Events

Full details about opening times and all events being held at Valentines Mansion and Gardens are available from Vision RCL’s website. For information on facilities and rooms for hire at Valentines Mansion, contact +44 (0) 8708 8100 or email hiringvalentines@visionrcl.org.uk.

Forthcoming Friends’ Events

Anyone is very welcome at all our events but membership offers advance notice and booking of events through regular newsletters and more often than not, discounted prices to “Friends” – so why not join us ?

We were delighted on 12 October to be able to hold our first Friends’ event inside the Mansion since the first lockdown in spring 2020. We enjoyed The Tale of a Shirt, a talk by local historian Michael Potter complemented by Russian music of the period. Hope you’ll join us for our Seasonal celebration in December.

A Victorian Christmas at Valentines – Friday 3 December, 7pm-9pm

An event for all the family inside the Mansion .  It was Queen Victoria’s marriage to the German-born Prince Albert that introduced some of the most prominent aspects of Christmas celebrations today.  Valentines mansion was a family home for the entire duration of Queen Victoria’s reign.  Step into this beautifully restored and decorated home for a fun start to the festive season.  

Seasonal refreshments and historical entertainments for everyone!

Places limited! Book early to avoid disappointment.

Special Sundays & Memorable Mondays

Sundays and Mondays are Open Days when you can visit the Mansion between 10.30am and 4pm. Some of these Open Days arranged by the Friends will be special and we hope memorable too.

Some “Friendly” ghosts, witches, giants and pirates will be laying on a Tricky Trail for a Special Halloween Sunday, as well as a few spooky stories and other surprises! Explore the house to discover the hidden horrors!

Be assured, the house can still be visited (almost as normal!) as part of the usual Open Day 10.30-4.00.

The Gallery will be the venue for up to ten children at a time (plus one accompanying adult) to sign up to a Storytelling Session, which will take place approximately every twenty minutes. There is no charge, though donations are welcome!

Special SundayMusic At The Mansion was held on 18 July and this free event featuring a variety of music performed in and around the Mansion, from choral music to jazz, Chinese music and film classics on the piano , was thoroughly enjoyed by many people. There is a more detailed write-up in the Friends’ newsletter.

Visitors and park goers enjoyed a great jazz quintet featuring the talented Josh Kemp on the saxophone, Jason Rose tinkling the ivories of the beautiful grand piano in the Drawing Room, The Valentine Singers’ mainly very gentle and sometimes humorous choral singing which resonated beautifully within the canopy of the Porte Cochere and last but not least, we were treated to two sessions from Joanna Zenghui Qiu and other accompanying Chinese and Beijing Opera performers where we heard an amazing variety of melodic sounds on a range of instruments.

Forthcoming Mansion Events

Regular events take place throughout the year. Visit for family activities, exhibitions, craft workshops and specialist fairs .

EXHIBITIONS in the Mansion Gallery – Sun & Mon 10:30am – 4 pm FREE ENTRY

Art in Lockdown by Valentines Mansion Studio Artists

A variety of pieces created during the Covid-19 pandemic. Artwork includes paintings, ceramics, eco-prints and more. 

17 May – 19 July 21 EXTENDED

Past Friends’ Events

The Friends Of Valentines Mansion have clocked up over 20 years of fundraising and celebrating the preservation of Redbridge’s most beautiful community asset.

A past event, at which visitors discovered the connection between Jane Austen and Valentines.

The Tale of a Shirt -Tues 12 October 2021 , 7.30pm – 9.15pm

Revolution, wars, refugees – a recurring theme in the history of the 20th and 21st centuries.  In The Tale of a Shirt local historian Michael Potter takes us back to 1905, when a member of his family, then a 30-year-old student in St.Petersburg was one of the conspirators trying to remove the Tsar.  The failure to achieve this led to him fleeing his home, embarking on a dangerous journey across Europe and finally reaching safety in England.  This is a deeply personal account of revolution and its aftermath.  The talk was complemented by Russian music of the period.    

We had our first online (Zoom) event in March 2021 on Holcombe Ingleby’s birthday

The Mansion resumed Open Days on 24 August and we supported Mrs Ingleby’s Macmillan coffee morning in September 2020 .

We celebrated our 20th Anniversary with an Open Day in February 2020. We had planned to be celebrating during the year our part in the Mansion’s past and hoped to be joined by old and new faces at events to be part of its future. It was not to be .Due to pandemic our May , June and July events were postponed .

OUR VALENTINES 20th Anniversary Celebration – 26 February 2020


MUSIC, MERRIMENT & MINCE PIESThursday 5 December 2019 7.30pm

Our Christmas celebration 2019 was in three contrasting parts. The ice was broken as members and their guests enjoyed drinks and nibbles in the Gallery to the accompaniment of the delightful Roding Consort of recorders.

Then it was upstairs to the Drawing Room for a recital of Christmas songs, both old and new, by the Crofton Singers. They were magnificent and this was undoubtedly a highlight of the evening.

Finally over further refreshments downstairs, and after a bit of a slow start, there was considerable amusement as participants related tales of family customs and reminisced about Christmases past. Thus we now know, for example, that one of our committee members has pork pie for breakfast on Christmas Day, whilst another remembers making paper chains out of newspaper.

The seasonal decorations at the Mansion both inside and out were absolutely beautiful and it made an even lovelier backdrop than usual for this event. Gail Ellisdon


AN EVENING WITH VIVYAN ELLACOTT – 17 October 2019, 7.30pm

It was almost standing room only at this year’s talk – ‘My life in the theatre’ by Vivyan Ellacott. And what a talk it was! Vivyan skilfully took us through his career using anecdotes about his experiences and people he met along the way.


As a boy his first love was variety, engendered by his meeting artistes from the Empire Theatre Swansea who came into his mother’s grocery store to collect their post-war rations. This led to small parts in panto and even one in Under Milk Wood where he actually had two lines.
Various short-term stage management jobs whilst an undergraduate in London and subsequent directorial and acting roles, plus stints abroad, widened his horizons and he came to appreciate all genres of theatre. Thus he was well qualified to become involved in the design of Ilford’s Kenneth More Theatre, and its first manager. His contract with the theatre, where he stayed 36 years, allowed him to freelance, and during this time he took several successful shows on tour and flirted with West End management amongst other things.


This was a thoroughly exhilarating talk, though Vivyan hit a more serious note during the Q & A session when he reflected on the future of the Kenneth More Theatre and on the lives of youngsters supported by a charity in Romania, which is now one of his main retirement interests. Special thanks must go to Vivyan for not only providing such an entertaining evening but also for donating his fee to FoVM. Gail Ellisdon


WHODUNNITS AND DOUGHNUTS – Thursday 16 May 2019, 2.30 pm

A presentation by Ian SelbyClassic Crime Writers and their Characters  After tea and cake at the Mansion, you will be involved in our very own murder mystery play… if you dare! ……….                          A packed Morning Room was the scene for the Friends’  event, Whodunnits and Doughnuts.  During the first half Ian Selby, gave an informative presentation based on a wide variety of writers of crime fiction. The Mansion felt a perfect setting for such a subject. 
Following tea and cakes in the Gallery, Ian then enticed eight members of the audience to participate in “A First Class Murder” by donning various disguises and following a script for the rest to determine the guilty party. There were gales of laughter throughout as well as a wide range of very convincing characters. Credit to the Friend who as “Rupert Carrington” managed to keep it secret in a very gentlemanly manner that he knew the murderer’s identity, having previously read that particular story!  Others too impressed with their knowledge of crime writers, but all were able to take away new facts and encouragement to pick up another good book. This was the first time the Friends have organised an event of this kind and it gave lots of ideas for the future. 

“YOUR VALENTINES” Friday 22 February 2019

No stone was left unturned at this event which was aimed at show-casing the Mansion and the Friends’ involvement in it.

From a ‘design a dinner plate’ competition for children to the proffering of Black Hamburg grapes, all aspects of the house were on display. Information boards and costumed interpreters gave a comprehensive view of the house and its restoration whilst events, visits and talks organised by the Friends and items purchased by them for the Mansion were highlighted. There was a tricky quiz about various occupants of Valentines which concentrated the minds of even the most knowledgeable amongst us and, of course, tea and cakes in the drawing room! Dozens came including the Deputy Mayor and local councillors, and all showed a keen interest in what was on offer with many avowing to join the Friends as a result of what they had experienced.

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