The Victorian Village at Flambards has undergone a huge spring clean to be ready in time for the theme park’s reopening this Saturday.
Before Flambards opens its doors for the summer season, its first full opening since leaving administration, one woman will have cleaned every single one of the village’s nearly 60 shops, cottages and businesses.
As soon as the park closes for the winter, Verena Scholes begins to work her way through the entire village, painstakingly checking and cleaning every building and its contents.
The work includes everything from cleaning the 277 cakes and buns which were baked for the baker’s shop and then preserved in epoxy resin, to dusting the 75 stuffed animals and birds.
Much like the Victorians before her she also black leads the ranges and brasses all the buttons on the uniforms.
Verena said: “I’ve been cleaning the Victorian Village for 39 years and have watched it grow and grow from the first shop to an entire village with original shop fronts, cobbled streets and stone masonry.
“I liken it to the Forth Bridge because by the time you finish you have to start at the beginning again.
“Some of the cleaning is just how my granny taught me with the old ranges and buttons. It is the attention to detail that I love, so much thought has gone into every nook and cranny, it’s really wonderful.”
As part of the cleaning process all the linen on display in the village is also removed, hand-washed, starched and ironed.
Among the easiest of all is William White’s chemist shop, discovered after being locked away and forgotten since 1909 in South Petherton, Somerset, and purchased and re-assembled exactly as found.
Verena said: “All the dust in there is original, so all I need to do is clean the outside windows of the shop front.”
Flambards has recruited a new entertainment co-ordinator for 2014, as Dean Woods, multiple National Tourism Award winner, leaves Hendra Holiday Park after ten years.
Dean said: “I'm thoroughly excited to be working within such a talented management team, where we are able to draw upon years of experience within Cornwall's tourism industry in order to reaffirm Flambards as Cornwall's premier attraction for visitors and locals alike.”