The Strangest Projects We’ve Worked On
They say variety is the spice of life, but working in a heritage consultancy means that we sometimes come across some very unusual projects! We asked some of our team about the strangest jobs they’ve ever undertaken working for us – here are their answers!
Amy, Heritage Assistant:
“I was involved in helping to catalogue the collection of the British Homeopathic Society, which included labelling, photographing and adding objects to an inventory, where we came across some really interesting objects! The collection had everything from small vials to a large painting and we dealt with some beautiful cases full of vials that occasionally smelt interesting (take that as you will)! It was certainly an enjoyable few days.”
Lisa, Heritage Assistant:
“My strangest experience with Culture Syndicates has to be when we were trying to book a therapy pony to visit a retirement home in Mansfield. We had it all booked, for an outreach, reminiscence session at the home. If that wasn’t strange enough… we turned up in the morning to find that the Pony had sadly cancelled due to bad weather, late the night before. The residential home received a call, informing them that ‘the pony will no longer be attending in the morning’, but suffice to say, the night shift team had no idea about a pony visiting, and thought it was a prank call!”
Natasha, Heritage Assistant:
“Possibly the strangest – but also most rewarding – task was overseeing an outreach session at Magnolia House (a care home in Mansfield) during which we had a therapy pony come in. Older people, especially those with dementia, tend to respond well to animals. This is a concept that I hadn’t heard of before my time at CS, but which the Resilience Syndicate Interns used and found really effective. The residents loved getting up close to the pony and it was amazing to see one resident in particular, who has dementia and had not contributed during any of our previous sessions, really open up and enjoy the session. So, although it was a strange experience taking a pony (wearing a nappy!) into a care home, it was rewarding and a highlight of my time at CS. It showed how heritage organisations can get involved in health and wellbeing agendas – something which Mansfield Museum, who we did the project for, is really keen on.”
Hollie, Head of Projects:
“One of the most unusual projects I’ve been on was at Rutland County Museum, where we were tasked with taking an inventory of the museum stores. This involved dealing with a large archaeology collection that contained all sorts of strange objects. We also came across a taxidermy husky, who had originally belonged to the Earl of Lonsdale and formed part of his sled team when he explored the arctic regions of Canada in 1888. It was a very complex project, but it was interesting to explore the depths of a local museum’s collection.”
As you can see, we’ve had some particularly unusual projects come through the Culture Syndicate doors in the last few years! What’s the strangest heritage-related thing that’s happened to you?
By Ellen Smithies