A week at the Charterhouse: A blog by Amal Ali

Hello, my name is Amal Ali I have just completed my college work experience at The Charterhouse. I had never heard of it before, but I chose to come here to learn more about its long history. I especially wanted to explore the difference between the newly-opened Charterhouse museum and other museums in London.

On my first day I met Holly, the Volunteer Co-ordinator, and she introduced me to the staff and volunteers. Then I met the Learning Manager, Cynthia and the Museum and Collections Manager, Ellie. After meeting everyone we headed down to lunch with the Brothers in the Great Hall. Most people in London don’t know that a community of Brothers (male and female pensioners over the age of 60) live in the Charterhouse. We had our lunch then I took a public tour with Brother Mansel and it was two hours long. I enjoyed my first day. I wasn’t expecting it to be so great.

I started Wednesday by helping Cynthia with a Victorian half term family activity in collaboration with Guildhall Art Gallery. There were kids and parents and we toured the exhibition to find pictures they liked before drawing their own family portraits. After we finished the morning half at Guildhall, we travelled to the Charterhouse for a Victorian school session. In the afternoon, I met the Communications Manager, Charlotte. She explained a lot of things that I didn’t know about the museum and how it works. Then, Ellie showed me around the historic buildings and explained how she keeps the collections clean and how to keep it neat and tidy, so that it doesn’t get damaged.

On Thursday I sat on the front desk with James and Mark, the visitor hosts, helping them in the shop and at the reception with different areas such as booking tours and showing visitors around the museum. In the afternoon I was in the office helping Holly collate data from the recent volunteer survey. Today, I started off helping Ellie make sure all the books and pictures in the collection have not been damaged by insects – pest management. Now, I am writing my blog before finishing my last day here at the Charterhouse.

I would like to thank all of the staff at the Charterhouse for this amazing experience. I had the opportunity to meet the Brothers and see a real black death skeleton (pictured). I never knew that the Brothers existed before I came here and explored all the great places and artefacts like the Norfolk Cloister.

Amal Ali, AS Level Student, City and Islington College

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