Meet Our Volunteers
Here at Middleton Hall & Gardens we currently have a family of over 50 volunteers. From gardeners and tour guides to bakers and crafters read below to meet the people who make our heritage site so special.
Trustee & Volunteer
“I’ve been a volunteer at Middleton now for almost 8 years- where does the time go??
I started off by responding to an article in the local paper by the then Middleton Hall manager.
I started off helping organise our archive material and was amazed at the story of how the Hall had been saved and then rebuilt. But it soon became obvious that in order to survive, the Trust needed to develop from being a group of incredible volunteers to being a much more business like organisation.
Using my work experience in the NHS and social care I became a Trustee and then Chair of the Board, and have subsequently been so fortunate to work alongside some really talented, committed and interesting people.
The best thing for me about Middleton is chatting to people and hearing their stories, and being able to do something positive in lovely surroundings. I never come on site without it lifting my spirits, whatever the weather! But have learnt always to come with several layers of clothing, again whatever the weather !
My preferred job now is being on Visitor Welcome as I meet and get to know other volunteers. On visitor welcome I can give new visitors a brief overview of the Hall and it's previous residents.
In short I think there is nothing nicer than helping visitors (and other volunteers ) have an enjoyable time in wonderful surroundings, and am so pleased I can contribute in several ways to make sure this continues to be the case at Middleton. "
Wendy Morris & Sue Peskett
Longest standing Garden Volunteers
Back in 2011, I decided to begin volunteering at Middleton Hall. All the people I have met over the years whether they were gardening or volunteering in other rolls on the site have been welcoming, kind and helpful.
The Walled Garden is such a nice place to work. It is always pleasant even in the not so good weather. It appears to have a micro climate of its own. The bad weather seems to pass us by.
I am part of the Friday Crew – we start at 10,00am. The Head
Our Head Gardener is so enthusiastic about his subject. He likes working with us, is so knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions we might have.
We all like to engage with the visitors and answer any enquiries
they may have there is always someone to help.
The garden is a peaceful place you can loose yourself and not think – just be. It gives me joy – a place to relax – a place to be with like minded people – great laughs and chat when we have our break mid morning, we also put the world to rights – then it is back to the weeds!! I recommend this place whatever task you think you would like to be involved in. Just come and try – we are a mixed bunch but we all care about this special place.
Its been some years, in fact a year in the last century since I became a volunteer at Middleton Hall, doing a variety of jobs within the diversely aged buildings of the hall, chatting and listening to the stories of the visitors and their connections to the hall.
Every time I drive past the lake I find myself relaxing viewing the wildlife.
The people I work with in the garden are a really great group and many friendships have developed over the years in the peaceful surroundings. Each week in our half time break discussions vary from world news to humorous family stories and sometimes the helpful sharing of knowledge of garden techniques and tips !
The most awe inspiring time in the gardens is late June and early July following the bright spring colours of snowdrops, daffodils, bluebells and hellebores and much later the glorious autumn hues. Seeing the barren winter soil emerge into full colour is a miracle in itself. We have had several gardeners over the years who have each inspired different ideas as the gardens have evolved. The mantra of the current one is weeding, one of our not so favourite jobs, but I am sure working with the soil is good for the soul!
Sue & Peter Carrington-Porter
Baker Volunteer & Visitor Welcome, Tour guide Volunteer
Sue and I visited Middleton Hall shortly after becoming members of Historic Houses: it was our nearest HHA site. We were enthralled by the story of the rediscovery and restoration, entranced by the tranquillity of the gardens and fascinated by the rich tapestry woven, it seemed, into the very timbers and stones.
A little later, on a walk during lockdown in Lichfield, we noticed that at the end of one house's drive a small selection of plants was on sale, together with leaflets suggesting that the gardens at Middleton were to reopen. When I looked at the website, I also saw that volunteers were needed. The rest they say is history. Here I am, happily welcoming visitors and also giving tours of the hall and gardens.
I was more interested in how I could help behind the scenes. Before too long, encouraged by Peter's own enthusiasm, I was able to contribute by baking home-made cakes for the tea-room, getting the bakes ready for special events such as Middleton Motors or Plant Hunters fairs. Like Peter, I find that Middleton Hall is a special place, founded on history and brought alive by the people who have made a mark on the place.