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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 ?
HOGARTH’S SOUTHWARK FAIR From Paint to Print
Friday 25 February 7,30pm – 9.30pm
Valentines Mansion studio artist Julian Walker presents the stories behind Southwark Fair, one of William Hogarth’s best-known works. The original painting, now owned by Cincinnati Art Museum and currently on display at the Tate Britain until March 2022, was once owned by Sir Charles Raymond and hung in Valentines! Julian’s talk includes a fascinating demonstration of the engraving process used to create prints such as this. You will also be able to visit the Raymond Room where an original print of this painting is on display and hear first-hand from historian Georgina Green more about The Friends’ exciting plans for this room!
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 laid on a Tricky Trail for a Special Halloween Sunday, as well as a few spooky stories and other surprises!
“Special Sunday” Music 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.
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.
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 PIES – Thursday 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
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.