Before I begin my first of many blogs, let me introduce myself…my name is Poppy and I moved to Norfolk in August from North East Lincolnshire to begin my year placement as a Rural Collections Management trainee. It’s been a big move for me but every part of working at Gressenhall has been worth it. Even the drive to work every morning through rural country lanes makes me realise how lucky I am to have been given this opportunity. Never would I have thought that I would be working in such a beautiful place with lovely surroundings; it’s a brilliant change from large towns and motorways!
Since I started my traineeship I have learnt so much already and there is never a dull moment. Everyday you learn something new, meet new people and gain a new experience. It’s safe to say this month has flown by and in such a small space of time I have had training in documentation, auditing and packing objects. The list however does not end there; there are courses, conferences and always new learning opportunities for me!
One of the biggest things I love about my traineeship is finding objects which make you think ‘wow’ or really stimulate your imagination and create new thoughts and questions. At a recent museum conference I attended, the audience was given a question to consider which I found quite thought provoking…
“Think about a recent experience which you found surprising or delightful and what it meant to you”
This question made me think automatically about my most recent experiences which all come back to my traineeship at Gressenhall. I have already had a lot of experiences here where I have been surprised or delighted at something; and In turn these experiences have given me a sense of personal achievement.
Recently I found a tin of wartime Johnson’s baby powder; finding this object surprised me because the same baby powder is still used today (though in very different packaging) and brought back my own memories of using it as a child. This is one of the things about working with and seeing collections which always intrigues me; an object has the ability to allow you to recollect your own memories and inspire new thoughts.
A moment where I have felt particularly proud was at the Heritage Open Day at Gressenhall. For the event my fellow collections trainees and I created a small exhibition about the last horseman of Norfolk. We worked hard on making the decisions on what objects to put in the case and the text and labels. It was a personal achievement for us all to put it in for the public to look at and enjoy our display of objects.
In this next month my fellow collections trainees and I will be hanging up our white gloves for a day on the farm where we will be getting stuck into some real physical work. We will get to try our hands at ploughing which is one thing I never thought I would get an opportunity to do, and despite the fact that my clothes are likely to get very dirty, I cannot wait!
Already my traineeship is a month in with only eleven to go; and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead of me!
Thanks for reading, Poppy Hill.