It’s all crystal clear as chandelier is cleaned at Oxburgh Hall

Oxburgh Hall The big chandelier clean ''Ken Hill conservation volunteer
Oxburgh Hall The big chandelier clean ''Ken Hill conservation volunteer

“Now brace yourself, Rodney” are the first words that spring to mind when cleaning an irreplaceable chandelier.

But all talk of Del Boy’s infamous line from the classic episode of Only Fools And Horses is banned when volunteers get to work on the magnificent decorative feature at Oxburgh Hall.

Oxburgh Hall The big chandelier clean

Oxburgh Hall The big chandelier clean

The Trotters famously dropped a priceless Louis XIV chandelier in the BBC TV sitcom, but no such disaster is likely to occur in the National Trust venue.

Assistant house steward Sarah Purse said: “All talk of Only Fools and Horse is banned when we have visitors here.

“There’s a swear box for people to make a donation if they mention it.

“Luckily, our chandelier is not one that you can unscrew from the roof like the one Del and Rodney worked on, but it’s still a very delicate feature.

“Each of the crystals, which have a hook, are taken off individually.

“They are hand-cleaned, polished and stored before eventually going back up again. Once everything has been taken off, the brass structure gets a good dust

Sarah said it was a “big job” that staff looked forward to every year and which takes two full days to complete.

“As a rule, it normally takes us about 12 hours to take everything down and put it back up again,” she said.

“Once it is finished it really sparkles.”

The incredible crystal feature in the Saloon, which was brought to Oxburgh in 1985, contains just under 2,000 crystal drops and is cleaned once a year.

The frame is gilt brass hung with 1,957 individual pieces of cut glass. Originally candlelit, it was electrified sometime during the 20th century.

The Hall is alway looking for volunteers, especially room stewards.