Today Abbie and I went back to Gaskell’s House to shadow some of the volunteers in order to learn a bit more about the running of the house. Apart from the managers, all aspects of the House is run by volunteers, it is evident that they have played a significant role in the running of the house following its’ renovation.
We chatted with Margaret, the volunteer usually based in the main living room, who showed us some of Gaskell’s original belongings, including her passport which she told us was important considering the amount of travelling Gaskell liked doing with her daughters. Margaret was interesting to talk to and clearly knowledgeable on the topics faced, she did however raise the idea of creating more interactive exhibitions and more interesting ways of displaying the relevant information- something that both Abbie and I had commented on ourselves whilst walking round the House. Much of the information is displayed in A4 black and white booklets which are difficult for adults to fully take in, let alone children or teenagers. We agreed that we would bring this up with Angela when we next see her as part of our work in developing educational packs and making the information about Elizabeth Gaskell and her House more accessible and interesting for younger people.