A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the overhaul of the Protection Store and our subsequent discovery of an infestation of carpet beetle larvae, or ‘woolly bears’, as they’re known.
We had emptied the room of its contents in order to create better storage solutions, as well as inspect what we thought was a minor carpet beetle infestation. After discovering a rather more serious infestation than we had thought, we performed a hygiene clean in the hope that it might remedy the situation, but finally decided to remove the infested fitted carpet as a last resort.
With the room now completely empty, we needed to think about how we would store the room’s contents more effectively – especially the fragile William Morris lino, which was originally stored under a platform of sorts. This platform had been custom-made by some National Trust volunteers, and while it was really useful to be able to store objects on top of the platform, we thought that we could probably maximise the storage in the room by raising the height of the platform, which would then mean the lino would no longer need to be stored on the floor.
We recruited some of Standen’s Woodland volunteers to make alterations to the platform, and they did a great job. The platform was raised to about 5 ft 5 in, with plenty of room both on top and underneath for storage (though taller members of the House Team should mind their head when ducking underneath!) Most importantly, the Morris lino could be stored on top of the platform, out of harm’s way, therefore preventing further deterioration.
On a side note, the Morris lino is a really interesting item from our stores, and one that, unfortunately, visitors are not able to see – I think this makes it a good candidate for a future Object from the Stores feature, so watch this space!