In Memoriam Colette Price 1931 – 2017

Colette PriceColette was a trustee of the Friends for some years at the beginning of this century. She was introduced to us as a possible newsletter editor, a position she filled admirably because of her skill and feeling for words, although English was not her first language. She was born in Lyons and spent her early years there until it became apparent in the 1940s that Lyons was not a healthy place for anyone of Jewish origin. She fled into the mountains where she was taken in by a village of Huguenots who risked their lives for the rest of the war caring for her and others. Later she married an Irishman and settled in London but always maintained links with her French family who came over in force for her funeral.

In London she maintained her literary and musical interests as she demonstrated by suggesting we hold an evening in the Orangery during the Art Exhibition where the translations of La Fontaine by your late chairman, Christopher Wood, would be read along with their original French versions and followed by music by the young musician she knew, Natalia Lomeiko.  She kept in good physical condition, playing tennis at the Holland Park Lawn Tennis club until her last illness. She also volunteered to help your secretary pick up crab apples in the country.

She liked to say, ‘Because I have lived well, I am not afraid to die’.  Thank you, Colette for sharing that life with your family, friends and The Friends of Holland Park.
Rhoddy Wood

[Spring 2017]

News Update


Belvedere refurbishment

BelvederePlanning consent has been granted for exterior refurbishment of The Belvedere Restaurant, formerly the Holland House ballroom and a listed building under the curtilage of Grade 1-listed Holland House. The programme of work includes repairs to the external fabric, to the roof and very necessary renovation to halt deterioration of the tower. The building will be returned to its original form, with the removal of unsympathetic and unauthorised additions. The unsightly service plant on the roof will be reorganised for both aesthetic and functional improvement. We can look forward to a more attractive building, in better condition and ultimately a lengthening of its lifespan. We do not yet know the start date but have been reassured that scaffolding will be masked so that it cannot be seen from inside the Orangery.

Earls Ct entrance door

Earls Court entrance

The sharp-eyed among you will have noticed that smart new curved doors have been installed in the wall either side of the beautifully restored iron gates. The old seats that circled the cherry tree and ailing Zelkova (now gone) will be replaced by wave benches set on York stone paving.

Water run off management

You might hear this work on the path from the car park up to the D Garden referred to as a ‘SUDS’ programme: Suburban Urban Drainage Systems. SUDS aims to control water flow by mimicking natural drainage instead of introducing a network of pipes. It will manage the surface water that sometimes floods towards the western edge of the park, and keep the much needed rainwater for the benefit of the park rather than lose it to the sewers. The path itself will be resurfaced this spring, and water encouraged to flow into shallow depressions along the stretch by the Ecology Centre and natural play area. These depressions will be planted with native species of wild flowers. The intention is that it should look as natural as possible, while being functional.

[Spring 2017]

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 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 April when it is the second Saturday); meet outside the café. No specialist skills are required, and this is your chance to make new friends while getting healthy outdoor exercise: digging, chopping and planting in the wilder parts of the park. Refreshments, gloves, tools and instructions provided. Wear sturdy shoes, old clothes, waterproofs, and bring your lunch. Further information from the Ecology Team call 020 7938 8186 or e-mail

Sat 4 Mar    NW

Sat 4 Mar    Moss walk.  Dr Alan Harrington. Must book. Meet in stable yard 11am-1pm

Sat 4 Mar    Moss walk.  Dr Alan Harrington. Must book. Meet in stable yard  2-4pm

Sat 18 Mar    ES. Seeds of Spring: Ecology Centre Open Day. Drop in 12 noon-4pm

Fri 24 Mar    ES. Children’s Night Safari (5-8 years). Must book. £.  5-7pm

Fri 31 Mar    ES. Children’s Night Safari (8-12 years). Must book. £.  7-9pm

Sat 1 Apr    NW

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

Mon 3 – Thurs 13 April   ES. Children’s spring holiday activities. Must book. £

Wed 5 Apr    Annual General Meeting, in the Orangery. 7.30pm

Thurs 6 April    Russian Virtuosi of Europe concert, in the Orangery, £15. 7.30pm

Thurs 20 Apr    ES. Amphibian walk. Must book. 7-9pm

Sat 29 Apr    ES. Dawn chorus bird walk (sponsored). Car park. Must book. 5-7am

Sat 29 Apr    ES. Family bird song walk (sponsored). Car park. Must book. 8-10am

Sat 6 May    NW

Thurs 11 May  ES. Spring bat walk (sponsored). Bring a torch. Must book. 8.30-10pm

Sat 13 May    ES. Walk in the woods: Wildlife Area Open Day. Drop in. 12 noon-4pm

Thurs 18 May  ES. Wildlife gardening walk (sponsored). Must book. 6.30-8pm

Sat 20 May    Summer tree walk. Dr Alan Harrington. Meet in stable yard. 11am-1pm

Tues 30 May –  Fri 2 June  ES. Half-term children’s holiday activities. Must book. £

Sat 3 June    NW

Sat 3 June    ES. Pond of delights: Wildlife Area Open Day. Drop in. 12 noon-4pm

Thurs 8 June    ES. Pond dipping for adults. Must book. 6.30-8pm

Sat 24 June    ES. Wild plants of Holland Park walk (sponsored). Must book. 2-4pm

Sat 1 July    NW

Thurs 6 July    ES. Parakeet walk and talk (sponsored). Must book. 7-8.30pm

Tues 11 July    Pimm’s in the Park, marquee at east end of Dutch Garden, £17. 6-8pm

Thurs 13 July    ES. Summer tree walk: the basics. Must book. 6.30-8pm

Thurs 20 July  ES. Bumblebee talk (sponsored). Must book. 6.30-8pm

Sat 22 July    ES. Brilliant butterflies: Ecology Centre Open Day. Drop in. 12 noon-4pm

Mon 24 July – Fri 1 Sept    ES. Children’s summer holiday activities. Must book. £

Russian Virtuosi of Europe Concert

Thursday, 6 April 2017, at 7.30pm in the Orangery

Natalia and YuriAdi TalWe are delighted that the Virtuosi group are again able to fit us in to their busy schedule.  Natalia Lomeiko has been coming to us since 2001 when she was first introduced to us by Colette Price, and Yuri Zhislin has joined her in most subsequent years. The Virtuosi will play the Aria from Bach’s Goldberg Variations as a tribute to Colette, who sadly died on 19 January. They will also play Mozart’s Divertimento in E flat for string trio.

Members know Natalia as a brilliant and passionate violinist, equally capable of precision. Her husband Yuri alternates with facility between violin and viola. Both are professors at the Royal College of Music. Each year they bring a different carefully chosen musician to play with them; this year it will be Adi Tal on the cello. Born in Israel, Adi was a winner of the Muriel Taylor Cello Prize and Making Music Prize for Young Concert Artists, and is hailed as one of the most talented young artists of her generation. We much look forward to welcoming them all.

As always the concert takes place in the Orangery during our Art Exhibition, so you can enjoy the visual art as well as the music: an idea put forward by Colette to persuade us to invite Natalia. We have never regretted her advice. Tickets are £15 to include wine and light refreshments after the performance. Please download the order form here.

[Spring 2017]