Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Dunkirk ‘little ships’ overhauled at Arlington Court

14:41 03 May 2014

The Dunkirk model

The Dunkirk model 'little ships' at Arlington Court are only cleaned once every 10 years.

Archant

Watch National Trust staff complete the once a decade clean up of delicate model moats commemorating the evacuation of allied troops from France during World War Two.

National Trust conservation assistant Giles Miller cleaning some of the Dunkirk model boats at Arlington Court.National Trust conservation assistant Giles Miller cleaning some of the Dunkirk model boats at Arlington Court.

VISITORS to Arlington Court from May 19-25 will be able to see National Trust staff conserving a collection of model boats commemorating the World War Two evacuation from Dunkirk.

The 12 models are part of a larger collection of more than 70 models, many of which are on display in the house.

The majority of conservation work at Arlington Court is usually done behind closed doors, either during the winter or before the house opens to the public each day.

But when the opportunity arises, the team enjoy sharing their work with visitors and so, 74 years after the evacuation of the allied soldiers from France, the house team will be completing their conservation work on the Dunkirk collection.

The Dunkirk model 'little ships' at Arlington Court are only cleaned once every 10 years.The Dunkirk model 'little ships' at Arlington Court are only cleaned once every 10 years.

The collection was amassed by Rosalie Chichester, the last owner of the North Devon estate, who had a passion for collecting and wanted her house set up as a museum when it passed to the National Trust on her death in 1949.

Rosalie commissioned the replica Dunkirk boats after the war to add to her collection of models but she died before the full order could be completed. The 12 models in the Dunkirk collection are only half of the original 24 models ordered.

The ships are only cleaned about once every 10 years, to minimise the chance of damaging them through handling. Each takes between six and 18 hours to clean.

“Being close to these models gives you a real sense of history and poignancy, not only because of the Dunkirk evacuation, but also because Rosalie never saw her collection completed,” said David Gibbons, house steward.

“When we start conservation work on the ships, we initially spend a long time looking at the construction of the piece and analysing the materials it’s made from. Then we have to decide which cleaning agents are safe to use – many products, even specialist ones, could strip off paint or dissolve old glued repairs.”

Arlington Court is open daily from 10.30am-5pm, more information can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/arlington-court or contact 01271 850296.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 15:34
RNLI lifeguards have been busy again in 2011 on North Devon beaches. PIC: RNLI.

RNLI lifeguards had a busy week as they rescued people from rip currents and dealt with several serious medical episodes on Croyde and Woolacombe.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:45
Flora Kyte, Ben Price, Ottelie Kuehne, Hannah Munro-O'Brien, Bethany Lee, Emily Yelland and Helena Reed celebrate top results at South Molton Community College. Picture: Matt Smart

Teenagers across the region opened their results today (Thursday), with more exceptional achievements for schools in the area.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:39

Mystery surrounds the circumstances as to how the man was found injured in the early hours after Hartland Carnival. Can you help?

Read more
Yesterday, 10:20
The Seamoor Unit has won a regional award

Seamoor Unit is named ‘best building under £2m’ at the Michelmores Property Awards

Read more
Yesterday, 09:38
MV Balmoral is welcomed to Bideford. Picture: Graham Hobbs

The vessel arrived in Bideford with 224 passengers as was greeted by the mayor and town crier.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:34
A pop-up night club transformed the Wrey Arms pub in Sticklepath, Barnstaple. Picture: Contributed

First pop-up club is held at The Wrey Arms with disco, lights and plenty of party spirit.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:06
Councillors Des Brailey and Dick Jones at the Maple Grove land before it was cleared.

Wasteland is tidied up and given over to community use

Read more
Yesterday, 08:36
Fire engine

Telehandler was destroyed in the fire this morning (Thursday) which also damaged tractor, trailer and large hay bales.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
A chance to explore wildlife haven at Meeth Quarry on the water.

The lakes at Meeth Quarry are not normally open to water sports - but for one day only explore them by kayak, canoe or raft with Devon Wildlife Trust.

Read more
Wed, 19:20
Can you give the loving Jean-Paul a home?

With Barnstaple & District Cats Protection

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications