Notable Trees Guide

Many members will have enjoyed the guide to the notable trees of Holland Park we wrote in 2007, and might even still have their copies. It is now out of print and, because of continuing demand, we decided to re-issue it. We found that a shocking 20% of the trees described have been lost, so we have re-written it to include new specimens, both newly planted trees and others which deserve attention. The new book has over 60 trees as compared with 50 in the old one. The overall format has been retained, and the same artist, Nina Barranca, has drawn leaves to illustrate the new inclusions. It is still A5 and easy to carry. The trees are arranged in walk order, but the walk can be joined at any point and indeed may take several occasions to complete depending on how long each tree is studied.

We think all members of the Friends should buy a copy, at only £5, and perhaps extra copies for Christmas presents. Please download an order form here and order now.

[Winter 2016]

Subscription Renewals and Membership Cards

The Friends’ subscription year runs from 1 January. Some of you have already paid for 2017, and a healthy number (about 64%) pay by bank standing order on 1 January. New members who have joined since 1 September are already covered for 2017. To the rest of you, now is the time to pay using the order form, which can be downloaded here. If in doubt, check with Rhoddy on 020 7602 0304 or rhoddy.wood@virgin.net. We would like to emphasise that it is less trouble to both you and us if you pay by standing order; if you do not yet do so we are always ready to send you a form.

You will know that your membership card, which entitles you to discounts under our Friends & Neighbours scheme, expires at the end of February. Those who have paid their subscriptions for 2017 will receive replacement cards with their spring newsletters which will reach them in late February.

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

[Winter 2016]

News Update

 

Kyoto pond

Kyoto pondAt some time over the winter, the Kyoto Pond will be drained and cleaned. We hope that visitors will resist throwing bread into the fresh water; it makes the pond murky, and the yeast is bad for the carp.

Photo by Jennie Kettlewell




Earls Court entrance

Now that the gates have been splendidly restored, it is time to improve the area just inside the gates. The bed to the left as you enter the park will be planted to match the bed on the right. Both will be protected by knee-high rails. The Keaki tree died and the stump has been removed, along with the decaying circular bench around it. The popular circular bench round the cherry on the left also has to be removed for work around the tree and is in no fit state to be reinstated. Two new benches will be installed, set on York stone paving. The path between Phillimore Walk and the Design Museum park entrance will have been re-laid by the time you read this, all in time for the museum opening on 24 November.

Personal trainers

Exercise in the park is encouraged, but a new licensing scheme and code of conduct restricts personal trainers from using benches, trees and other park furniture as part of their sessions. This is both to prevent damage and to ensure seated areas remain peaceful places to enjoy. Trainers must register on the scheme and are shown which areas of the park they may use to work with their clients. Further information can be found on www.rbkc.gov.uk/personaltrainers.

Wildlife pond and gates

The pond has been drained and all the amphibian life within it (see photos) safely moved to a temporary home. The plan is to reline the pond and replant the margins. The dragonflies and a busy grey wagtail will have left voluntarily before work started. Weather permitting, this work should be completed by the end of 2016, ready for schools visits in 2017.

[Winter 2016]


'From Anvil to the Finest Wrought Iron in the Land’

Wednesday, 22 February 2017, at 6.30pm in The Orangery

(Please note earlier time)

Chris ToppChris Topp is Managing Director of Topp & Co., the leading restorer of antique ironwork, and the company whose team of craftsmen restored Holland Park’s beautiful Earls Court gates. He started as a blacksmith at a time when little formal training was available, so he learned the craft on the job under the guidance of a time-served smith.

Although best known for restoration, his inquisitive nature has gained him a wide range of skills and expertise in design and construction of ironwork, resulting in a varied and highly respected portfolio. His interest in working with historic materials led him to set up a rolling mill to supply genuine wrought iron to blacksmiths for restoration work and, in doing so, he became the world’s sole supplier.

Chris will tell us about his fascinating journey from apprentice blacksmith to his work for some of the most prestigious properties in the world. Quality matters to him, and he has won many awards including two Industrial Diplomas of Excellence, an award from the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths.

Tickets are £15, to include wine and Janice Miles’ delicious canapés. To order tickets, noting the earlier time than usual, please download the order form here.

[Winter 2016]

Dates for your Diary

All FHP events in the diary are printed in bold. The Friends’ Nature Walks (NW, formerly 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 a one-and-a-half-hour stroll 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 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 £.

Holland Park Conservation Volunteer days (for adults) are 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. Tea, gloves, tools and instructions provided. Further information from the Ecology Centre call 020 7938 8186 or e-mail laura.ashford@rbkc.gov.uk.

Sat 3 Dec    NW

Sun 4 Dec    Christmas Concert: Tallis Chamber Choir, in the Orangery, £20. 7.30pm

Sat 10 Dec    ES. Terrific Trees Open Day. Drop in at the Ecology Centre. 11am-3.30pm

Sat 7 Jan    NW

Sat 4 Feb    NW

Wed 22 Feb    ‘From Anvil to the Finest Wrought Iron in the Land’, in the Orangery, £15. 6.30pm

Sat 4 Mar    NW

Sat 4 Mar    Moss Walk.  Dr Alan Harrington. Meet in Stable Yard. 11am-1pm

Sat 1 – Sun 9 April   Annual Art Exhibition, in the Orangery

Christmas Cards


It is now high time to order your Christmas cards if you have not already done so. We keep a supply of this year’s new card – Holland House from Acer Walk – in both sizes, and also our bargain packs of mixed cards. All other designs from the brochure (further copies can be posted) or the website www.mbcards.co.uk can also be supplied but might take a little longer.

Please see under Merchandise for ordering details.

[Winter 2016]

Dates for your Diary

All FHP events in the diary are printed in bold. The Friends’ Nature Walks (NW, formerly 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 a one-and-a-half-hour stroll 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 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 £.

Holland Park Conservation Volunteer days (for adults) are 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. Tea, gloves, tools and instructions provided. Further information from the Ecology Centre call 020 7938 8186 or e-mail laura.ashford@rbkc.gov.uk.

Sat 1 Oct    NW

Sat 8 Oct    ES. Celebration of Science. Open Day. Drop in at Wildlife Area. 12 noon-4pm

Sat 15 Oct    Autumn tree walk. Dr Alan Harrington. Meet in Stable Yard. 11am-1pm

Sat 22 Oct    ES. Apple Pressing Open Day. Drop in at the Ecology Centre. 11am-4pm

Mon 24- Fri 28 Oct.   ES. Half-term holiday children’s activities. Must book. £

Thurs 27 Oct    The Birds of Holland Park, in the Orangery, £15. 7pm

Fri 28 Oct    ES. Children’s Night Safari. Must book. £.  4.30-6pm

Sat 5 Nov    NW

Sat 5 Nov    ES. Fungi Foray (Sponsored). Must book.  2-4pm

Sat 3 Dec    NW

Sun 4 Dec    Christmas Concert: Tallis Chamber Choir. in the Orangery, £20, 7.30pm


Gift Aid

You can increase the value of all your subscriptions and donations by 25% without cost to yourself by signing the Gift Aid Declaration. We are very grateful for the over 60% of our members who have done so. To the others, please consider whether you qualify (you must pay UK tax) and if so sign and return the form that you will find on the back of the order form (if the latter is green). You will only have to do so once.

[Autumn 2016]

News Update

Design Museum

Museum shopThe museum shop is now open for business and the museum itself will be fully open for visitors from 24 November. After many years of building and development, we will at last be able to enjoy the benefits of our new neighbour. In the last newsletter we said we hoped that visitor enthusiasm would not put undue pressure on the south of the park and its fragile grass. We remain concerned but have been offered the chance for discussion on this subject with directors of the museum. (Photo: Joy Puritz)

Hostel

Some of you may have noticed on the RBK&C Planning website that the owners of the Safestay hostel lodged an application for a full alcohol and entertainment licence. After much debate the application was withdrawn.

New Police in Parks team

Inspector Mike Rumble reports that the Parks Police team have been joined by three new Sergeants. Rob Spry served with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) for 30 years, latterly as Inspector at the Wandsworth Custody Suite. Robin Gallacher returns to the Parks Police after service as a Detective Sergeant in the MPS, having last served in Holland Park in the 1990s. Robin will job-share with Helen Tilbury who has been promoted to Sergeant after almost 20 years with the unit. We look forward to meeting them as they work to keep the park safe.

Signage

Signage newAt last the new signage is being installed in the park. After much debate, your trustees are pleased that the choice was elegant, grey finger posts, as you see in the photo. If you already know your way about the park, you hardly notice them. If you are looking for direction, they are easy to find and follow – as already observed in the park. The information boards will be installed shortly, near to entrances, in equally elegant style. (Photo: Jennie kettlewell)

Mural conservation

Restored muralsVisitors to the park often stop to look in appreciation at Mao Wen Biao’s impressive mural along the arcade to the south of the Iris Garden. The painting has stood up well to inclement weather and curious fingers, but not without a little help. Every few years Mao checks over the surface of the paintwork, cleans and touches up where necessary and then applies a new protective coating. At the end of August he could be found working away, and commented that the hot, sunny weather was ideal, as paint dried quickly. We are grateful to Mao for the wonderfully evocative painting and for his care of it. (Photo: Joy Puritz)

Mini recycling centre

For many years there has been a mini recycling centre inside the Abbotsbury Road car park entrance to Holland Park. Bins are provided for specific types of recycling. Local misunderstandings mean large, non-recyclable items (mattresses, furniture, etc.) are often dumped beside the bins and have to be cleared away by busy Quadron staff. When challenged politely, people often say something like ‘I thought this was a council place for dumping unwanted items and I’ve been using it as such for many years.’ Please note: these bins are for recyclable items only.

Earls Court Walk

In autumn 2015 the grass on the East side of the Earls Court Walk was re-seeded with tough, shade-tolerant grass. It struggles with heavy foot fall but has stayed green and can be judged a success. Now it is the turn of the grass on the West side to be hydro-seeded. In preparation the trees will be lightly crown-thinned to let through more light and give the new grass a chance. We have asked that two ‘notable’ trees in the area (single-leaved ash and pagoda tree) are exempt from crown-thinning so that the tree lovers amongst us can still reach the leaves to study and appreciate. (Photo: Jennie Kettlewell)

[Autumn 2016]


The Earls Court Gates Looking Splendid

Earls Ct gates restoredMany of you have commented on how fine the Earls Court gates look now that they have been beautifully restored and are back in place. They do indeed look splendid.

The 3rd Lord Holland had the gates brought over from Belgium in 1836. The arrangement of the gate panels is 18th-century French, and the whole would appear to be a pair of fine French 18th-century gates, acquired in poor condition in the 19th century, restored and extended in the early 20th century, and equipped for their present position with new overthrow and railings to match.

The few leaves that remained before this recent restoration probably formed part of the original gates, as do the basic iron sections. The copper leaves, the baron’s coronet and the adjacent railings, belong to the 20th century.

At the start of the current century, the gates were again in a sorry state. Leaves and other bits had fallen off, but fortunately some of these had been picked up, stored and eventually taken off site for safekeeping, in 1999. The Friends knew that the bits were being held by Topp & Co., and they pushed for repair of the gates, but the high cost delayed action – until this year. Funding was eventually made available through the 106 Agreement with the Commonwealth Institute developers.

On 6 January 2016, Topp & Co., who are experts in bespoke architectural metalwork, carefully detached the gates and took them to their workshop in a large hangar on a disused airfield in North Yorkshire. That was where the painstaking task of restoration began. For the next six months skilled craftsmen worked on what they describe as a giant jigsaw, with several buckets of retrieved items, mostly leaves and scrolls, to fit together. They used their original condition-survey images from 1999, and historical records, to restore the gates as closely as possible to the state they were in when originally installed in Holland Park.

The restoration work involved completely stripping the paint, then carefully removing all the leaves so that the framework could be thoroughly cleaned and made rust free, before assessing the work needed to make the frame sound. Any heavily corroded or missing scrollwork was restored or replaced using genuine wrought iron, hammer and anvil. The leaves were individually assessed and repaired when possible. Missing leaves were replaced in copper, using traditional skills. After final reassembly the gates were painted and then gilded using 780 sheets of 23½ carat gold.

New gate detailThe gates were delivered back to the park and fitted in place on 14 July, with the people from Topp & Co. who re-installed the gates, looking justifiably proud of their work. Our iconic gates look very elegant: the gold gleams and the full intricate design is once again on show. Being practical, the Parks Police were able to satisfy themselves that the old keys still work.

Now the surrounding brickwork will receive some much needed repair work, so that the entire entrance will look elegant by the time the Design Museum opens in November this year.

Jennie Kettlewell and Rhoddy Wood

Photos by Joy Puritz and Jennie Kettlewell

[Autumn 2016]

Pimm’s in the Park

On the cloudless evening of 18 July at least three score and ten of the Friends and their guests enjoyed a ‘Pimm’s in the Park with a View’ this year, thanks to the generosity of  Michael Volpe, General Director of Opera Holland Park. He allowed FHP to use the marquee overlooking the Dutch Garden on an opera-free day. It even had a covered balcony so that one could be indoors or out, come rain or shine. Councillors and Council officers were well represented among the guests, and Council Leader Nick Paget-Brown, having been held up at a long committee meeting, arrived in time to make a short speech after FHP Chairman, Jennie Kettlewell, had publicly thanked Mr Volpe.

[Autumn 2016]

Christmas Carol Concert

Sunday, 4 December, at 7.30pm in the Orangery

We are coming up to that time again when we need to book seats for the most popular Friends event of the year, the carol concert: an evening of outstandingly performed carols from various countries, and readings to make us ponder or laugh, rounded off with wine and delicious canapés. Tickets, at £20, can be ordered here.

[Autumn 2016]

The Birds of Holland Park

Thursday, 27 October 2016, at 7pm in the Orangery

There is still time to book for our autumn talk on birds given by ornithologist David Darrell-Lambert, Chairman of the London Natural History Society’s Ornithological Section, and familiar with Holland Park, having carried out bird surveys and led walks there. He is a great teller of bird tales, and will also be showing us some of his lovely photos. Tickets are £15, to include wine and Janice Miles’ scrumptious canapés. To order these, please use the order form, which can be downloaded here.

[Autumn 2106]

Christmas Cards

HH from Acer Walk

This year Clare Weatherill has produced another of her popular designs now showing Holland House from the beginning of the Acer Walk with the hellebores seasonally in leaf. It is winter, so the house is not obscured by the opera tents. We will hold a ready supply of these in both the standard 152mm x 197mm format at £9.50 the pack of ten, and the small 118mm x 168mm at £7.50.  We will also make up mixed packs of old designs of Holland Park at £6.50, which will include eight big and two small in at least five different designs, and no more than two of each design. These can all be very quickly delivered: the mixed packs from the date of you reading this and the new ones from early November. If your newsletter is hand delivered (no stamp) our delivery is free, but beyond that we have to charge an additional £1.50 per 10 cards.

There are a number of other designs illustrated on the website www.mbcards.co.uk. We appreciate it if you also order these through us as we get an extra discount, though Mountbatten can give you free delivery anywhere in the UK. 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.

All cards will have the standard greeting ‘With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year’ unless you ask for them to be blank.

Please download the order form here. Do avoid that last minute panic by ordering now.

[Autumn 2016]
Dates for your Diary

All FHP events in the diary are printed in bold. The Friends’ Nature Walks (NW, formerly 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 a one-and-a-half-hour stroll 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 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 £.

Holland Park Conservation Volunteer days (for adults) are 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. Tea, gloves, tools and instructions provided. Further information from the Ecology Centre (contact details above).

Sat 2 July    NW

Thurs 7 July    ES. Summer tree walk: the basics. Must book. 6.30-8pm

Mon 18 July    Pimm’s in the Park, in the Orangery, Members only. £17. 6-8pm

Thurs 21 July    ES. Bumblebee talk (sponsored). Must book. 6.30-8pm

25 July-2 Sept ES. Summer holiday children’s activities. Must book. £

Sat 6 Aug    NW

Sat 6 Aug    ES. Dazzling Dragonflies. Open Day. Drop in at Wildlife Area. 11am-4pm

Fri 2 Sept    ES. Children’s Night Safari. Must book. £. 7-9pm

Sat 3 Sept    NW

Thurs 8 Sept    ES. How and Why to Make a Wildlife Garden (sponsored). Must book. 6.30-8pm

Thurs 15 Sept    ES. Hedgehog talk (sponsored). Must book. 6.30-8pm

Sat 17 Sept    ES. Mammals of Holland Park (sponsored). Must book. 9.30-11.30am

Thurs 22 Sept  ES. Autumn bat walk (sponsored). Bring a torch. Must book. 6.30-8pm

Sat 1 Oct    NW

Sat 8 Oct    ES. Celebration of Science. Open Day. Drop in at Wildlife Area. 12 noon-4pm

Sat 15 Oct    Autumn tree walk. Dr Alan Harrington. Meet in Stable Yard. 11am-1pm

24-28 Oct    ES. Half-term holiday children’s activities. Must book. £

Thurs 27 Oct    The Birds of Holland Park, in the Orangery, £15. 7pm

Fri 28 Oct    ES. Children’s Night Safari. Must book. £. 4.30-6pm

Once again The Friends have sponsored Ecology walks and talks. Do come and hear the talk on bumblebees on Thursday, 21 July, 6.30 – 8pm in the Ecology Centre. To book,

e-mail ecology.centre@rbkc.gov.uk or ring 020 7938 8186. The park needs the bees, and the bees need our support.

[Summer 2016]


Friends & Neighbours

Belvedere Joins Friends & Neighbours

BelvedereWe are delighted that the Belvedere Restaurant in Holland Park has joined our Friends & Neighbours scheme, offering 10% off meals on presentation of a current FHP membership card.

Many of you already know the restaurant, and those who do not should. It has a stunning site overlooking the Iris Garden, is a distinguished listed building which was once the summer ballroom for Holland House and, last but not least, has a very tempting menu. Book a table on 020 7602 1238 or find out more on their website: www.belvedererestaurant.co.uk.

Romulo Café Joins Friends & Neighbours

RomuloWe are pleased to announce that Romulo is offering our members a 10% discount (when no other promotional prices apply) at its new restaurant and café in Kensington High Street.

Filipino food is a mixture of four culinary traditions: Spanish, American, Malay and Chinese, and at Romulo Café there is an appetizing range of bar food, snacks, main courses to share, healthy salad options, vegetarian options, desserts and homemade ice cream. Romulo Cafés are well established in the Philippines, and they feature some of their most popular dishes for us to experience in London. The owner has transformed an elegant Georgian town house to echo the spirit of a comfortable Filipino home which comprises four discrete dining areas: the General’s Bar, the Ambassador’s Lounge, the Diplomat’s Dining Room, and a space for private dining.

Mention that you are a member of The Friends when you book, and remember to take your membership card with you.

Romulo Café London

343 Kensington High Street

London, W8 6NW

Tel. 020 3141 6390

reservations@romulocafe.co.uk

[Summer 2016]

The Birds of Holland Park

Thursday, 27 October, at 7pm in the Orangery

David Darrell-LambertThose who braved the 5 a.m. start of this year’s Dawn Chorus Walk, enjoyed the expert knowledge of leader, David Darrell-Lambert. David is no stranger to Holland Park, having carried out bird surveys, led walks and talked engagingly to our members several years ago.

He has kindly agreed to share more of his experience of birds in Holland Park by giving our autumn talk. I know he will entertain us with stories that bring to life the character of the various types of bird, and by his own interpretation of bird song. He also takes great photos.

His company, Bird Brain UK Ltd, specialises in surveys in urban parks, coastal sites and heathlands, and he has visited Israel, Canada, Tunisia, St Lucia, Egypt and Italy in order to observe birds. He illustrated the London Bird Report for many years and then became a local bird recorder. Since the 1990s he has led groups of birdwatchers all over the UK. He is currently Chairman of the London Natural History Society’s Ornithological Section; and what he is really good at is entertaining people with bird tales.

Tickets are £15, to include wine and Janice Miles’ delicious canapés. To order these, please use the order form, which can be downloaded here.

[Summer 2016]

Pimm’s in the Park

On the cloudless evening of 18 July at least three score and ten of the Friends and their guests enjoyed a ‘Pimm’s in the Park with a View’ this year, thanks to the generosity of  Michael Volpe, General Director of Opera Holland Park. He allowed FHP to use the marquee overlooking the Dutch Garden on an opera-free day. It even had a covered balcony so that one could be indoors or out, come rain or shine. Councillors and Council officers were well represented among the guests, and Council Leader Nick Paget-Brown, having been held up at a long committee meeting, arrived in time to make a short speech after FHP Chairman, Jennie Kettlewell, had publicly thanked Mr Volpe.

[Autumn 2016]

News Update

Design Museum

At last the museum has its opening date fixed: Thursday, 24 November 2016. The museum shop will open in July 2016 and will be on the ground floor of the restored building. We shall enjoy having such a stylish neighbour, though we do hope that visitor enthusiasm does not put undue pressure on the south of the park and its fragile grass.

Holland Park pavilions

After much effort by all parties, a proposal that met the needs of all stakeholders has not been found and the project has been closed. This is disappointing as Snell & Partners initially showed great ability for innovative solutions. We are now back to the drawing board to see if there is a way the white tents can be erected more quickly or if a simpler solution can be found.

Approach road to the Holland House terrace

The project, led by specialist architects Cameron Lonsdale, is still live and, by the time this newsletter is printed, your trustees will have seen proposed designs for Stage 1:

•    Improving the look of the Holland House south terrace so it is an appealing place to sit and enjoy winter sunshine.

•    Relocating the road that runs right through the middle of Holland Park Café up to the terrace. The intention is that it should run to the immediate east of the café but we shall keep a careful watch on whether that means significant trees would be removed.

•    Improving the look of the café yard so that, when the café lease is finally put out to tender, it will be more appealing to a bidder, and generate more income for the park.

These plans will be shared during a six-week public consultation period, starting on 22 June 2016. After feedback has been considered, the plans will be subject to a planning application. More information about the consultation is shown in this newsletter.

Stage 2 is likely to include architect’s proposals for:

•    The interior of the Holland Park café. Redesigning of the interior is much needed to reduce queues in summer and to minimise noise reverberation.

•    Making the most of the space in the stable yard block e.g. possibly using the old Ecology Centre room for displays and information about Holland House and its families. Improving the toilet facilities and adding a dedicated toilet for disabled.

It is unlikely that Stage 2 will happen before 2017.

Hostel

A further planning application by Safestay for branded signage has had consent refused by the Council following the objections received.

Belvedere restoration

The scoping work has been completed but the planning application has been withdrawn. A new application will be lodged once technical adjustments have been made to the plan. The restaurant will now not close for a period from June 2016 as originally anticipated.

New fence for sports field

Recently a member reported that children were tunnelling their way through the native hedge and into the sports field because the fence was dilapidated and had gaps in it.  Good news then that the fence is being replaced along the east flank of the sports field. The sturdy new posts will deter access other than via the gates, and also prevent damage being caused to the plants in the hedge.

Earls Court gates

The fine French 18th-century gates were removed on 6 January for their makeover by Topp & Co. in North Yorkshire. As ever, the work proved more extensive than expected, and we will not see the gates back in place until early July. At that stage the brickwork will receive some much needed repair work, so the entire entrance will look elegant before the Design Museum opens.

[Summer 2016]

Bumblebee Talk

Once again The Friends have sponsored Ecology walks and talks. Do come and hear the talk on bumblebees on Thursday, 21 July, 6.30 – 8pm in the Ecology Centre. To book,

e-mail ecology.centre@rbkc.gov.uk or ring 020 7938 8186. The park needs the bees, and the bees need our support.

[Summer 2016]

Il Belvedere Joins Friends & Neighbours

Romulo Café Joins Friends & Neighbours


BelvedereWe are delighted that the Belvedere Restaurant in Holland Park has joined our Friends & Neighbours scheme, offering 10% off meals on presentation of a current FHP membership card.

Many of you already know the restaurant, and those who do not should. It has a stunning site overlooking the Iris Garden, is a distinguished listed building which was once the summer ballroom for Holland House and, last but not least, has a very tempting menu. Book a table on 020 7602 1238 or find out more on their   website: www.belvedererestaurant.co.uk

Romulo

We are pleased to announce that Romulo is offering our members a 10% discount (when no other promotional prices apply) at its new restaurant and café in Kensington High Street.

Filipino food is a mixture of four culinary traditions: Spanish, American, Malay and Chinese, and at Romulo Café there is an appetizing range of bar food, snacks, main courses to share, healthy salad options, vegetarian options, desserts and homemade ice cream. Romulo Cafés are well established in the Philippines, and they feature some of their most popular dishes for us to experience in London. The owner has transformed an elegant Georgian town house to echo the spirit of a comfortable Filipino home which comprises four discrete dining areas: the General’s Bar, the Ambassador’s Lounge, the Diplomat’s Dining Room, and a space for private dining.

Mention that you are a member of The Friends when you book, and remember to take your membership card with you.

Romulo Café London
343 Kensington High Street
London, W8 6NW
Tel. 020 3141 6390
reservations@romulocafe.co.uk

Photos by Jennie Kettlewell

[Summer 2016]

Pimm’s in the Park – members’ party

 

Monday 18 July 6.00 – 8.00 p.m.

In the marquee on the Dutch Garden Terrace

We will be holding our annual summer party due to the kind offer of Opera Holland Park to let us use the marquee at the East end of the Dutch Garden.

The marquee has a balcony from which we will have a wonderful  view of the Dutch Garden. We must set a good example and not take our drinks and nibbles out into the garden.

This is the one event of the year that is only open to Friends and their immediate guests. Your tickets, at £17 each, can be ordered from Rhoddy Wood on 020 7602 0304 or rhoddy.wood@virgin.net, or by downloading an Order Form here.

[May 2016]

Friends and Neighbours

We are now in our second year of the ‘Friends & Neighbours’ programme, which offers members a discount on purchases from businesses local to Holland Park – our Neighbours. If you are a paid up member, you will receive a membership card with this newsletter. We have had positive feedback from Neighbours, so do keep buying from them and helping to spread the word locally about Holland Park.

Further information under Membership.

[Spring 2016]

Open Gardens Squares Weekend

Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June

Royal Crescent

Open Garden Squares Weekend 2016, the magical two-day event when over 200 private and little known gardens open to the public, will take place on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June. A single ticket allows visitors to discover and explore a range of stunning gardens not normally open to the public, from magnificent roof-top gardens with panoramic views to diminutive spaces tucked behind the hustle and bustle of London’s busy streets. To find out more about Open Garden Squares Weekend visit www.opensquares.org

Photo: Royal Crescent, by Gavin Gardiner

[Spring 2016]

Pimm’s Party is on!

Thanks to a generous offer from Opera Holland Park we have a venue and a date for our summer Pimm’s in the Park party. The venue is the marquee on the raised terrace to the immediate east of the Dutch Garden, the date is Monday 18 July 2016, the time is 6-8pm.

This is our one event of the year that is only open to Friends and their immediate guests, but not to the public. The trustees will, as always, be inviting one or two special guests as a thank-you for their cooperation with The Friends in our endeavours to make the park a pleasant place for all to enjoy.

Your tickets, at £17 each, can be booked on the order form, which can be downloaded here.

[Summer 2016]

Dates for your Diary

All FHP events in the diary are printed in bold. The Friends’ Nature Walks (NW, formerly 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 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 £.

Holland Park Conservation Volunteer days (for adults) are 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. Tea, gloves, tools and instructions provided. Further information from the Ecology Centre (contact details above).

Tues 23 Feb    ‘Never was anything Finer’: The 18th-Century Court at Kensington Palace, in the Orangery, £15, 7pm

Sat 5 Mar    NW

Thurs 10 Mar    ES. Foxes talk (sponsored). Must book. 6.30-8pm

Sat 19 Mar    ES. Seeds of Spring: Ecology Centre Open Day. Drop-in 11am-4pm

Tues 29 Mar    ES. Easter Egg-stravaganza. Must book. £

30 Mar-8 Apr    ES. Children’s Easter holiday activities. Must book. £

Sat 2 Apr    NW

Sat 2 Apr    ES. Bird-ringing demonstration (sponsored). Drop in at the wildlife area. 7-11am

Fri 8 Apr    ES. Children’s Night Safari. Must book. £

Sat 16-Sun 24 Apr Annual Art Exhibition, in the Orangery

Wed 20 Apr    Annual General Meeting, in the Orangery, 7.30pm

Thurs 21 Apr    ES. Amphibian walk and talk (sponsored). Must book. 7-9pm

Sat 23 Apr NOTE NEW DATE Russian Virtuosi of Europe concert, in the Orangery, 7.30pm, £15.

Sat 30 Apr    ES. Dawn chorus walk (sponsored). Car park. Must book. 5-7am

Sat 30 Apr    ES. Family dawn chorus walk (sponsored). Car park. Must book. 8-10am

Sat 7 May    NW

Thurs 12 May    ES. Bat walk (sponsored). Bring a torch. Must book. 8.30-10pm

31 May-3 June ES. Half-term children’s holiday activities. Must book. £

Sat 4 June    NW

Sat 11 June    ES. Butterfly walk (sponsored). Must book. 10-12 noon. Meet at Ecology Centre.

Sat 18 June    Summer Tree walk. Dr Alan Harrington. Meet in stable yard. 11-1pm

Sat 2 July    NW

Thurs 7 July    ES. Summer tree walk: the basics. Must book. 6.30-8pm

Mon 18 July     Pimm's in the Park - Members' Party. 6.00 - 8.00 pm.

Thurs 21 July    ES. Bumblebees talk (sponsored). Must book. 6.30-8pm

Sat 6 Aug    NW

Sat 3 Sept    NW

Russian Virtuosi of Europe Concert

Saturday, 23 April 2016, at 7.30pm in the Orangery

PLEASE NOTE THE NEW DATE

NataliaYuriPlease note the new date, and change it if the original one was in your diary; it had to be changed because of other commitments by the artists. They and we send our apologies, and we have sent personal notifications to those who had booked for the earlier date.

Definitely coming are Natalia Lomeiko, violin, and Yuri Zhislin, violin and viola, photographed, two skilled artists who have delighted audiences in the Orangery since 2000. Both are professors at the Royal Academy of Music and have played in every prestigious venue in the world. Sometimes they bring with them a younger talented performer who is just at the start of their career but this time they are introducing to us cellist Jan-Erik Gustafsson who is almost as experienced as they are. He comes from Finland and currently teaches at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Like the others, he has played all over the world and with all the best symphony and chamber orchestras. He has also made many prize-winning recordings. He currently plays on a Stefano Scarampella from 1890.

Their programme for us will feature Bach’s Goldberg Variations. We very much look forward to their visit. To book tickets please download the Order Form here.

[Spring 2016]

Annual General Meeting

Wednesday, 20 April 2016, at 7.30pm in the Orangery

Holland Park is the subject of much debate about securing its future as a safe green space that balances the often conflicting needs of its user groups. The strategy for the next ten years is drafted, and a Holland Park Conservation Management Plan has been commissioned.

Options are being considered to re-focus on the historic listed buildings and to explain their story to visitors. Progress is being made for the Holland Park pavilions as a more appropriate solution to the temporary tents erected for use by Opera Holland Park, now an independent charitable trust.

Your trustees are party to all these discussions. We have the best opportunity in a long time to influence the future of the park and retain what we love or improve what we do not. We need your support to make sure we continue to have a wonderful park that we and future generations can enjoy. If you love the park, please do come to the AGM to hear what is happening, and share your views.

Jennie Kettlewell

[Spring 2016]

Friends and Neighbours

We are now in our second year of the ‘Friends & Neighbours’ programme, which offers members a discount on purchases from businesses local to Holland Park – our Neighbours. If you are a paid up member, you will receive a membership card with this newsletter. We have had positive feedback from Neighbours, so do keep buying from them and helping to spread the word locally about Holland Park.

Jeroboams

JeroboamsA long-established Holland Park delicatessen and wine store, offering an impressive selection of artisan cheeses, charcuterie and other fine foods, sourced from around the globe – a veritable Aladdin’s Cave for the foodie. Wines feature mature vintages of Bordeaux, Burgundy, grandes marques Champagnes, great wines of Italy, Australasia and the rest of the New World. Open daily.

96 Holland Park Avenue, London W11 3RB. t. 020 7727 9359.

Offer: 10% off all purchases in the Holland Park Avenue shop.




Gallery 19

Gallery 19Gallery 19 is not just your local picture framer. They specialise in architectural views of Kensington, London and Italy as well as maps, models, Florentine stationery and house portrait commissions. Owners, Gordon, Sandra and Alex French are well known to the Friends, not least for running our annual art exhibition.

19 Kensington Court Place, London W8 5BJ. t. 020 7937 72777, info@gallery19.com            Offer: 10% off framing.


Kensington Place

A respected local restaurant since 1987, Kensington Place specialises in fish and seafood. Tim Peirson has recently taken over as chef and brings with him a wealth of experience, most recently from Michelin-starred Angler. The bright main dining room looks out over Kensington Church Street and there are also private dining facilities.

201 Kensington Church St, London W8 7LX. t. 020 7727 3184.

Offer: 20% off food and drinks when dining from the A la Carte or Market Menu for lunch or dinner. Conditions apply.


Hollands Wine Bar and Genie’s Restaurant.  NOW CLOSED!

This restaurant is currently closed. It appears it might have been sold so can no longer be part of our member offer. Please disregard its inclusion in the pre-printed loose insert in this newsletter.

Other participants in the scheme are Lipp Interiors, Miles & Miles car rental, Il Portico Restaurant, Valentina Restaurant & Deli, Gelato Mio, Kensington Close Hotel Health Club & Spa, Rassells plant nursery and Holland Park Café.

[Spring 2016]

Open Gardens Squares Weekend

Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June

Royal Crescent

Open Garden Squares Weekend 2016, the magical two-day event when over 200 private and little known gardens open to the public, will take place on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June. A single ticket allows visitors to discover and explore a range of stunning gardens not normally open to the public, from magnificent roof-top gardens with panoramic views to diminutive spaces tucked behind the hustle and bustle of London’s busy streets. To find out more about Open Garden Squares Weekend visit www.opensquares.org

Photo: Royal Crescent, by Gavin Gardiner

[Spring 2016]

Another New Guide

Decorative Art in HPOur ‘H is for Holland’ guide to the sculptures and architectural features of Holland Park has sold out, so we have produced a new one. We have taken the opportunity to bring the design into line with The Guide to Holland Park and the Kyoto Garden booklet and to add the more recent decorative features in the park. We expect to have copies of Decorative Art in Holland Park by the end of February. You can order a copy by downloading the order form here, or you can buy a copy from the Park Office in the Stable Yard. The price is £5 for the 32-page booklet, complete with a map to show the location of statues, sculptures and other works of art.

[Spring 2016]

News Update


Holland Park pavilions

HH from N. lawnNow that Robin Snell & Partners have been commissioned to explore options for the Holland Park pavilions on the Holland House site, the project is progressing apace. The team of architects is currently carrying out research so that they thoroughly understand the park and how it is used, before they produce any proposals. As yet, there is no set idea for a solution. Design proposals might be available in early summer and you will then be able to air your views at a public consultation before any amendments are made and the Council then applies for planning consent. In the meantime the white tents will be with us for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Approach road to the Holland House terrace

Approach road thro cafeFor many years The Friends have advocated moving the road that runs bang through the middle of the Holland Park café to a safer location. This is now on the Council’s agenda and, if the plan is agreed, work might commence after the 2016 opera season. Moving the road to the immediate east of the café would allow enhancement of the seating area to the south of it and present a more appealing prospect when the café lease is finally put out to tender.

Budget cuts and planting plans

It has been well publicised that Central Government has cut local government budget contributions, and our Council is, in turn, having to consider budget cuts to some services. The parks are not immune and we are in discussion with councillors and Park Management to develop innovative ideas for savings that do no long-term harm to the park. Together with Quadron we are exploring different types of planting in some of the borders, so that pretty and interesting shrubs take the place of plants that need a significant amount of care. Add deeply planted bulbs that come up reliably every year, and you not only save man-hours but you also have an attractive display. The Quadron team have some clever ideas, and we will keep you up to date on how this progresses.

Earls Court gates

Gates removedThe fine, French, 18th-century gates were removed on 6 January for their makeover by Topp & Co. in North Yorkshire. The restored gates are due back in April, and we hope to give you full details of the work carried out, together with photos, in our summer newsletter.

Plants in the park

The Quadron gardeners have been energetically tackling the borders. Plants have been cut back to show what is of value, what needs to be removed and what should be shifted to a more suitable location. The big old Wisteria on the Rose Garden arches has been expertly pruned to leave flowering branches in a form that will best show off the fall of mauve flowers in spring. When I found gardener, Mark Sinclair, pruning away, we discussed which way the Wisteria twines, as some curl clockwise and some anti. I think ours is Wisteria sinensis, which means it twines anti-clockwise. The damaging ivy has been cut off the listed Belvedere building, at least at a low level where it would eventually kill the plant. Snowdrops are out just south east of the Holland Pond, and the Arboretum is full of daffodils.

Text and photos: Jennie Kettlewell

[Spring 2016]

Christmas Carol Concert

I have been to most of the fifteen previous concerts which the Tallis Chamber Choir and their director, Philip Simms, have given for us, but, in my opinion, that on 6th December was the best so far, and a virtually full Orangery had a wonderfully entertaining evening.

I never cease to admire Philip Simms’ musical knowledge and ingenuity in devising new programmes. Whereas last year’s carols were, with one exception, written or arranged by British composers, this year, as well as the United Kingdom, they came from France, Germany, Norway and Spain. We were also treated to a variety of seasonal readings.

The music began with a version of O magnum mysterium (a responsorial chant from Christmas Matins) by Tomas Luis de Victoria (c.1548-1611), a Spanish composer who spent over 20 years working in Rome where he might have studied under Palestrina; a polyphonic contrapuntal piece of great beauty and solemnity. Next we heard O beatum et sacrosanctum diem (1612) by Peter Philips (c.1560-1628), an eminent English composer and a Catholic priest, who was exiled in 1582 to Flanders where he spent most of the rest of his life; this happy piece begins meditatively, turns to great rejoicing, and finishes with choirs of angels. There followed Dixit Maria by Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612), a North German composer and organist who was in Venice in 1584-85 and became a friend and pupil of Giovanni Gabrieli whose style he introduced to Germany. This work, published in 1599, uses polychoral techniques learnt in Italy. There followed one of two 19th-century works, a setting of Ave maris stella (the text of which dates back to the 9th century) by the Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), written in 1893 as a solo piece, and later set for a chorus, a piece imbued with maternal love. We then had the other 19th-century work, Abendlied by Josef Rheinberger (1839-1901), a German composer and organist whose style was particularly influenced by Bach and Brahms, the piece creating the impression of a serene prayer. Next was Sing lullaby composed  as a carol in 1926 by Peter Warlock (1894-1930) using a text by Thomas Dekker (c.1572-1632) which had the feeling of a folk melody. (Warlock’s real name was Philip Heseltine, and he was the father of art critic Brian Sewell.) We finished the first half with A child is born in Bethlehem written in 1650 by the German composer Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654) which used mediaeval chord patterns and had the feeling of a madrigal.

We began the second half with Christmas is coming by Sir Henry Walford Davies (1869-1941), who became Master of the King’s Music in 1934 on the death of Elgar; a traditional chorus with a simple melody set in four homophonic parts. This was followed by Can it be true?, a carol in traditional English style with echoes of folk music, by Richard Moore, a Friend of Holland Park, who took a bow to the appreciative audience. This was followed by The donkey carol  by another contemporary English composer, John Rutter (b. 1945), a simple witty piece with overtones of a 1930s popular song. Then we had a traditional English carol, Tomorrow shall be my dancing day, translated from the Cornish, in an arrangement by Sir David Willcocks (1919-2015), which, it seems, might have been devised in the 15th century to be sung and danced at the end of the first day of a three-day drama. Next, another English piece, A spotless rose by Herbert Howells (1892-1983) written in 1919, a simple setting of a 15th-century poem with a wonderful tenor solo for the second verse. We finished with a setting of Yver, the text of which was written by Charles d’Orleans (1394-1465), composed by Claude Debussy (1862-1918), which, whilst technically atonal, did not give that impression.

However, no carol concert by the choir would be complete without Philip Simms