As you know I work at a National Trust property called Basildon Park as a tour guide. I love the work that I do, sharing the house with others and getting to talk about a place that I love and a subject that I find fascinating. My interest isn't just limited to Basildon Park though. You will also know that I love to visit other National Trust properties and I am a great supporter of their work, and have been for many years.
I feel a bit odd writing about this, but because of my interest this is something which has touched me a great deal. Part of me thinks that I should be talking about something more significant, such as the dreadful earthquake in Nepal. I am so very touched by that and feel so awful, but I don't know enough to talk to you about that. I know a little more about old houses. Others have, and will, write far more eloquently than me about human tragedies. I am better with stones and bricks it seems.
So please forgive me this musing and the change from the normal posts.
As I mentioned briefly in yesterdays post, on Wednesday, there was a fire at another National Trust property, Clandon Park. I spent some time yesterday reading reports of the fire and looking at many images, I also watched some news reports. There are some reports here if you are interested.
The house has been totally devastated, and as I write this on Thursday afternoon the news is that the house has essentially been destroyed internally. The outside walls are standing, but there seems to be nothing much left apart from that.
Most importantly of all though, no one was injured in the blaze at all, and that is something to be so very thankful for.
Many items have been saved from the house, including a painting of Richard Onslow, last owner of the house. The painting was cut from the frame by the firefighters in order to rescue it. The pictures of the saved items - which you can see here - sent chills down my spine.
There is a well rehearsed plan for removing items from properties which has allowed many things to be taken to a place of safety. This is something which is important in all historic buildings. Apparently only about a third of the items they hoped to save could actually be rescued.
I realise that any house fire is devastating to anyone whose home suffers in this way. Somehow though events like this touch us all don't they.
Some years ago we visited Clandon and I had hoped to return again one day. Of course that will not be for some time now, but I hope that the house will be rebuilt in time and can once again be somewhere that we can all go and enjoy.
The Trust do not yet know the cause of the fire, or what will happen next. I will be following this story though with interest and if/as and when more information becomes available I will let you know.
I just wanted to reflect on this with you today, because as I said above, historic houses and the work of the National Trust are a passion of mine, and I was so touched by this.
I have turned off comments on this post as there isn't really anything else to add is there. You can of course add your own - no doubt far more cheerful! - Five On Friday post links though and I will of course be stopping by to read and comment on those.
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