Gaskell House Blogs

Meet the team – Simon

14th February 2024
in blog, People

We are in the process of introducing everyone from our small staff team at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, and this week, is Simon Parkin, our cleaner.

Simon started working at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House just before it opened to the public in 2014 so he’s the longest serving member of the team. Simon lives locally and remembers the House when he was growing up as the ‘pink house’ (when the House was owned by the University of Manchester it was painted pink).

Simon also works at Victoria Baths, and likes to tell people that he works for Vicky and Liz.

His literature-related fun fact is that when he was at school he had a poem published in an anthology by Manchester poet Lemn Sissay.

What does your job involve?

I come to the House three mornings a week to clean. I also help set up rooms for events and weddings, move furniture and help out when needed. I’m on standby to clear paths when it’s snowy and icy, and branches and litter when it’s windy.

What’s your favourite place in Elizabeth Gaskell’s House?

Hard to pick, but I’d say the Drawing Room. When you open the shutters on a sunny morning, the light streaming through looks beautiful.

What’s the best thing about working at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House?

Being able to buy so many second-hand books!

What’s the worst thing about working at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House?

Being tempted to buy so many books and having to buy new shelving for all the books I keep buying! Seriously, whenever there is extreme weather I always worry about the House.

Aside from Elizabeth Gaskell, who is your favourite author?

Terry Pratchett.

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