Cleaning the range and checking for furniture beetles: Behind the scenes at the D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum’s annual “deep clean.”

28/12/23 - If you’ve cooked Christmas dinner, then you’ll know what hard work it can be to get your oven looking spick and span again. That’s exactly the level of hard work that will be going on at Eastwood’s D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum next week as they begin their annual deep clean, which includes the black-leading range.

“Cleaning the range is by far the dirtiest job,” said Carolyn Melbourne, Museum and Collections Officer at the museum which is on Victoria Street. “You need a mask, gloves and apron and still somehow you get black smudges somewhere on you. We do it yearly as part of our annual deep clean, but Lydia Lawrence, D.H. Lawrence’s mother would have done it every week.

The kitchen at the museum with the range on the left hand side

We have to deep clean and inspect over 2,000 items as part of the clean, using specialist equipment and checking for signs of damage or deterioration to ensure that our collection is properly cared for and maintained. The deep clean is part of the museum’s commitment as an accredited museum. An inventory audit is also undertaken at the same time, to protect objects from unnecessary handling.”

Another item that will be given the five-star cleaning treatment is the Chiffonier, a type of sideboard, and one of the Lawrence family items. 

“It’s made of solid mahogany and is quite a grand piece for a working-class family. I’m sure they would have been very proud of it so the Officers and Volunteers undertaking the cleaning will ensure it is given the respect the family would have wanted for it. We have to check for any changes, such as deepening cracks and inspect the environment for insects that might want to munch on it, like furniture beetles.”

The Parlour At The Museum With The Chiffonier On The Right Hand Side

The museum will re-open on 18 January 2023.

The D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum is where this literary legend was born on 11 September 1885. Only 30 minutes from Nottingham city centre, the Museum is a must see for fans of literature, and for those wanting to delve deeper into Nottingham’s literary heritage.

Step back in time to experience the traditional Victorian wash house, see the parlour; a room only for special guests, feel the warmth of the fire in the kitchen and have a wander around the parental and other bedrooms. The museum’s permanent exhibition features items from Lawrence’s family and even paintings created by the author himself.

Find out more at www.broxtowe.gov.uk/dhlawrencemuseum


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