Andy Holbrook removes the sealed case containing the fatberg from display
What is a Collections Care Manager?
Collections care is about the risk management of collections: I work alongside our conservators, but rather than working item by item to clean and restore objects, I make sure we keep them in good conditions. That means keeping the environment at the right levels of heat, light and humidity, as well as preventing pest infestations.
My team also handle the risks in the collections: asbestos-containing objects, our firearms and drugs collections, radioactive materials, and any sort of heavy metals or nasty chemicals. So I became the fatberg wrangler.
What does a fatberg wrangler do?
I’m the only person in the museum who has handled our Fatberg samples outside of their display case- while I was wearing a respirator, a Tyvek suit, googles and gloves. At times you could smell the fatberg despite wearing full face protection. It had a whiff of the festival toilet- something chemical plus people’s contributions to the sewer system.
The fatberg samples were lighter than they looked, it felt a little bit like pumice stone, but crumbly in texture. But Fatberg has evolved since it’s been on display.