Gaskell House Blogs

Meet the Team – Katy

28th February 2024
in blog, People

This week in our meet the team series it’s Katy Ellis, our Volunteer and Collections Manager.

Katy was a volunteer at the House from 2015-2021, during which time she completed a MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies at the University of Manchester, worked as a library assistant and a cleaner. She joined the staff team as House Assistant in 2021 on Elizabeth Gaskell’s birthday so she always remembers her work anniversary!.

Katy’s fun fact is that she wrote a huge chunk of a novel in 2015 whilst volunteering, sat at Elizabeth’s writing table in the Dining Room. We look forward to reading it some day!

What does your job involve ?

I manage the team of volunteers, which involves recruitment, training, and preparing rotas. I also look after the House’s collection, as well as manage our Tea Room and Gift Shop.

What’s your favourite place in the House?

The attic (pictured above). I’m currently working on a project to transform the space into our museum stores, so I’ve spent a lot of time up there recently. Whilst the space itself is quite modern, (no original features remain) there are all sorts of hidden treasures in the attic and I’ve loved the chance to sort through them all and get them stored correctly. I think I love it so much because it’s one area of the House not many people ever get the chance to see, so it feels very special to me.

Best thing about working at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House?

I’m probably biased, but it’s definitely the volunteers! Their dedication and love for the House is amazing to see, we genuinely couldn’t do any of this without their support. They’re a lovely team and I’m very lucky to work with them.

Worst thing about working at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House?

How many stairs there are. I don’t know how Elizabeth managed – not to mention the servants!

Aside from Elizabeth Gaskell, who is your favourite author or genre?

I’m a really passionate romance reader. I love everything about it as a genre. My favourite romance author is Lisa Kleypas, who mainly writes historical romance and features a lot of working class, often industrialist heroes, in her books.

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