Annual General Meeting Monday 10th June 2019

The Annual General Meeting of the members of the Friends Of Valentines Mansion was held on Monday 10th June, 2019 at 7.30 pm in the Drawing Room at the mansion. We welcomed Shan Evans onto the committee and all spent an interesting and informative evening together. Our speaker this year was Nigel Burch, who gave us fascinating insights into the restoration more than ten years ago.

Nigel became Redbridge’s Chief Leisure Officer nearly twenty years ago, with the task of helping submit applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund for both the Mansion and Park restoration projects. Nigel shared some detailed photographs of the inner workings of the Mansion building during restoration, taking us on a journey from 2005 when the re-submitted bid for restoring the house was successful, to the period when the contractors were on site and Nigel oversaw (in his words) the slow dismantling of the old, the dust and the debris and the gradual emergence of the new elegance we enjoy today, which had been buried under the thoughtless accretions of decades of neglect; and finally to February 14th 2009 when the Mansion opened its newly painted doors and some 5,000 people rampaged through the house during the two days of the opening weekend.

Pictured below: our hardworking Chairman, Cherry Hooker at one of our recent events.

Latest resident of Valentines

Well, first it was just a rather tall tree stump, which several of us thought was a (sadly) dead tree, being dealt with gradually by the tree surgeons so as to protect the walls of the Historic Gardens; then one day a man with a van and a chainsaw appeared to work his magic… and slowly over a period of a few days the unmistakable shape of Owl emerged, perching on top of two large tomes. We understand there is more to come… we will have to keep an eagle eye (!) on the Mansion’s website and blog. But for now, here are some pictures of the Friends’ coffee morning today and a closer inspection of our new feathered friend.