Many visitors come to Attingham during December to see our spectacular Christmas trees and beautiful flower arrangements. In order to put this all together a small team of staff and volunteers worked tirelessly through November putting up themed decorations, draping paper chains, and adorning each tree with hundreds of twinkling fairy lights.
We start planning Christmas months in advance to make sure we get every detail right. This year our theme is a 1940s Christmas. Each Christmas tree inside the Mansion has its own theme that reflects a story about what happened at Attingham and in the wider world during the 1940s.
Before we could start putting up decorations we had to move some fragile items in our collection like ceramics and textile chairs due to the high numbers of visitors at this time of year. We also needed to completely clear the 1830s Dining Room table setting ready for its seasonal redisplay as a 1940s Christmas tea. We packaged away the fake food on the table, and protected the ormolu centerpieces which we moved to a safe and secure location.
The large Axminster carpet in the Dining Room needed to be moved. First we gave it a very gentle low-suction vacuum to get rid of dust on the surface, then we covered it in acid free tissue paper (for protection)and rolled it in the direction of its pile. Because of its size we had limited options for storage! After much debating we decided to house the rolled-up carpet along one wall of the Picture Gallery so that we could have the shutters open in the Dining Room and so that it would not be in people’s way.
We also had our talented volunteer flower ladies making displays around the house. They were based in the Picture Gallery for the last week in November and created flower arrangements of all shapes and sizes for the various rooms in the house, linked in with the themes for each space.
After the chaos of decorating, we had a day to clean up the mess that we had made before the house opened. We gave everything an extra dust and vacuum, and then we were able to sit down and have a relax after a month of hard work.
It’s been lovely to hear visitors’ comments about the mansion decorations this year. You can come and see us through December until Saturday 23rd December.
Thinking of visiting for Christmas next year? In 2018 we’ll be asking everybody to book tickets to their Mansion visit in advance through the website, so please keep and eye out for more details next year.