During the first couple of weeks in August more than 15 people volunteered their time to help ensure that The Witham had a good ‘spring clean’. We kicked off our plans for re-opening with some seriously deep cleaning.
Our volunteers gave up anywhere between half a day and 8 days, to do their bit for The Witham. Their work ranged from washing floors, doors and skirting boards in rooms and corridors, through sanitising handrails, touch points on banisters and door panels, to scrubbing every step on every staircase and wiping down every single one of the 120 loose chairs dotted around the building and all the tables that go with them.
The loos have never looked better, thanks to some serious scrubbing. We are now just waiting for the new soap dispensers to arrive but suspect they may be coming from the far east as there is no sign of them as yet!
Every item in the kitchen was taken out or taken apart, cleaned and restored to its rightful place. The County Room had a face lift and in addition to being redecorated and cleaned to within an inch of its life, the damaged carpet tiles were lifted and replaced.
A squad of five made the rake look like new, wiping down all the soft furnishing and scrubbing the treads on each step. They discovered that ice is the key to all things ‘chewing gum’. Why do people do that??
The children’s caravan in the back is now spotless although, sadly, we had to part with various soft furnishings. Even under the stage was given attention as two of the trustees crawled, hoovered and sorted to make sure that 2020 is the beginning of a new era in terms of managing inventory and dealing with obsolete equipment and limited storage space. Volunteers kindly tackled the larger pieces of equipment that we no longer need in the café kitchen so that they can be sold on Barney Bits and Bobs or eBay.
And then, there was the decorating. Although grant money had covered the cost of renewing some of the paintwork at height, other parts of the building were still looking tired. Most of these have now been tackled including the main dressing room for artists; the communal facility for Hall Street Studios; the centre manager’s office and parts of the Music Hall.
Outside, we were delighted to reach the date when the haymeadow could have a trim. The apples are ripening and the borders have been tidied up too. Even the pigeon problem in the outside store seems to have been resolved. All we need now is the opportunity to open with a bit of sunshine.
Thanks everybody for your help.