was as excited as they were so I found this very promising.

When I got to the main entrance, I was very humbled to see the professionalism of the entry point. The signs were clearly instructed, I went into the Small Barn where their was a video that touched briefly on the history of Harrow and significance of the site. For me it looked fabulous, I thought the introductory video was put together very well.

After going into the Small Barn, I went into the Manor House which is where the main part of the Museum starts.

Beforehand, I haven’t got the opportunity to actually go to the Manor House itself so I was very excited to go in and explore the different rooms around the house. When I saw the exterior, it kind of blew me away, it was like one of those properties you would expect on DIY SOS or Extreme Makeover Home Edition shows where in the aftermath of the work that was carried out to the House itself, it looked fabulous. (The house had been in restoration for a few years)

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The Museum started off in the present and when I walked into each room, it was like stepping into time.

What I liked about the Museum was that the route I took from the start to finish was very well planned and well organised so you could go into one room and out another which was good. I also liked that there was loads to see and there was something to see for everyone.

The bit I found interesting was learning about how the railway influenced Harrow and how the people of Harrow reacted or thought about change in terms of railways been implemented.

I also liked the idea that there was a Research Room/Library Room where visitors can go into the room and carry out their own investigations in their own time.

After I visited the Museum, I went off to an afternoon tea where I caught up with some old faces who I worked with in my time at the Museum and I got the opportunity to meet some new faces.

On reflecting upon the day, I’m just glad that I went along to the Special Launch and that the three years I have invested in volunteering at the Museum have been put to good use.

I want to thank all the people who were involved in putting this event together and the opening of the Museum.

The staff and volunteers of the Museum have done a tremendous job and they can be proud of themselves of what they have achieved.

I would definitely recommend visiting Headstone Manor Museum to anyone who has an interest in local history or likes visiting historic properties.

 

If you want to find about the Museum, you can visit their website at HeadstoneManor.org

Thank you as always in reading my blog.

Feel free to post your comments below.

 

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Banqueting House and Churchill War Rooms

Banqueting House and Churchill War Rooms

Hello Everyone.

Welcome to my post.

In this blog I’m going to review my day which was spent on visiting two places in Whitehall, these are:

  • Banqueting House
  • Churchill War Rooms

The reasons for visiting these two places weren’t really my choice.

I have recently joined as a member on a website called CitySocialiser that provides socials to meet new people. I said to myself that I didn’t have much to lose from going.

Another reason why I wanted to go was because I hadn’t been to Banqueting House or Churchill War Rooms before so the opportunity presented itself.

I met the group in London and we set off to visit Banqueting House first.

Before we went to Banqueting House, there was an event taking place in Whitehall, I didn’t realise it until I came home that it was National Armistice Day so it explains why there was a service going on.

Banqueting House

I didn’t know what to expect when visiting the Banqueting House, I just knew that Banqueting House belonged to Historic Royal Palaces and was famously used by Charles I.

When I visited the House, I immediately went to sit down to watch a brief video of the history of the Banqueting House, it was interesting to know that it was part of Whitehall Palace and that caught fire on three separate occasions. After watching the brief video, I went to the Banqueting Hall itself and it looked fabulous, I was taken back to the beautiful painted ceilings. The thing that was unexpected and made the trip worthwhile was that the Hall was filled with bean bags so I could literally relax and look up to the ceiling and admire it rather than feel dizzy standing up. The thing I also found interesting was the mirrors themselves, they were on various parts of the room so it allows the visitor to look down instead and feel it upside down. Before I left, I met with a volunteer who was showing objects that belonged to the House, this included the top of a vase, a kitchen tile and Portland stone.

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One thing I learnt from the trip, was that Sir John Soane played a part on repairing the roof of the House and the windows itself so that made the trip worthwhile. I found it unique because I previously volunteered at Sir John Soane’s Museum so that made me intrigued.

The downsides of visiting the House itself was that it only contained one room so I couldn’t go up to the balcony or any other room in the House so I didn’t feel I got value for money.

Churchill War Rooms

After finishing Banqueting House, we all went to Churchill War Rooms (CWR).

I had no knowledge of CWR beforehand but I knew it was related to Winston Churchill and associated with World War II.

Overall, I did get value for money, there were loads of rooms to see, there were about 23 rooms which had audio guide information about each room and there was also the Winston Churchill Museum which documented his life before and after World War II.

I did find it cool to know about certain things of Winston Churchill so the trip was ok. I would suggest if you are ever going to CWR, there is a lot of walking involved. I was fortunate in the respect that the people in the group didn’t leave or desert me in CWR which was a very good thing. I learnt from my date experience at Hunterian Museum that I can be left behind 😦

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During the middle part of the visit, I did my own exploring and caught up with the group during the latter stages which was good. After doing the whole visit, we walked through St James’s Park and went to a bar/cafe called Henry’s Cafe Bar afterwards. It was good just catching up with people and asking what they liked about the visit. The people I was with were quite outgoing and I just listened to what the people had to say.

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Overall reflection

In reflection, the experience of the trip was fun, I got to see the sites that I intended to see and I met new people as well. I’m glad I went and seen both sites on one day. The people I was with on the trip were a good group to go with.

I would like to join some more CitySocialiser events and meet likeable/interesting people who I can develop friendships in the aftermath of these events. I will possibly get an inkling of whether it would be a good to continue on or not. By the end of it, I didn’t feel that I bonded with anyone so that was a bit of a disappointment.

 

 

London Volunteers Museum Awards 2016

London Volunteers Museum Awards 2016

I had a lovely time at the London Museum Volunteer Awards 2016 last night. I didn’t expect to be nominated for an award but it’s nice to see that individual efforts have been acknowledged.

It is very humbling to be a volunteer and being recognised for my efforts.

I was nominated in the Team of the Year category. I believe we worked well as a team. It shows how far the team has come. If I can speak for myself, I truly proud of the success of the museum, the members that were nominated and also the individuals of the Museum. The important term is that I want to use WE and instead of I. We were 1 and not just a group of individuals. I can’t say enough of the work that we as a team did, we all bonded so brilliantly, we were all engaged in the task and putting in the time and effort is always important. As a team, undoubtedly this has been the best experience I’ve had both in a museum perspective and overall throughout my volunteer work.

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For me, my target aims now are to reach the big time. I got the opportunity to meet various people from my future employers.

I was just surprised that V&A recognised me and took time out to talk to me during the event. I wasn’t expecting them to come over and say Hi. I thought that it was a nice gesture. I did my induction in the V&A the day before. I didn’t really bring it up that I was going to the ceremony, I didn’t really want to spoil the surprise, more importantly I just think it’s a welcome introduction of both myself and V&A on the night. I got to see notable success on the night. However I did spoil the surprise of telling the IWM that I was going lol. I have high praise for IWM, particularly because I am wanting to volunteer at IWM very soon if I have no luck on the job front.

I understand through working in IWM and V&A won’t be easy by any means. From working at both of these organisations, I want to earn the respect from my peers and take the same approach like in the Order of St John where I can get on well with everyone. When I say that I have a lot to learn, that is definitely an under statement. I’m not sure what I am going to encounter at V&A or IWM but I will give it my best shot. This will be a new chapter which I am very much looking forward to embracing.

While I was the Museum of London, I was able to view the Great Fire of London exhibition, it was very interesting, finding the culprit of who was responsible for the fire in the first place was like finding the identify of Jack The Ripper.

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For me, this was more like a social network event than an awards ceremony.

I truly owe the honour of attending this event and the evening to the Museum of the Order of St John. They do a fantastic job and it has been lovely volunteering there. They are the reason why I was in the event in the first place. It is a small museum but we think and aim BIG. The Museum has been nominated three years in a row and it shows we can complete with the big names like V&A, HRP, IWM. Royal Academy of Arts and Museum of London.

For anyone who wants to volunteer or visits museums around London, I truly recommend the Order of St John. It is a pleasure working with them.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog.

 

Museum Of The Order of St John blog

Museum Of The Order of St John blog

In this blog, I’m going to be discussing my two-week experience working in Priory Affairs at the Order of St John.

I found that the role was posted on the University of Leicester, I said to myself, this is an opportunity not to be missed so I went in and declared an interest and got a successful response. If your reading this and wanting to get a career in museums, that is a good place to find jobs and work experience.

So firstly, going into it, I briefly recapped myself on the job description the weekend before, I didn’t feel it was a big deal memorising the whole description.

After the first day, I knew the work was going to be very repetitive and so I was used to the whole routine from the get go. Ok, repetitive work doesn’t fit for everyone but I find it motivating. When I’m working, I like listening to music because it takes out interference from everyone and so I am able to focus solely on the job. My favourite music to listen to at the moment was the album ‘Everything This Way’ by Walking On Cars and I Cry When I Laugh by Jess Glynne. I wish it could happen for all the jobs I go for but it isn’t essential that I need to listen to music.

Originally it was scheduled that I was going to do the work for ten days but due to the bank holidays, I was able to do eight days. Even on the last day, I was just drained out of energy so I was glad the whole experience was over. However, I have gone back to continue the work because I did enjoy the work and the fellow volunteers who were involved with the project as well so I wanted to continue working and give up my time out of my schedule to do so.

In general terms, this experience has been rewarding and valuable, it’s taught me about understanding what’s it like travelling most of the week on the tube and understanding of the intensity of work and taught me how well we worked together as a team.

I have gone on to be nominated for Team of the Year in the London Museum Volunteer Awards 2016 at the Museum of London.

I have written a blog on this event and will be uploaded shortly.

 

 

V & A and IWM

V & A and IWM

Hey folks.

Just been a busy week so far, a lot has been happening this week ….

I had a volunteer recruitment day at V&A earlier this week and just came home this evening from a group interview for a number of positions at Imperial War Museum Group.

Both of these events were very daunting for me. I’m not really a brash person or someone who enjoys speaking up in front of groups so it does seem like a phobia to me in that respect.

When I went for a group interview today, it definitely felt like I was going on Fear Factor or The Apprentice, the competition was very tough. There were people who were similar age as myself, one immigrated from Australia, one person I spoke to came all the way from Worcester so people were coming from a long way out, the salary was roughly £18k. I can safely say this was probably the most nervous experience I’ve had, the interview basically involved standing up in front of 20 people and introducing myself. Then I had to choose a product and basically do a sales pitch to everyone, as I’ve not done a sales pitch I didn’t really know how to go about it or not confident enough in my ability to up sell something but I gave it my best shot. Then we basically worked with a scenario of if we were stranded in South America and got given a list of objects we had to take and pick 5 of those, what would you pick and why? The exercise was good because it was a group exercise so I found it the most enjoyable of them all. I excel in a team focussed environment  We were then got told a few real-time scenarios that we would most likely be in and I chipped in with some responses to some of how I would deal with the situation.

To be honest, as I said before competition was tough today and some people excelled more than others. As I said I’m not really comfortable with group interviews because I find it hard or difficult to interrupt because I don’t like to but in when people are talking and disrespect the person talking.  I did make meaningful contributions throughout so I’m just using this as a learning experience, I don’t think it was a mistake applying but I have to accept that in some jobs I go for, despite my experience, there will be people who have the relevant experience that I don’t have.

Overall, I think there were 6 posts going, there were two sessions in the day, I was allocated in the afternoon and about 20 people were in mine so I’m guessing there was around 20 in the morning. One of the interviewees said there were about 150 to 200 job applications so it’s tough but I’m always ambitious. People can say to me that I should be going for any job but I know what my long-term goals are and where I need to be. I’m not deterred by people’s opinions in that respect. One day I will make it but the question is when I will be able to make it?

I don’t think I had the same experience at V&A. Even tho it was a volunteer recruitment day, the competition was tough and intense. By the end of the day, I was completely miserable and shattered because the whole experience was daunting. I’ve worked in a number of small organisations and it doesn’t compare to V&A. The people there were both young and old. There must have been a good thirty or forty people there. (Just my estimation). I was in a complete disadvantage because people have been to the V&A and people like to talk over where I just felt like talking but like 6 or 7 were talking at once so it’s just frustrating that I didn’t get much chance to speak or engage with the conversation but that’s the person I am. I would be probably be glad to get the position because I have always want to step up from working in small museums to national museums.

My long-term goal is to work at a national organisation such as English Heritage, National Trust, HRP, Royal Collections Trust. Any of those places would be dream come true.

I would be glad not to be associated with V&A because I don’t feel I can work with people who have strong personalities or people solely look at themselves as individuals. I am about supporting the team. My experience in V&A was utter shambles. Towards the end, I was interviewed from 5 people and I had about like 2 or 3 minutes to speak to each one. It was my first experience of speed dating lol. After the interview, I just couldn’t be bothered to see the museum, I just wanted to get out of there and I was very disappointed in myself, for about half an hour of when I came home, I was in my bedroom I was just putting my face in the pillow and just felt miserable.

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This is tough for me, like in life, everyone’s life goes through tough periods. I’m not really bothered about anyone’s situation because it’s not my business and basically it seems like I don’t have any preservation. I know I can’t afford to go on a holiday to India, which is a tremendous shame because I would have loved to go on the cricket tour later this year. I can’t afford to rent and I have no aspiration of getting a girlfriend anytime soon. Good thing is that I have recovered from being heartbroken earlier this year and I don’t have any negativity towards the person or have any plans of meeting the person again.

It is easy for people who have jobs to criticise or judge those who don’t have jobs. I have had people criticise me or just wished no sympathy what so ever so I’m cool with that. When I was doing a volunteering session at English Heritage, the volunteer came up to me and said some things I felt was disrespectful but that’s life for me really. I don’t think I get much or enough respect for my choices or the volunteer work I put in. That is the frustrating thing, I done so much volunteering for the last two or three years but not been rewarded for it. The people who I have worked with know how good I am.

I’m going to be returning back to volunteering very soon. I’m only going to carry out volunteering if it is going to help me in the long run.

I’ve started volunteering at Brent Museum where I’m doing some museum stuff, I’ve also got accepted at English Heritage as well which for me is a tremendous achievement. But the hard work has just begun. I don’t expect to be at Brent Museum for very long, I’m only going to be there till September so I’m just going to make the most of the opportunity I have there. I have accepted to the opportunity to volunteer at Wellington Arch owned by English Heritage, to me that is a dream or ambition of mine so that will long live in the memory. I hope to continue being associated with English Heritage.

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Wellington Arch

 

 

 

Versailles

Versailles

Hey everyone.

This blogging topic focuses on Versailles.

There is a historical drama called Versailles that is centred on Versailles being built under Louis XIV.

Strangely enough, I have not actually watched any of the episodes yet so it probably seems shocking that I am even mentioning it.

As Versailles (the TV series) is a trending topic, I am going to be providing my opinions and understanding of Versailles.

I first knew or heard the name of Versailles through secondary school. I learnt about it in history lesson (but not in the way you may think). All of the people in my class were learning about post World War 1 and what lead to causes of World War II. Funny enough, we stumbled across learning about an important peace treaty called The Treaty of Versailles. The reason why I use important was because the allied countries that took part in World War I were represented by their rulers. So that was my introduction of the name alone.

Several years later, the name Versailles occurred to me because I often hear questions on TV quizzes related to Louis XIV. I have to confess that I don’t know much about Louis XIV because I’ve only been concerning on learning about British Kings and Queens. Just recently, I was watching a documentary called The Real Versailles presented by Lucy Worsley and Helen Castor, it was fascinating and interesting to hear and learn about the legacy of Versailles and hear why the palace was vital to Louis XIV reign. I would recommend watching it if you’re a history lover or want to know about the tales from the television series.

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If I ever stop by Paris, I would definitely want to visit the Palace of Versailles. To me, I don’t know very much but the name is iconic and the pictures are just stunning, it is a mixture of the Old Royal Naval College, Hampton Court Palace and Red Square combined. The views are definitely breathtaking. The picture below is the Gardens of Versailles that I fetched from WikiPedia.

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