Design Museum – our new Neighbour

 

NEWS 2014

Deyan Sudjic

Tuesday 24 February 2015.  7.00 p.m. in The Orangery

We are all watching the iconic Design Museum building as it begins to reveal itself in all its reclaimed glory. By the time you read this, it is anticipated that Chelsfield, the developers of the site, will have handed over the building to the Museum for internal fit-out. Opening is expected in late 2015.

Deyan Sudjic, the director of The Design Museum, has agreed to come and tell us what the Museum will look like inside and outside and what it will offer to visitors. I think we can expect lots of treats. We have seen the announcement that entry will be free to the public so it is bound to be popular and I am sure our members will want to be some of the first to visit.

Tickets are £12, to include wine and Janice Miles’ delicious canapés. To order tickets, please call Rhoddy Wood on 0207 602 0304.

[Winter 2014]

Photo by Muhsin Akgün

 

Opera buildings on the Holland House site

This is an update on the information in our most recent (November) newsletter.

New context

The Council is discussing a proposal for Opera Holland Park (OHP) to become an independent grant-funded charity after the close of the 2015 season. Following set-up funding by the Council, the opera charity would have to stand on its own feet financially by attracting sponsorship. The charity would be granted a lease for use of the Holland House site during the opera season. This puts the exploration of alternative forms of ancillary building in a new context.

The case for change

The Friends of Holland Park (FHP) have long been concerned about the length of time the terrace of Holland House is closed for the opera season (mid March to 30 September – 6½ months) and also concerned that the white tents now dominate most views of the House in summer.

After talking to RBKC and Opera Holland Park about our concerns, we were reassured to learn that they weren’t keen on the visual impact of the ancillary buildings either and that it would suit them to have a shorter build time if that could be achieved. The next stage was a discussion around what options there are for a different style of buildings that are both practical and look appropriate in the environment of Grade 1 listed Holland House.

The option being explored

The option currently being explored is for oak-framed buildings with a high proportion of glazed frontage. These buildings, if well designed, could be suitably elegant and would have a smaller footprint than the current arrangement. However, the advantages we seek can only be realised if these buildings remain in place throughout the year, a solution about which we have previously expressed doubts.

As we discussed this option we felt it was worth further exploration, provided:

•    Views of the historic parts of Holland House are not obscured by the buildings

•    The front terrace of Holland House is entirely clear of ancillary buildings

•    Access to the terrace is not blocked

•    The terrace can be open to the public for longer than it is now

•    The build time is reduced.

There is no plan to change the canopy, which will remain a temporary structure.

It is worth explaining that these buildings are referred to as ‘de-mountable’ or ‘semi-permanent’.  This means they must be capable of being deconstructed quickly but robust enough to stay in place permanently.  Any structure would need the approval of English Heritage who would not permit permanent buildings on this Grade 1 listed site.

Commitment to public consultation

No designs have yet been drawn up and no decisions have been made. Your trustees have committed to further exploration, but not to any specific solution. We have however gained the Council’s commitment to public consultation in early 2015. As soon as there is an opportunity for you to give your view we will let you know.  Please look for updates on our website (www.thefriendsofhollandpark.org) and on FHP notice boards in the park.

Decisions on buildings is independent of decision on transfer of OHP to grant-funded status

While the OHP will favour these semi-permanent buildings because of the annual cost saving, the hiving off of OHP to a charitable company will not be dependent on approval of the semi-permanent building option. We should judge the buildings proposed in their own right as to whether or not they provide an appropriate solution.

The decision about the transfer of OHP to an independent charity is separate and will ultimately be made by the RBKC Cabinet. We have already communicated to the Council, via the Public Realm Scrutiny Committee, the conditions we believe should be attached to OHP’s future leasing arrangement and Service Level Agreement, in order to protect the park in general and the Holland House site in particular.

What you can do

Please do come and give your opinion when designs for semi-permanent buildings are available, together with sightlines to ensure no views of Holland House are blocked. This is likely to be in early 2015.

Jennie Kettlewell                                                                                             6 December 2014

Opera buildings on the Holland House site

As you will be aware, The Friends of Holland Park have long been concerned about the length of time the terrace of Holland House is closed for the summer opera season (mid March to 30 September – 6½ months). We have noticed that the ancillary buildings have increased over the many years of the opera’s existence and that the white tents now dominate most views of the House in summer.

HH in winterWe have talked to RBKC and Opera Holland Park about our concerns and were reassured to learn that they weren’t too keen on the visual impact of the ancillary buildings either and that it would suit them to have a shorter build time if that could be achieved. The next stage was a discussion around what options there are for a different style of buildings that are both practical and look appropriate in the environment of Grade 1 listed Holland House.

The option currently being explored is for oak-framed buildings with a high proportion of glazed frontage. These buildings, if well designed, could be suitably elegant and would have a smaller footprint than the current arrangement. However, the advantages we seek can be realised only if these buildings remain in place throughout the year (something about which we had expressed great doubts).

As we discussed the concept we felt it was worth further exploration, provided:

•    Views of the historic parts of Holland House are not obscured by the buildings

•    The front terrace of Holland House is entirely clear of ancillary buildings

•    Access to the terrace is not blocked

•    The terrace can be open to the public for longer than it is now

•    The build time is reduced.

There is no plan to change the canopy itself.

Achieving a solution that suits the majority of people is not easy and it will take time. The planning application for the 2015 season will be for exactly the same as in 2014, while discussions continue.

No designs have yet been drawn up and no decisions have been made. Your trustees have committed to further exploration, but not to any specific solution. Once there is a viable proposal on the table for discussion (probably early in 2015), you will have the opportunity to find out more and to give your view. In the meantime, please look at the Council's statement on http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/subsites/investecoperahollandpark/operabuildingsonohpssite.aspx

We will keep you updated on The Friends' website and on our notice boards in the Park.

Photo: Holland House terrace in winter by Jennie Kettlewell

[Winter 2014]

Peacocks in Art and Design

 

The first impact of the talk given on 16 October was the image of our speaker, Louise Coffey-Webb, who was dressed in a stunning outfit patterned with peacock motifs, and she wore peacock-feather earrings to match.

We learned that what we mistakenly refer to as tail feathers with ‘eyes’ are actually ‘train’ feathers with occelli. After telling us about the birds themselves, Louise took us on a fascinating tour of peacock images across continents, centuries and design styles, with rich illustrations, culled from many great collections. The beautiful pictures were what struck me most, many of which I am sure I will never forget.

Peacocks were first represented in textiles as early as the 14th century, and the birds might have been introduced as early as the time of the crusades. What we do not know is when they were introduced to Holland Park, and it could have been very early in its history.

We can witness the birds’ vanity as they admire themselves in wheel hubs in the Holland Park car park, so it is appropriate that the collective noun for a group of them is an ‘ostentation’. An illustration of a memorably pink Indian textile (the peacock originates in India where it is the national bird), showed stylised peacocks looking back to admire their own train feathers.

The iridescence of the feathers often appears unreal, and Louise explained that it was achieved by the very complex structure of thousands of flat branches with projecting barbs which each have rows of tiny hair-like barbules serving as the colour source. These disperse the incidental light and act as a prism to change the colour of the feathers with the angle of the light. The light is thus not reflected, as from pigments, but refracted. The colour of the iris of a human eye is, incidentally, also effected by refraction rather than reflection.

Louise showed us wonderful examples of peacocks illustrated in textiles, jewellery, ceramics, footwear, hairstyles, false nails, cars, wedding cakes, a shower curtain and whole rooms decorated with peacock motifs. There was even a hat. And what a hat. Young men in Transylvania (now Romania) wore hats decorated with a large fan of peacock feathers as a signal to young ladies that they were ‘available’.

That we all enjoyed the talk was evident from the murmurs of appreciation heard from the audience as each new slide revealed another fascinating aspect of this iconic bird’s place in our lives from ancient times right up to the present day.

Jennie Kettlewell

[Winter 2014]
Subscription Reminder

The Friends’ subscription year runs from 1 January. A number of you have already paid for 2015, and an increasing number (about 63%) pay by bank standing order on 1 January. New members who have joined since 1 September are already covered for 2015. To the rest of you, now is the time to pay using the order form. If in doubt, check with Rhoddy on 020 7602 0304 or rhoddy.wood@virgin.net.

Your membership gives the Friends clout when negotiating with the Borough on the park’s future. Thank you again for all your support.

[Winter 2014]


Graham Franklin Co-opted as Trustee

Graham FranklinThe work of The Friends seems to be constantly on the increase, but we have been lucky enough to co-opt Graham Franklin as a trustee, with specific responsibility for overseeing organisation of our events. So many things have to be thought of to make sure our events run smoothly and are both suitable and enjoyable. We are delighted to welcome Graham who has agreed to take on this new role while Andy Walker will continue with the tasks she currently undertakes to provide what is needed in the Orangery on each occasion. The mammoth task of organising the art exhibition will remain Gordon French’s responsibility.

Graham’s role as a purchasing executive in the hotel and wine trades required a keen eye for detail and a will to get things done, both of which will be of great benefit to us. He lives locally, knows the park and The Friends well, being a long-standing member, and is one of the team that delivers the newsletter. He said: ‘I am thrilled to have been invited to become a trustee of  The Friends of Holland Park and am very much looking forward to contributing to maintaining and improving the standards and facilities of our wonderful park.’

Photo by Sandra Franklin

[Winter 2014]


Dates for your Diary

The Friends’ Bird and Nature Walks (BNW) are continuing to be led by varying regulars while we look for a new permanent leader with the requisite skills and commitment. We will have strolls through the park looking at birds, plants, butterflies and park management of current interest. There is no charge and all are welcome without booking. Meet outside the café at 9am on the first Saturday of each month. No dogs, please, as even well behaved ones on leads disturb the wildlife. We recommend you bring binoculars if you can.

Taskforce for Nature sessions take place every third Saturday of the month from 10.30am to 3pm (except in December when it is the second Saturday); meet outside the café. This is your chance to make new friends while getting healthy outdoor exercise, digging, chopping and planting in the wilder parts of the park. Tools, tea and instruction provided. Further information from Daniel Brittle on 020 8762 0353 of 07702942141, e-mail: daniel.brittle@groundwork.org.uk or visit www.groundwork.org.uk/london

Sat 6 Dec    BNW

Sun 7 Dec    Christmas Concert: Tallis Chamber Choir, in the Orangery, £17, 7.30pm

Sat 3 Jan    BNW

Sat 7 Feb    BNW

Tues 24 Feb    The Design Museum, talk by Deyan Sudjic, in the Orangery, £12, 7pm

Sat 7 Mar    BNW

Sat 4 Apr    BNW

Sat 18-Sun 26 April   Annual Art Exhibition, in the Orangery

Wed 22 Apr    Annual General Meeting, in the Orangery, 7.30pm

Sat 18 Apr    Russian Virtuosi of Europe concert (see p.9), in the Orangery, £15, 7.30pm

[Winter 2014]


GUIDE TO HOLLAND PARK

Produced by The Friends of Holland Park

Park Guide

Some of you know the Park well and some are visitors wanting to know what ‘s in the Park and where to find it.  We hope this Guide will be interesting for all and that you enjoy reading it and find it useful.

 

The Guide describes the various areas of the Park; the sports and other facilities; the work of the Ecology team; the park services and gives a brief history of Holland House and the people who lived in it.  A map in the centre shows you how to find your way around. Even if you do know the Park well, you may discover things you didn’t know.

Price £2.00

All FHP publications are available from The Park Reception in The Stable Yard, or from Rhoddy Wood on  020 7602 0304 & rhoddy.wood@virgin.net

[August 2104]


Crab Apple Jelly

Your secretary has just heard that this is a good year for the English apple industry. Let us hope that this includes the wild crab apple crop which produces the tastiest jelly; if so we should have a good supply towards the end of September. Do ring 020 7602 0304 to check on availability and prices.

[Autumn 2014]

Holland Park Honey

Honey from the park’s bees went on sale in the park office in the Stable Yard in the first week of November. The park’s new beekeeper, Des O’Grady, has more supplies if the office runs out, but do not tarry if you are keen to try it.

[Winter 2014]

Charles Bauccio Co-opted as Treasurer

Charles BauccioWe have found a new treasurer and are delighted that Charles Bauccio not only wants to take on that important role, but that he is interested in playing a part in the broader remit of the Friends’ work. He is well qualified for the role, both due to his career in the financial world and because he is well acquainted with the park, having lived in close proximity to it for the past 30 years. He has been a member of FHP for several years, has followed our progress and understands the Council and community framework in which we operate.

Charles told us: ‘When I saw that the Friends were looking for a new treasurer it occurred to me that I should apply in order to “give something back” to Holland Park. My first visit to the park was in 1964 when I stayed at the youth hostel on my first visit to England. Since that time I have always enjoyed Holland Park’s woodlands, flower gardens and all the activities in the park. I look forward to my role as treasurer and hope I can contribute to all the fine work the Friends have undertaken in preserving the park as an oasis of tranquillity and natural beauty.’

Supporting Charles is our very able assistant treasurer, Simon Lindesay-Bethune. Our previous treasurer, Madeline Denmead, was unable to stand for election at the April AGM due to other commitments. We welcome Charles as a trustee of the Friends and very much look forward to working with him.

[Autumn 2014]

News Update

Ecology centre – learning garden

Half built learning gardenThe small fenced area of grass to the south of the Ecology Centre is being turned into a teaching garden for primary-school children in the borough to learn about edible plants. It is an opportunity to demonstrate small-scale food gardening with year-round productivity. Wholefoods in Kensington High Street donated funds to develop the space.


Design Museum

Chelsfield, developers of the old Commonwealth Institute site, should complete their work and hand over to The Design Museum by the end of 2014 for the interior fit-out to begin. The Friends have worked with both Chelsfield and the Council on suitable subjects for the Section 106 agreement, a financial contribution from the developer to compensate for the impact of building works. We have asked that the 18th-century wrought-iron Earl’s Court gates be restored and that the path from those gates up to the Duchess of Bedford Walk gate be considerably improved.

Opera Holland Park

Discussions continue between the Friends and RBK&C regarding the visual impact of the ancillary buildings. We remain positive that we will be able to find a solution together with which we can all live, though this is not easy and will take time. It is unlikely that any change in the type of buildings will be made for the 2015 season but you might have noticed the footprint had been reduced in 2014 over 2013, and the stark appearance to the north was relieved by old pictures of Holland House and a hedge (not living, but green). We will keep you updated on progress. The Friends are pressing for improvement of the front terrace for the winter months and stricter regulation of traffic throughout the year.

Autumn tree walk

Botanist Dr Alan Harrington has once again kindly agreed to lead our autumn tree walk in the park, helping us learn how to identify different trees while he dispenses fascinating facts and figures. We are lucky to have a rich collection of native and exotic trees and we need to ensure they are appreciated and cared for. The walk is organised and sponsored by the Friends so that it is free to participants.

Duke’s Lodge

Immediately adjacent to the north east of Holland Park is a 27-flat mansion block, Duke’s Lodge. This has been acquired by the Candy Brothers with the intention of replacing it with a building which appears from the outside to be five large villas. The issue that directly affects the park is that digging down a further level right next to the park boundary might further destabilise the park’s high ground and reduce water levels under the big trees in that area. We are urging that this is thoroughly investigated before any planning consent is granted.

Youth Hostel

HH east wingWe await the outcome of the tender for a 50-year lease for this site which has been occupied by the YHA. We hear that a decision has been made and that the youth hostel will sadly close on 15 November, but we do not know who the new tenant will be. A private Act of Parliament determines that the premises must be used for youth accommodation. Youth hostel manager, Sally Martyn-Johns and her family have looked after the site wonderfully well for over 20 years and have been welcome inhabitants of the park as well as great supporters of the Friends.

We shall miss them but have been assured they will stay in touch.

Koi shelter

Koi shelterA few weeks ago I noticed a bamboo ‘raft’ in the Kyoto pond and assumed it was vandalism and that someone had thrown a gate or some such article into the water. I was wrong. The raft has been very carefully constructed, along traditional Japanese lines, as protection for the carp when the heron loiters by the pond. The carp shelter safely beneath the structure and the heron cannot get at them. Clever.

Holland Park on Japanese Television

In the middle of June NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) filmed a half-hour documentary entitled Journey to Paradise on Earth, London Kensington. Among other things it showed the delights of shopping in and around Kensington High Street, the V&A, a house in Lansdowne Walk, and Ladbroke Square Gardens, it being Open Garden Squares Weekend. Part of the programme was filmed in Holland Park. Our new park beekeeper, Des O’Grady, was interviewed in the Dutch Garden wearing his bee suit, which looked a little odd. He was also shown by the hives, talking about the delicious park honey. Interestingly, there was no sight or mention of the Kyoto or Fukushima Gardens.

Upgrading of paths

This work has now been completed. It will undoubtedly improve disabled access as intended, but it does look rather municipal rather than appropriate for our park.

[Autumn 2014]


Standing Orders and Subscriptions

The Friends are as powerful as our numbers, and we are grateful to all of you for your support. The subscription year runs from January to December, and it has been our custom to remind you in the late November newsletter issue which leaves plenty of time for cheques to come in before January – and it is of no great consequence if they are a few days late. At the same time we urge those who do not yet use standing orders with your bank to set them up: it is so much easier for you and for us. However, it has become apparent that five weeks is not enough for standing orders: by the time the necessary papers have gone back and forth through the slow Christmas mails and the week’s holiday, too many are reaching banks after 1 January, when they are payable, so that no money is transferred until a year later. So this year we are giving you an earlier reminder in the Autumn issue of the newsletter; if your order form was green, please fill in the instructions to your bank on the reverse and send it to us. Those who received white order forms already pay directly and need do no more.

Thank you again for all your support.

[Autumn 2014]


Christmas Cards

HH through the trees



The Kyoto Garden


This is the first year there has been a choice between two new Holland Park cards. We went looking for a new artist, and the two best entries were so close, though very different, that Mountbatten Cards decided to print both. So we have ‘Holland House through the Trees’, a softer version than some previous ones, with snowflakes gently descending, and ‘The Kyoto Garden’ in deep snow. The first is by Clare Weatherill, previously unknown to us, who is Chairman of the Society of Fulham Artists and Potters. The second is by Margaret Whitehead who has exhibited with the Friends for many years and won prizes with us.

As always there is a further wide choice of cards on the website: www.mbcards.co.uk. On the latter you will note especially ‘The Alcove’, ‘Belvedere and Arches’ and two small designs, ‘East Wing’ and ‘Holland House from the West’, of all of which your secretary holds stocks as well as the ever popular mixed packs of 10 cards for £6. The standard size is 152mm x 197mm. For the first time, all designs may be ordered in a smaller size: 118mm x 168mm, weighing less than 20 grams which keeps overseas postage to a minimum.

If you send your order to me at 21 Kenton Court, 356 Kensington High Street, London W14 8NN the minimum order is 10 cards, and we will deliver free within our newsletter hand-delivery area but have to charge £1.50 postage per ten beyond that. If you order from Mountbatten cards directly, delivery is free to most West and Central London postcodes, but is £5 if outside that area or the order is for less than £30. Overprinted cards must be ordered from Mountbatten. In either case envelopes are included and there are discounts of 5% on 100 cards, 10% on 200 and 15% on 300. We hope that you will all nominate FHP as the recipient of the charity donation from Mountbatten of 25% of the profits, but you are free to choose any charity.

It might seem like a long time until Christmas, but ordering now gets one chore out of the way and allows you to concentrate on other Christmasy purchases without fear of a last-minute rush.
Rhoddy Wood

[Autumn 2014]


Peacocks in Art and Design

Thursday, 16 October at 7pm in the Orangery

PeacockThe peacocks in Holland Park have fascinated visitors throughout the park’s history. We are fortunate that Louise Coffey-Webb has agreed to talk to us about the iconic birds’ place in design and costume. The story begins in the Far East, travelling across borders and through time, with fascinating tales of royalty, magic and beauty. Cultures from China to the Ancient Greeks have been enamoured of the peacock and have attached complex symbolism to representations of the bird and its feathers. This fascination continues to the present day. Why does the peacock feather enchant us so? How is the iridescence achieved? The imaginatively illustrated talk reveals the mystery and beauty behind the images.

Louise has worked at the BBC; was formerly Associate Professor in the Fashion & Costume Design Department at Woodbury University in Los Angeles; has worked as Curator, Collections Manager and Archival Advisor to such institutions as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum, the Audrey Hepburn Estate Collection and Zandra Rhodes Enterprises in California. An experienced lecturer, Louise has discussed costume on US television. Her book, Managing Costume Collections, will be published in 2015.

Tickets are £12, to include wine and Janice Miles’ delicious canapés. To order tickets please download the Order Form here.

[Summer 2014]


Russian Virtuosi of Europe

The Orangery was sold out for the concert on 12 April, and the audience was not disappointed by a very original and interesting programme, brilliantly performed. In addition to our old friends, Natalia Lomeiko (violin) and her husband Yuri Zhislin (viola), we had Natalia’s younger sister, Alexandra Lomeiko (violin) and Andrey Lebedev, a young Russo-New Zealand classical guitarist.

The programme opened with a transcription for violin and viola, performed by Natalia and Yuri, of a selection of J.S. Bach’s Two-Part Inventions originally composed for harpsichord. The original versions of the Two- and Three-Part Inventions (called Sinfonias) were composed as exercises for Bach’s eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann, and recorded in the Clavier-Büchlein of 1722, but revised and adapted for more general use as instruction pieces. The pieces give the player great examples of musical construction as well as teaching the basics of articulation, phrasing, fingering, ornamentation and the development of a singing tone. The transcription for violin and viola emphasised the need in Bach’s own words ‘to play cleanly in two parts’. It recalled the transcription of Bach’s Goldberg Variations which Natalia and Yuri played for us seven years ago.

There followed the Grand Sonata for Guitar and Violin in A major by Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840), composed in 1805/08, played by Alexandra and Andrey. Paganini was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time. He initially learnt the mandolin from his father, but moved on the violin at the age of seven and also studied the guitar. The title of the sonata emphasises the importance of the guitar, which has equal prominence with the violin.

After a short interval we had J.S. Bach’s Sonata No. 2 in A minor, one of six sonatas and partitas, published in 1720, originally composed for solo violin, but on this occasion with the third and fourth movements transcribed for guitar, again played by Alexandra and Andrey.

We concluded with the Duo Concertant in C major for violin and viola by Alessandro Rolla (1757-1841), composed in 1831. Rolla was in his time one of the greatest virtuoso violin and viola players and devised many technical innovations such as left-hand pizzicato, chromatic ascending and descending scales, the use of very high positions on violin and viola and octave passages, all of which were later used and made famous by Paganini. As well as becoming leader and Orchestra Director at La Scala, Milan in 1802, Rolla conducted many operatic premières at La Scala, including about 18 operas by Rossini. He composed about 500 works. The Duo Concertant requires great instrumental skill: in few other duets for violin and viola are there passages of such dazzling virtuosity. Natalia and Yuri were more than equal to the challenge.

George Law

[Summer 2014]

Hollandgreen Takes Shape to Welcome the Design Museum

For a long time now we have watched the site of the old Commonwealth Institute develop into what will become the new location for the Design Museum.

At our Winter Warmer on 27 February Sir Stuart Lipton, co-founder of Chelsfield, the company developing the site, gave us an overview of the project and explained the story behind what we now see happening. He shared the stage with Carol Patterson from international architects OMA, and Richard Henley from constructional engineers Arup.

We learned that the whole project has been complex, right from the initial concept to the work to secure the iconic building with its hyperbolic parabola roof. The Grade-II-listed building had been empty for years and was deteriorating. In that state there were no takers to restore and inhabit the building. Chelsfield recognised that the key was to create a residential development that attracted sufficient funds to be able to repair the ‘tent’ building to bring it into useable condition, thus attracting The Design Museum.

The next challenge was how to create appropriate designs for the residential buildings, and Carol Patterson showed us the options generated from a competition. The essence of the chosen design is to echo the square footprint of the Museum, set in green landscaping emulating the park, all now known as Hollandgreen. Three residential cuboid buildings are each set at an angle, to match the museum’s orientation to Kensington High Street. The buildings have now reached their maximum height and, when the covers come off, we will see that they are faced in light-coloured stone. In all, there will be 61 apartments of various sizes, with parking space hidden away in the basements.

Most complicated of all is the Museum building itself. Apparently the original building was never designed to be permanent, nor were the internal floors built to withstand the weight that will now be imposed on them. Imagine the daunting prospect of jacking up a 1,500-tonne roof whilst creating a new, stable structure beneath it. Also imagine that a new basement was to be hollowed out and all this done with a restriction that the building must not shift more than 5-25 mm (depending on the part of the building). Richard Henley told us how the roof has been meticulously rebuilt to withstand the tensions, and make it fit for its future life. From the outside it will still look like the copper roof we have known for years. English Heritage has said it is the most difficult listed building they have ever dealt with.

For now, the area is still very much a building site, but soon we will see the temporary site offices removed, the area made safe and the main building handed over to the Design Museum so that they can start working on the interior.

We have invited Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum, to come and tell The Friends what the museum itself will be like and what it will offer to the local community and wider public. This will take place in February 2015; opening will not be until later that year.

Jennie Kettlewell

Photo by kind permission of Chelsfield

[Summer 2014]



Christmas
Carol Concert

Sunday, 7 December, at 7.30pm in the Orangery

 

We are greatl y looking forward to having our talented friends, The Tallis Chamber Choir and their director, Philip Simms, perform for us in the Orangery early in December. This will be their fifteenth visit, and every time they come they say how much they love it; and it is not just the wine and scrumptious canapés they mean, but the lovely setting and friendly Friends. They always delight us with a programme of varied music and readings, and the standard is so high that we are usually sold out. So we advise early booking, click here. The price of a ticket is £17 to include the above-mentioned refreshments, also of a very high standard, as most will testify.

[Autumn 2014]


Jigsaws

Kyoto jigsaw The Kyoto Garden.

A finely-cut wooden jigsaw puzzle, approx 250 pieces,  360mm x 250mm.


£20
plus £2.50 p+p

[Winter 2014]
Jigsaws

Kyoto jigsaw The Kyoto Garden.

A finely-cut wooden jigsaw puzzle, approx 250 pieces,  360mm x 250mm.


£20
plus £2.50 p+p

[Winter 2014]
Dates for your Diary

All FHP events in the diary are printed in bold. The Friends’ Bird and Nature Walks (BNW) are continuing to be led by varying regulars while we look for a new permanent leader with the requisite skills and commitment. We will have strolls through the park looking at birds, plants, butterflies and park management of current interest. There is no charge and all are welcome without booking. Meet outside the café at 9am on the first Saturday of each month. No dogs, please, as even well behaved ones on leads disturb the wildlife. We recommend you bring binoculars if you can.

Events organised by the Ecology Service of RBK&C are listed as ‘ES’, some of which are sponsored by FHP where indicated. Unless otherwise stated the meeting place is in the new Ecology Centre near the Adventure Playground. Some must be booked, in which case please call 020 7938 8186 or e-mail ecology.centre@rbkc.gov.uk. There is a charge for those marked £.

The Holland Park Conservation Volunteers sessions are on every third Saturday of the month (second Saturday in April and December). For more information, tel. 020 8762 0322, e-mail Netty.Ribeaux@groundwork.org.uk or visit www.groundwork.org.uk/london

Sat 4 Oct    BNW
Sat 4 Oct    ES. Nature Photography: creative skills workshop. Must book. £ 10am-4pm
Sat 4 Oct    ES. Open Day: Autumn’s Harvest. Drop in at wildlife area.12-4pm
Thurs 16 Oct    Peacocks in Art and Design, in the Orangery, 7pm. £12
Sat 18 Oct    Autumn tree walk with Alan Harrington. Meet by Stable Yard. 11am-1pm
Sat 25 Oct    ES. Fungi Foray (sponsored). Must book. 2-4pm
17-31 Oct    ES. Half-term children’s holiday activities. Must book. £
Sat 1 Nov    BNW
Sat 6 Dec    BNW
Sun 7 Dec    Christmas Concert: Tallis Chamber Choir (see p.3), 7.30pm in the Orangery, £17

[Autumn 2014]

Dear Potential Friend

I hope you enjoy visiting Holland Park as much as I do and that you too appreciate its natural beauty and facilities, but you may not realise just how delicate and fragile this lovely Park is. Wouldn’t you like to join us and help to preserve this marvellous amenity, which we are so fortunate to have on our doorstep?

What the Friends do
The Friends of Holland Park is a registered charity formed in 1978. We have an active and knowledgeable volunteer committee. We are represented on the Liaison Group between Royal Borough Councillors and park staff.  We also have meetings with the officers accountable for the Park’s daily management, giving us the opportunity to discuss with the Borough its strategy for the Park.  It is through the commitment and support of our members that we are able to influence decisions affecting the Park.
We work hard to protect and preserve the Park as an oasis of tranquillity, natural beauty and recreation, guarding its unique character, monitoring planning applications and proposed changes in and around the Park. We also benefit the Park by making donations with the money we raise through subscriptions, gifts and social events run for the pleasure of our members. These include a monthly bird & nature walk, tree walks, illustrated talks, concerts, a Christmas concert, an annual art exhibition in the Orangery and a summer party. The Park is a wonderful place for children and young people to enjoy themselves and for those of you with young children it will have special appeal. We are aware that different park users have different priorities and we encourage the Borough to preserve the balance between the needs of children, wildlife, horticulture, sport and dogs.  Our 12-page quarterly newsletter and our own topical website keep members informed about what is going on and invite comments and participation.

Some recent examples of The Friends’ support for the Park
In recent years we have conserved and illuminated the beautiful ceramic tiles by the cafeteria. We persuaded The Royal Borough to conserve what remains of Holland House and the forecourt to the House has at last been landscaped and open to the public outside the opera season.  Its tranquillity can be enjoyed from benches donated by The Friends.  Some years ago, we contributed to a new borehole irrigation system to prevent loss of trees, shrubs and plants from drought.  The much-photographed Poetry Seat near Lord Holland’s Pond was our gift as was the conservation of the wall-mounted fountain in the Dutch Garden.  Chess players now have two stylish stone benches from which to contemplate their next move.  We have recently published two books: “The Families of Holland House and “The Pleasure Grounds of Holland House” which tell us just what a rich history of people, buildings and pleasure grounds have led to the beautiful park we have today.

Please help us preserve and enhance our park by becoming a member
Our individual subscription is just £12.00, or £20 joint, (senior citizens £9.00 or £15 respectively), payable on 1st January each year, but subscriptions paid from 1st September include the next year. Donations are always welcome. Please do join us and lend your support to protect and maintain this lovely and fragile Park. 

Jennie Kettlewell, Chairman

[Changed Autumn 2014]


Dates for your Diary

All FHP events in the diary are printed in bold. The Friends’ Bird and Nature Walks (BNW) are continuing to be led by varying regulars while we look for a new permanent leader with the requisite skills and commitment. We will have strolls through the park looking at birds, plants, butterflies and park management of current interest. There is no charge and all are welcome without booking. Meet outside the café at 9am on the first Saturday of each month. No dogs, please, as even well behaved ones on leads disturb the wildlife. We recommend you bring binoculars if you can.

Events organised by the Ecology Service of RBK&C are listed as ‘ES’, some of which are sponsored by FHP where indicated. Unless otherwise stated the meeting place is in the new Ecology Centre near the Adventure Playground. Some must be booked, in which case please call 020 7938 8186 or e-mail ecology.centre@rbkc.gov.uk. There is a charge for those marked £.

The Holland Park Conservation Volunteers sessions are on every third Saturday of the month (second Saturday in April and December). For more information, tel. 020 8762 0322, e-mail Netty.Ribeaux@groundwork.org.uk or visit www.groundwork.org.uk/london

Sat 5 July    BNW

Sat 5 July    ES. Open day: Creepy Crawlies. Drop in at wildlife area.  2-6pm

Sat 12 July    ES. Butterfly and Moth Morning (sponsored). Must book. 10am-12 noon

Wed 16 July    ES. Tree walk: the basics. Must book. 6.30-8pm

Sat 19 July    ES. Woodland Explorers (5-10 years). Must book.  10.30am-12.30pm

Wed 23 July    ES. Talk on Longhorn cattle by John Phillips. Meet 6.30-7.30pm at the Lord Holland statue.

28 July - 29 Aug   ES. Summer holiday children’s activities. Must book. £

Sat 2 Aug    BNW

Sat 2 Aug    ES. Dragonflies in the wildlife area. Drop in at the wildlife area. 2-6pm

Sat 16 Aug    ES. Woodland Explorers (as above).

Fri 29 Aug    ES. Children’s Night Safari in Holland Park. Must book. £ 7.30-9pm

Sat 6 Sept    BNW

Sat 13 Sept    ES. Bird-ringing demonstration (sponsored). In wildlife area. 7.30-11.30am

Sat 13 Sept    ES. Autumn Folklore and Flora Walk (sponsored). Must book. 2-4pm

Wed 17 Sept    ES. Bat walk (sponsored). Must book.  7pm

Sat 20 Sept    ES. Woodland Explorers (as above).

Sat 4 Oct    BNW

Sat 4 Oct    ES. Nature Photography: creative skills workshop. Must book. £ 10am-4pm

Sat 4 Oct    ES. Open Day: Autumn’s Harvest. Drop in at wildlife area. 12-4pm

Thurs 16 Oct    Peacocks in Art and Design, in the Orangery, £12  7pm. Book here

Sat 18 Oct    Autumn tree walk with Alan Harrington. Meet by Stable Yard. 11am-1pm

Sat 25 Oct    ES. Fungi Foray (sponsored). Must book. 2-4pm

17-31 Oct    ES. Half-term children’s holiday activities. Must book. £

[Summer 2014]



News Update

The cows are coming back

Longhorns 14Two Longhorn cows and their calves will be arriving on 14 July for a three-week stay in the Holland Park meadows (Arboretum and Oak Enclosure). Their task is to graze on the summer pasture before it rots down and enriches the soil, providing an ideal habitat for nettles but a poor one for native wild flowers which prefer nutrient-deprived soil. Some preparatory work will be done to remove the mass of nettles and cow parsley so the cows can get to the grass. The Park’s Ecology team has arranged a talk by John Phillips, who farms the Longhorns at Maydencroft Farm, for 6.30–7.30pm on Wednesday, 23 July. The talk is free and there is no need to book; just turn up at the Lord Holland statue as the nearest meeting place for the meadows.

Butterfly and Moth morning – guided walk. 10am–12 noon on Saturday, 12 July.

CommaThe event is sponsored by The Friends so is free to attend but please book by ringing 020 7938 8186 or e-mailing ecology.centre@rbkc.gov.uk. Meet at the Ecology Centre.

Design Museum site – replacement of brick wall

The old brick wall that divides the north of the development site from the sports ground has shifted over the years and become unstable. Work is planned to replace it in exactly the same form and location. You will see protective hoarding and barricades to preserve the park’s trees, and the path to the tennis court entrance might be temporarily re-routed.

Upgrading of paths

You might have noticed that several paths have been cordoned off for re-surfacing work in recent weeks. Some were in poor condition and the intention is to improve disabled access.

Parks police based in the Stable Yard

After much debate about where the merged bi-borough police office will be sited, we are delighted to hear that it will stay in the Stable Yard where space has been vacated by the Ecology Centre.

Prosecution for cycling in Holland Park

No cycling is permitted in Holland Park for safety reasons. A few ignore the clear signs and the first successful prosecution has been made after several verbal warnings.

Suntrap Garden sculpture

The replacement sculpture commissioned by The Friends should be installed by mid-July. Read more about the work itself and its creator in the autumn newsletter.

[Summer 2014]


The Friends of Holland Park seek treasurer

The Friends of Holland Park are looking for someone to join the board of trustees and take on the role of Treasurer.  Our charitable aim is to protect and enhance the historical and natural assets of this beautiful park.

Experience of and a facility for working with figures is essential, as is an eye for detail.  We need someone who lives in the Royal Borough and, if possible, near to the park. We are lucky to have a very able Assistant Treasurer, who keeps the cash book records for receipts.

Trustees meet five times a year to progress FHP’s plans for reviewing developments that impact on the Park; making donations that enhance the Park; and running fund-raising events for the enjoyment of members.

If you would like to know more, either because you are interested in the role yourself, or know someone who might be, please contact FHP chairman Jennie Kettlewell on

jennie.kettlewell@thefriendsofhollandpark.org

or

020 7243 0804.

[June 2014]



Subscription Reminder and Standing Orders

 

We are very grateful to all our members without whom there would be no Friends. It is your impressive numbers (nearly a thousand) which give us influence among the Councillors who make policy, and ensure that we are at least listened to if not always agreed with. We hope you will all want to renew.

The Friends’ subscription year is the calendar year so, except for new members who have joined since 1 September 2013, all subscriptions for 2014 were due on 1 January. About 500 of you have paid by standing order and 100 others have paid with cash or cheques. Thank you all very much.

To the remainder our treasurer has a special message: while cash or cheques are always welcome, she would be especially grateful if you would send a standing-order form to your bank. This is because we handle hundreds of cheques a year which is a considerable administrative burden. For us standing orders mean no more reminders to be produced, no envelopes and stamps, no visits to the post box and bank. It would also help our members who would no longer need to remember each year. Just think, for you no more finding the order form, cheque book, envelope, stamp and post box.

Minimum dues are £12, or £9 for seniors, those 65 or over. Joint members living at the same address pay £20, or £15 if both are seniors.

All membership queries (e.g. ‘Have I got a standing order?’) to Rhoddy Wood on 020 7602 0304 or rhoddy.wood@thefriendsofhollandpark.org

[Spring 2014]




Russian Virtuosi of Europe String Concer
t
















New sculpture




Saturday, 12 April at 7.30pm, in the Orangery

Our talented friends are once more treating us to a concert on the last Saturday of the Art Exhibition. This time there will be four of them. Natalia Lomeiko and Yuri Zhislin, both professors at the Royal Academy of Music and the core of this group, will again be bringing Natalia’s sister, Alexandra Lomeiko. They all play the violin, and Yuri alternates with his other love, the viola. They will also be introducing us to a rising star from Australia, classical guitarist Andrey Lebedev, a recent winner of the Gisborne International Music Competition.

Their programme will include some Bach and what they describe as ‘fiendish virtuosic Italian pieces by N. Paganini and his teacher A. Rolla’. We have entire faith in their ability to master the fiends and to give us great pleasure in doing so.

Tickets are £15 and include wine and crisps after the performance when you can also view the art exhibition decorating the walls. Everything is for sale. Do order your tickets now if you have not yet done so, downloading the order form here.

[Spring 2014]

A new sculpture has been commissioned by The Friends for the Suntrap Garden, to replace the one which was stolen. More information in the next newsletter.

[Spring 2014]

Annual General Meeting

Wednesday, 9 April 2014, at 7.30pm in the Orangery

 

Our AGM is an opportunity for members to come along and hear what trustees have been concerned with over the preceding year, and to learn what is expected in the year ahead. Chaired by our distinguished president, Sir Angus Stirling, this yearly occasion is a real chance for you to ask questions and to tell trustees of any particular concerns you have for the park and its management.

We do have to do the formal business of an AGM, but that need not take long, and we can expect the customary lively and enjoyable discussion. This interaction is appreciated by trustees and never more so than now when there is so much happening in and around the park.

As usual, the AGM takes place during our annual art exhibition in the Orangery, and after the meeting is a great time to view the art exhibits over a glass or two of wine. Please do come and support your trustees, who work hard on your behalf throughout the year.

Jennie Kettlewell

[Spring 2014]


Dates for your Diary




All FHP events in the diary are printed in bold. The Friends are determined that our Bird and Nature Walks (BNW) will continue although, sadly, Ian Thomson is no longer with us. While we look for a permanent leader with the requisite skills and commitment, the walks will be led by varying regulars. We will have strolls through the park looking at birds, plants, butterflies and park management of current interest. There is no charge and all are welcome without booking. Meet outside the café at 9am on the first Saturday of each month. No dogs, please, as even well behaved ones on leads disturb the wildlife. We recommend you bring binoculars if you can.

Events organised by the Ecology Service of RBK&C are listed as ‘ES’, some of which are sponsored by FHP where indicated. Unless otherwise stated the meeting place is in the new Ecology Centre near the Adventure Playground. Some must be booked, in which case please call 020 7938 8186 or e-mail ecology.centre@rbkc.gov.uk. There is a charge for those marked £.

The Holland Park Conservation Volunteers sessions are on every third Saturday of the month (second Saturday in April and December). For more information, tel. 020 8762 0322, e-mail Netty.Ribeaux@groundwork.org.uk or visit www.groundwork.org.uk/london

Sat 1 Mar    BNW
Wed 26 Mar    ES. Hedgehog talk (sponsored). Must book. 6.30pm
Sat 5 Apr    BNW
5 - 13 Apr    Annual Art Exhibition (see p.10).
Wed 9 Apr    Annual General Meeting, in the Orangery. 7.30pm
Thur 10 Apr    ES. Amphibian talk and walk (sponsored). Must book.  7.30-9.30pm
Sat 12 Apr    ES. Woodland Explorers (5-10 yrs). Must book. £           10.30am-12.30pm
Sat 12 Apr    Russian Virtuosi of Europe concert (see p.9), in the Orangery.    7.30pm
14-25 Apr    ES. Easter children’s holiday activities. Must book. £
Fri 25 Apr    ES. Children’s Night Safari. Must book. £                    7.30-9pm
Sat 26 Apr    ES. Earthworm talk and dig (sponsored). Must book.      10.30am-12.30pm
Wed 30 Apr    ES. Wildlife gardening talk (sponsored). Must book.             6.30-8pm
Sat 3 May    BNW
Sat 10 May    ES. Dawn chorus bird walk (sponsored). Car park. Must book.          5am
Wed 14 May    ES. Bat talk and walk (sponsored). Bring a torch. Must book.     8.30pm
Sat 17 May    ES. Woodland Explorers (as above).
Wed 21 May    ES. Urban botany walk (sponsored). Must book.                 6.30-8pm
27-30 May    ES. Half term children’s holiday activities. Must book. £
Sat 7 June    BNW
Sat 7 June    ES. Open day: Amphibian Antics. Drop in at wildlife area.         2-6pm
Wed 11 June    ES. Summer wildflower and folklore walk (sponsored). Book.     6.30-8pm
Sat 14 June    Summer tree walk. Dr Alan Harrington. Meet in stable yard.    11am-1pm
14-15 June    Open Garden Squares Weekend (see opposite).
Wed 18 June    ES. Urban bees talk (sponsored). Must book.                6.30pm
Sat 21 June    ES. Woodland Explorers (as above).
Sat 5 July    BNW
Sat 5 July    ES. Open day: Creepy Crawlies. Drop in at wildlife area.         2-6pm
Sat 12 July    ES. Butterfly and Moth Morning (sponsored). Must book.     10am-12 noon
Wed 16 July    ES. Tree walk: the basics. Must book.                     6.30-8pm
Sat 19 July    ES. Woodland Explorers (as above).

[Spring 2014]


Pimm’s in the Park

 

Wednesday 2 July, 6-8pm in the youth hostel garden

The summer issue of this newsletter will arrive just too late to announce our annual Pimm’s party, so if you do not want to miss it please book or make a note of it now.

We are delighted that the manager of the you