York 24/7: The volunteer guide

York 24/7: The volunteer guide
25 Jul 2013 @ 3.01 pm
| News

hugh-macdougall-headshotWe asked writers to keep a diary of their day on July 24 for the York 24/7 project. Volunteer guide Hugh MacDougall enjoys a summer social

After a morning doing unexciting and undemanding domestic work, I spent the afternoon engaged in one of my volunteer roles as a National Trust guide at the Treasurer’s House, York. I do this two half-days each week.

My other volunteer role is with York Museums Trust in the Historic Library at the Yorkshire Museum, working each Thursday as a cataloguer and in situ conservationist.

Working as a volunteer guide at the Treasurer’s House is always interesting, meeting visitors from all over the world and telling them some of the history of the house, talking about the wealthy and fascinating Edwardian industrialist and philanthropist Frank Green, who bought the property and changed the interior to house his collection of antiques.

Visitors are also always eager to know about the time in 1900 when the Prince and Princess of Wales, the future King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, stayed there for two nights.

Highlight of the day was the summer evening social at the Treasurer’s House. The National Trust hosts two social evenings (summer and Christmas) for volunteer guides to thank us for our efforts.

It’s a good opportunity to meet socially over a glass of wine and a lovely buffet. Especially enjoyable this time was listening to folk tunes played on a variety of recorders by a group of ladies which includes one of the Treasurer’s House volunteers.

What better way to spend a warm summer evening than enjoying wine and good food among friends and listening to fine music in the gorgeous garden of the 16th century Treasurer’s House, with a perfect view of York Minster’s magnificent Chapter House? There surely can’t be many, if any, better places in England for a summer social gathering.