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Governess Car, milk float and tip cart cleaning, High Lickbarrow

Three horse drawn carts at High Lickbarrow farm near Windermere are rare survivors as an indigenous group and highly significant to the story of this very special place. The governess car, tip cart and milk float were still in use by the Bottomley family into the 1970s. The float, which may have been made by the East Yorkshire manufacturer, Crosskills, has the Bottomley name sign-written onto it - one of our favourite details.

The National Trust moved the carts into a safer location where they were protected from the weather. All that was needed from Hog & Fitch was very gentle dust removal, taking care to take away only the more recently accumulated dirt, but no fragile surfaces and no evidence of historic operation. The interior of the tip cart was encrusted with manure left from its last use, which we retained. We also kept the wax which had blown onto the interior surface of the glass lanterns on the governess car.

Hog & Fitch's removal of the more recent surface dirt will help prevent further damage to the carts, allow everyone to appreciate them better and enable the National Trust to make the next round of decisions about their future care and conservation.

The images below show the carts before, during and after cleaning. Please see captions at the bottom of this page for more detail, or have a look at our blog.

Images and acknowledgements

Main header image: the carts in the bank barn at High Lickbarrow

From top: governess car, during conservation cleaning in the barn at High Lickbarrow; Angela inspecting the manure deposits in the interior of the tip cart; Angela removing cobwebs from the tip cart wheels; Bottomley name on side of milk float; Angela carefully lifting dust from around the name sign without damaging the fragile surface of the sign itself; interior of milk float before cleaning; detail of governess car before cleaning; very fragile surfaces and paint on a wheel of the governess car; Margaret brushing surface dirt off pieces removed from the interior of the tip cart; brushing surface dirt off pieces removed from the interior of the tip cart, with milk float on left and governess car visible behind; cleaning loose sections and checking for woodworm; inside the house for minimal cleaning of the lanterns from the governess car; minimal cleaning of the lanterns from the governess car

All photos by Hog & Fitch, reproduced with permission of the National Trust