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Dudmaston takes centre stage in brand new BBC TV Series

A National Trust property near Bridgnorth will be one of the main stories in a brand-new BBC Arts TV Series; Hidden Treasures of the National Trust.

BBC Hidden Treasures filming the Spaceframe at Dudmaston. Photo: Laura Bishop
BBC Hidden Treasures filming the Spaceframe at Dudmaston. Photo: Laura Bishop

Scheduled for 9pm on BBC2 on Friday 26 May, the programme will shine a light on the often-hidden work done by conservators and curators in the Trust to look after items in the Trust’s care. With many objects still housed in the places they were made or bought for, they help to tell the stories of and reflect the national scale and importance of the many properties the Trust cares for.

Hidden Treasures of the National Trust follows the conservators and other experts at work, as they breathe new life into fragile marvels, uncover hidden stories, and strive to keep the past alive. The series introduces audiences to some of the volunteers and staff revealing their passion, dedication and affection for the places and collections they help to maintain.

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Dudmaston will be one of the locations, featuring in episode three, alongside 20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool, Sir Paul McCartney’s childhood home. Viewers will get to go behind the scenes while staff overcome the challenges of restoring a 20th century wooden garden sculpture.

Laura Bishop, Senior House and Collections Officer said:

“Modern art plays an important part in Dudmaston’s story, both indoors and out. The garden is home to seven sculptures, and the Spaceframe is certainly one of the most striking. Designed and created by Wolverhampton-born artist, Anthony Twentyman, we think that the sculpture may tell us about his experience as a Japanese Prisoner of War. The red dot on the top of the Spaceframe is thought to represent the Japanese flag, which Twentyman remembers saluting every day.”

“It’s fantastic to be able to shine a light on the intricate and often costly work that goes into conserving these special objects. We’re honoured to be part of the show and hope viewers take the opportunity to come and visit the sculpture, the garden and the property in person.”

The six-part series will visit some of the National Trust’s most well-known locations including Churchill’s home – Chartwell in Kent, as well as lesser-known treasures such as Hardman’s House in Liverpool, home to a nationally significant collection of photographs.

Alistair Pegg from BBC Arts said:

“Almost six million of us are members of the National Trust, but in this series we wanted to offer viewers a chance to discover something that visitors don’t normally see – the efforts behind the scenes to care for the wonderful gardens, the houses and their treasures, that together tell a story about us all.”

Tarnya Cooper, Curatorial and Conservation Director for the National Trust said this about the series “We to look after over 500 places for the benefit of the nation, and trying to convey the scale of that responsibility, is not easy. However, this series beautifully brings to life the quantity and diversity of the objects and places in our care, and the incredible skills of our staff, volunteers, and the specialists we work with.

“We will be spending £360m on conservation projects across our buildings, collections and gardens over the next three years and viewers will be get a sense of the fact that on any one day we could be repairing a puppet from the Second World War, through to 2,000 year old Roman sculptures, and everything in between.”

Dudmaston will be open Sunday-Thursday until the end of October and visitors will be able to see The Spaceframe, the sculpture featured in the show, in the garden which opens at 11am. Admission applies, free entry for National Trust members.

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