A passion for historical costumes and an interest in sewing has enabled volunteer Charlotte Hanson to play a key role in the story of Sewerby Hall.
Charlotte, 23, is one of a number of volunteers who are helping to bring the hall to life for visitors since its reopening in August following its major restoration as an Edwardian country house.
Now more volunteers with an interest in history are being sought to help to communicate the unique heritage of the building in a variety of roles.
Charlotte became a volunteer at Sewerby Hall last summer, shortly before the reopening, after seeing an appeal in the local press.
She had just graduated with a degree in historical and performance costume for stage and screen from Yorkshire Coast College in Scarborough, and as she was already a keen needlewoman, her experience was put to good use.
She was given the task of creating the costumes for a short film about everyday life in the hall in the early years of the 20th century.
Charlotte was soon hard at work transforming donated garments into the Edwardian style, not only for the film but also for a display showing the kind of clothing the ladies of the house would have worn. Some of the costumes are also worn around the hall by other volunteers to add to the visitor experience.
“It has worked out really well and it has been a privilege being part of the hall being reopened to the public,” she said. “I grew up visiting Sewerby Hall with my grandma, but now it is completely different and I am proud to be a part of it. It is such a nice environment and everyone is so friendly. I would recommend anyone who is thinking of becoming a volunteer to have a go.”
Charlotte also has a job at the Dog and Duck pub at Flamborough, but is hoping to continue to volunteer at Sewerby Hall.
Volunteers are invited to help with a number of projects, including developing the ‘My Sewerby’ archive.
They will have an opportunity to work in a friendly team, gain new skills and learn about the museum environment. They will also have privileged access to the museum collection and the beautiful objects loaned to the hall by famous museums.
Councillor Richard Burton, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s portfolio holder for civic wellbeing and culture, said: “Sewerby Hall is a country house of regional and national significance, and the volunteers who help to tell its story play a major role in helping others to enjoy this wonderful heritage.”
Janice Smith, Sewerby Hall’s curator, said; “This is a great opportunity for people who could give their time and be part of our volunteer corps.
“There are a range of activities to get involved with, from research to producing exhibitions and giving guided tours around the house.” Volunteers will attend some informal training and familiarisation sessions. Anyone interested can ask for an application form by contacting Janice on 01262 677874, email Janice.email@example.com; or education officer Robert Chester on 01262 673769 ext 203, email Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org.