Sir Charles Raymond owned Valentines Mansion from 1754 until his death in 1788.  Sir Charles Raymond of Valentines and the East India Company  (published August 2015) is a meticulously researched biography by local historian Georgina Green.  The book offers readers a detailed account of the life of a successful eighteenth-century sea captain whose oriental fortune laid the foundations for domestic comfort and commercial achievement at home in Georgian Essex.  Priced £15, the book is available from Valentines Mansion or from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Friends are grateful to Mr. John Hart for donating a charming mirror to the Friends - Mr. Hart is a descendent of the Finch family who owned Valentines in the early years of the eighteenth century.  The mirror now hangs in the Mansion in the stairwell, above the two Victorian chairs donated last year by Mrs. Phyllis Bowers.


We are sad to report the death of PETER WRIGHT on 11th May 2015.  Peter was a well-known and distinguished figure in local historical circles.  He was a founder member of the Friends of Valentines Mansion and its first Chairman, from 2000 until 2003, then serving several more years as a committee member.


Saturday 9th May 2015

This year the weather was kind, and although it was breezy at times it didn't rain and eventually the sun came out.  A variety of craft stalls displayed their wares - artwork, photography, home-made preserves, textiles, greetings cards and more.  Ilford Historical Society and the RSPB's North East London Group were also present.  There was musical entertainment throughout the day from Champagne Flutes, Fairlop Brass Ensemble, Redbridge Music School Recorders and, representing Redbridge Music Lounge, Moorby Jones and Storm in a Teacup.  Blackhorse and Standard Morris gave two performances, with opportunities for audience participation.  There was chess, indoors and outdoors, our friends from Copped Hall brought their magnificent 1929 Rolls Royce - always a big attraction - and there were games and activities for younger visitors.  It was a most enjoyable day - the Friends would like to thank all those who came, and the many helpers who worked so hard.


The Friends' second-hand bookstall is on second Sunday of the month, when you can be entertained by the musicians of Redbridge Music Lounge in the kitchen garden while you browse through our extensive selection of good quality books.  The bookstall will be open on Sundays 11th October & 9th November, 11.00 am to 2.30 pm at the Dovecote, beside the Mansion, then closed until February. 


Our Christmas event on 5th December brought a feast of music from singers Ann Ross, John Manuel and the St. Joseph’s Convent School Choir conducted by Hayleigh Clement-Doyle, with trumpeter Daniel Walton and accompanied at the keyboard by Philip Norman.  After seasonal refreshments in the Gallery, we returned to the Drawing Room to find Marion and Nigel Panzetta and Jackie Marshall-Ward resplendent in period costume to tell us about Christmas in Victorian times, with songs and poems, parlour games, Christmas stockings and a diet-busting recipe for mince pies, plus many fascinating facts about Christmas.  Did you know that Auld Lang Syne was originally sung at Christmas, rather than New Year?   The evening ended with a popular Christmas hymn, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, with music by Mendelssohn, a favourite composer of Queen Victoria, for us all to join in.  It was a joyous start to the festive season.


Thanks to a generous gift from FoVM member Mrs. Phyllis Bowers, you will be.  Mrs. Bowers has donated two Victorian chairs which belonged to her grandfather.  They have been restored and are now situated at the foot of the main staircase.  They are not museum-pieces, they are meant to be used, so if you are visiting Valentines Mansion and need a little rest, please take a seat.