The longest serving volunteer at the Erasmus Darwin House, Polly De Hamel, celebrated her 90th Birthday. She is one of 60 volunteers who help to keep the Museum open for others to enjoy throughout the year.
From running workshops for schools, tending the garden, welcoming visitors or even repairing costumes there's always something to be involved in at Erasmus Darwin House. For opportunities please visit: http://www.erasmusdarwin.org/about-us/volunteers/
Everyone at the House including Trustees, staff and supporters can't thank Polly and all their volunteers enough. Polly has an important connection to the House and here's her story for you to enjoy:
Polly used to live in the House with her husband Richard Greening who was the organist and Master of the Choristers at Lichfield Cathedral. They moved into this beautiful Georgian property in 1959 when Richard was appointed and in those days accommodation was provided with the position.
After some much-needed TLC Polly and her husband brought the House back to life where they brought up their family for the next 20 years. In fact her youngest son was born in one of the rooms upstairs! (now where the Exhibition Room and lift are situated). They moved out when her husband retired from the Cathedral, he was also a lecturer at the School of Music in Birmingham at the time, and for some years the House was unoccupied, vandalised and gradually became dilapidated until it was no longer usable.
Canon Tony Barnard visited the House knowing it's fascinating history and connection to Erasmus Darwin. With great enthusiasm he set up a committee and prepared plans to open the House as a Museum dedicated to Dr Darwin's life. When the Museum officially opened in 1999 Polly was one of the first volunteers to support the House and welcome visitors.
This is Polly in her own words:
"I want to be a part of the House, it's important to me, we filled it with people all the time and I have many good memories. I loved living there and I want to support it now and make it a home for others to enjoy. Volunteering for me is about making a place warm and welcoming for others"
If you'd also like to be involved in their growing community of volunteers, don't hesitate to get in touch on 01543 306260.
Member since: 10th July 2012
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