Edwardian engine runs for the first time in 100 years

Engine awaiting restoration, Brownsea Island (c)National Trust/Phil Pickering

An exceptional example of British Edwardian engineering has been brought back to working order by a team of highly skilled and dedicated volunteers, working with the National Trust at Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, Dorset. The engine dates back from around 1907 and it is thought to be the only one of its kind to remain in its original location in the former engine house on Brownsea Island.  Originally installed to supply electricity to Brownsea Castle, the engine sat derelict for decades, its glory of olden days stripped away and in pieces.

Members of the team involved in the restoration of the Engine at Brownsea Island ©National Trust/Adam Poole

Members of the team involved in the restoration of the Engine at Brownsea Island ©National Trust/Adam Poole

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Making a house a home – volunteers needed at Max Gate, Hardy’s Cottage, and Clouds Hill, Dorset

National Trust volunteer, Annette Joyce, at Clouds Hill ©National Trust/Martin Stephen

The small cottages near Dorchester where Thomas Hardy and Lawrence of Arabia lived are charming to look at, but it’s the warm welcome of the volunteer guides there that turn them from houses into homes.  On 1 March the National Trust will be opening the doors of Hardy’s Cottage, Clouds Hill and Max Gate, Hardy’s other home in the area, to visitors and the conservation charity is looking for more volunteers to help them do it.

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Discover the benefits of volunteering at Snowshill Manor and Garden

Visitors and room guide in the Turquoise Room at Snowshill Manor and Garden ©National Trust Images/James Dobson

Would you like to make new friends?  Need a fresh challenge in your life?  Or want to develop your interests?

On 28 January, between 10am and 12.30pm, Snowshill Manor, just a couple of miles away from Broadway, will be hosting a drop in New Volunteer Day where you can discover what being a National Trust volunteer is all about and have an informal chat with staff and volunteers.

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533 bags of rubbish collected during National Trust Big Beach Clean Week.

Trenow beach clean with St M Mount behind and flags462 volunteers helped National Trust teams collect a staggering 533 bags of rubbish during the National Trust’s Big Beach Clean Week (15-22 March) in the South West.

The 19 beach cleans kicked off a year-long Coastal Festival of events celebrating the 50th anniversary of Neptune, a campaign created to help protect our coastline from inappropriate development and care for it for ever and for everyone.

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Tyntesfield needs you…on Fridays

After welcoming its 1 millionth visitor in 2012, the National Trust’s Tyntesfield estate is looking to give even more access to the house and its collection by opening on Fridays from July to November.

To support this venture the property is looking to recruit a new team of up to 60 volunteers in a variety of roles to welcome visitors and help tell the fascinating story of the family and its treasure trove of contents.

Liz Jones, Volunteer Manager said ‘We are looking to create a new team of enthusiastic volunteers from the local area who together will bring the house to life on Fridays. We’ve often been asked why we don’t open on Fridays, as we are a great stopping point for visitors both staying in North Somerset and Bristol or passing through to and from Devon and Cornwall on holiday or a long weekend. Our new volunteer team will help deliver greater access for these visitors and a fantastic welcome’.

No prior knowledge needed for the role as there will be support and training between March and July. The availability to volunteer regularly on Fridays is essential.

Volunteer recruitment weekend at Stourhead

Volunteer recruitment open days are taking place at Stourhead House this weekend.

The main volunteering opportunities this year will be as room guides for Stourhead’s Palladian mansion house, since it is opening its doors to visitors more often this year.

“Anybody with a little spare time is very welcome to drop into Stourhead on 2 or 3 February and discover more about the volunteering opportunities we have on offer this year,” said Jean Nimmo, Volunteer Co-ordinator at Stourhead.

She added “A volunteer with the National Trust will not only be part of an enthusiastic, friendly team but will get the chance to work alongside some real experts and pick up all sorts of knowledge from them. Many find that the practical skills learnt are of use in future careers.”

The recruitment weekend is on Saturday 2 February and Sunday 3 February from 11am to 2.30 pm at Stourhead House, Stourton, Wiltshire. Anybody interested is welcome to drop in, meet some of the staff and volunteers who work at Stourhead and find out more about what they can get involved in.

Other volunteering roles include garden guides, fundraising and restaurant assistants.

For further information on this volunteer recruitment weekend or volunteering generally at Stourhead please contact Jean Nimmo, Volunteer Co-ordinator at the Stourhead estate office on 01747 841152 jean.nimmo@nationaltrust.org.uk