February 2021

The daffodils are out, so it must be time to book for our March 18th event. This will be an online event, and it’s very easy to join in. Here is a taster of what will be covered during the evening. Please line up a drink and a piece of cake to enjoy during the evening, as March 18th is someone’s birthday! Whose will be revealed on the night!

Meet members of the Redbridge Neighbourhood Team who can tell us about schemes across the borough to promote health and well-being through enjoying and helping improve our open spaces.
The Garden City Redbridge in 1912, then called the Ilford Garden Suburb.

In 1910 a scheme was devised involving the creation of the Ilford Garden Suburb, whereby funds could be raised from the sale of new houses here to purchase parkland for Valentines Park. There was real concern at the “advance of bricks and mortar” at the time and that the rural nature of Ilford could be lost forever. Fortunately due to foresight and investment, Valentines was preserved! Since when it has developed beyond all imagination.

The Cranbrook Square Garden.

Now the Garden City Redbridge Residents Association have a scheme to raise money to improve this little pocket park situated a stones throw from the Bethell Avenue entrance gates to Valentines Park. If you would like to find out more, click here. After all this area was until 1910 part of the Valentines Estate!

Would you like to help? Please email

Getting excited at the thought of a bug hotel in The Square!

Line up your questions for the Question and Answer session! Panelists include members of the Ilford Historical Society as well as the Redbridge Neighbourhood Team, residents from the Garden City Redbridge and Friends of Valentines Mansion.

Friends of Valentines Mansion are proud of our involvement in the restoration of the Mansion, Gardens and Park. We are currently writing up this part of our history for a new section on this website.

We thank all involved and look forward to seeing a good turnout on 18th March, members old and new! If you’re not yet a member of The Friends, you can join here.

The Last of the Winter Snow?

Ice, snow and snowdrops are beginning to make way for more vibrant Spring colours and the promise of warmer weather. We know we have to wait patiently at least until April for the house to re-open, so in the meantime we can continue to enjoy the Historic Park and Gardens. But have we seen the end of the freeze?

Did you know though that not all snowdrops are white? They can be pale pink, blue, lavender, or white! Snowdrops are classified as Galanthus nivalis: gala is Greek for “milk,” while anthos is Greek for “flower” and nivalis is Latin for “snow-like.”

Snowdrops in the dell, near the park entrance where The Drive meets Cranbrook Road. This area is also known as The Wash.

Snowdrops are toxic to humans so, much as we enjoy their beauty, they make a suitable metaphor perhaps for us all looking forward to them fading, warmer weather arriving and life hopefully returning to more normal patterns for everyone.

Stay safe! Enjoy the Park and Gardens! We look forward to seeing you soon.

Our next members’ event, “From Tiny Acorns” will be held on 18th March 2021 on Zoom.

18th March was the birthday of the last owner of Valentines Mansion, Holcombe Ingleby. After his mother died in 1906, no-one in the Ingleby family wanted to return to live at Valentines and the house and estate was up for sale.

In 1912, the people of Ilford were invited to support the Council with a forward-thinking scheme which enabled an additional 20 acres of the Valentines estate to be bought to create the Valentines Park we know and love today, following the death of the mansion’s last resident, Sarah Ingleby. The Ilford Garden Suburb was created to help finance the purchase. This area is now known as the Garden City Redbridge and they have a newly formed Residents’ Association.

You can find out more about the Garden City Redbridge Residents Association here or on Twitter @GardenRedbridge

Early 20th century Valentines.

Join our Zoom call at 7.30 pm on 18th March to discover details of how this came about over 100 years ago, as well as hear from some of the people who today are entrusted with and involved in preserving and improving neighbourhoods throughout Redbridge for present and future generations.

At a time when parks and green spaces have a newfound importance, vital for exercise, relaxation and reflection, we know they are a powerful part of our recovery from the current crisis.

Featured during the 18th March event are extracts from a fascinating booklet written by a local doctor in 1911 from The Friends’ archive, called “The Future of Valentines Park”. It explains the creation of the Garden City Redbridge and how the building of these houses enabled Ilford Town Council to buy the land to enlarge and create the Valentines Park we know now.

Please join us! We all need friends!

If you would like to join The Friends, details are on the Support Us tab.