THE ARTS SOCIETY HART

NADFAS Heritage Volunteers are teams of non-specialist volunteers who work under the guidance of curators and other professionals to help conserve our heritage. They give their time to care for collections, record documents and act as guides and stewards.

In 2015 a team of Hart DFAS volunteers completed the conservation of the 1st Duke of Wellington’s funeral car, now housed at Stratfield Saye. The car was built in 1852 to carry the Duke’s coffin from Horse Guards Parade to St Paul’s Cathedral where the Duke rests to this day. The car, 21 feet long and weighing 18 tons, has a carriage with bronze sculptures made from cannons captured at the battle of Waterloo. On top of that is a wooden platform with the names of the Duke’s victories picked out in gilt paint. At the front is the Duke’s coat of arms and above that a selection of accoutrements of war, including swords, halberds and Brown Bess muskets of the kind used at Waterloo. On the advice of the chief conservator and armourer at the Wallace Collection, the bronze work was treated with a fine coat of Renaissance wax while the weapons received a similar coat after very gentle removal of the top layer of rust with the finest grade of steel wool. This conservation was finished in time for the bicentennial of the battle of Waterloo.