South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

House Steward - American Museum & Gardens

As the House Steward at the American Museum, you will play an important part in the property team, helping to take care of a nationally significant, fragile and complex collection and Grade I-listed Georgian manor house. You will be responsible for the safe and secure daily operation of the Museum and take responsibility for the maintenance of the property, including fire and security alarms, heating systems, and lighting. You will need to be comfortable working at heights. You will manage the safe opening and closing of the Museum as well as supervising the housekeeping team. Your daily tasks will be varied and you’ll be involved in everything from general housekeeping to preparing the Museum for special events. In addition, you will work with the Chief Curator to oversee the practical management and implementation of routine and deep cleaning programmes and preventative conservation measures at the property as well as to provide technical assistance with installing exhibitions and making changes to permanent displays.


The role includes key-holder responsibilities and includes weekend, evening, and some out of hours work. Although there are designated hours, a flexible approach is essential to help out at particularly busy times such as during large events or exhibition installation. It is important that the post-holder is prepared to help with emergencies, accept alterations to routine and to meet a change in circumstances and be thoroughly adaptable.


Other Considerations: The post-holder will be expected to adhere to the American Museum’s policies and observe safe working practices in carrying out the required duties and ensure that instructions specified by technical consultants, contractors, and manufacturers are adhered to.


Duties and Responsibilities:


Caretaker Duties



• To clean light fittings and to test lighting systems replacing where necessary minor parts such as tubes, bulbs, fuses starters and diffusers, in accordance with safe working practices.


• To ensure that gullies, drains etc. are kept free from debris and that the Museum and grounds are litter free.


• To assist with ensuring clear and safe pedestrian access to the Museum particularly in adverse weather conditions (e.g. clearing snow, gritting etc.)


• To dispose of waste materials in a safe, hygienic manner ensuring that it is available for collection as required. • To undertake porterage tasks as required including setting up and clearing away furniture.


• To undertake handyperson duties as directed by the Deputy Directory as outlined below:


• Painting and decorating – as required.


• Joinery- first line maintenance of fixtures and fittings, examples: tightening screws on window hinges, maintenance on door handles, minor repairs.


• Plumbing- un-blocking sinks, traps and waste pipes. Adjustment and re-washer of taps.


• Internal Glazing – remedial action after breakage, for example boarding up of broken windows.


• To monitor stock levels of consumable items such as fuel, grit, lightbulbs/tubes and arrange to replenish supplies in accordance with current procedures.


Fire, Security and Safety


• To be responsible for maintaining the security of the premises and its contents in accordance with the Museum’s current requirements. Opening and locking up of the Museum including alarms, walkthrough lights, and internal doors.


• Manage property security systems and their operation. The post-holder will be a key holder and play a lead role in the alarm response team. This may involve answering alarm calls during closed hours. He or she is responsible for ensuring that all security measures are in place and operating effectively. (Due to the key holder status of the post, onsite accommodation will be provided for the successful applicant.)


• To maintain appropriate records including intruder alarm logbook, repair orders, and heating system records book, carry out meter readings for the Museum.


• To report emergencies in the case of faults with electric and water supply to the Deputy Director, or where not immediately available regular contractors, and report minor faults on site to the Deputy Director.


• To attend to, where necessary, personnel visiting the site such as contractors and ensuring that they understand and adhere to Museum policies regarding safe working and security.


• Be aware of, and constantly vigilant to, the risks of fire, theft and other emergencies and observe at all times the procedures set out in the Emergency Plan.


• Work with the Chief Curator to help maintain and keep up-to-date the Emergency Plan. Responsible for regular checks of Emergency kits and replacing missing or depleted items.


• Assist with the maintenance of environmental conditions, central heating and hot water systems, fire and burglar alarm and other associated services. Supervise routine maintenance, up-dates, and repairs to these systems. Check portable heaters and empty dehumidifiers. Report any defects or malfunctions to the Deputy Director Conservation, collections management and presentation


• Supervise Housekeeping team and ensure that cleaning guidelines issued by the Chief Curator are followed to ensure that the Museum is presented to the highest standards.


• Work with the Chief Curator to plan the annual winter deep cleaning programme and the Deputy Director to implement planned maintenance during this time. Liaise with members of the Housekeeping team and Curatorial team to ensure no clashes of planned work.


• Provide assistance to the Conservation Assistant and other member of the curatorial department with the safe installation of historic objects within period settings


• Assist with annual changes to the temporary exhibition and permanent displays.


In addition, all employees are expected to:


• Be accountable for their own development through the performance and development reviews (appraisal) process seeking out opportunities to learn new skills.


• Participate in training and workshops as directed by the Chief Curator or deputy Director.


• Work within the terms of their contract of employment and adhere to the American Museum and Gardens policies and procedures.


• To comply with the requirements of Health and Safety policy & procedures, other relevant legislation and Museum policies and carry out weekly fire alarm tests, and assist with evacuation and emergency procedures.


• To understand and comply with the Museum’s equal opportunities policy.


• To carry out any other reasonable duties within the overall function of the job.


Please apply by email to Julian.blades@americanmuseum.org with your CV and a covering letter explaining why you feel qualified to do the job and what you can bring to the American Museum. It would be appreciated if you could also include a contact telephone number. Proposed interview dates are 16 or 18 January 2019. We will be in touch with those who we would like to invite to interview. Please appreciate that if we have not been in touch by close of business on 15 January your application has been unsuccessful this time.


Organisation name: American Museum & Gardens

Contact name: Julian Blades

Contact email:

Contact phone number: 01225460503

Contact website: http://www.americanmuseum.org

Type: Full-time (permanent)

Salary: £16,000 - £18,000 p.a. plus pension, rent free accommodation and council tax paid

Location: Bath

Deadline for completed applications: Monday 14 January 2019

Have a look at more jobs listings in the sector by clicking here