Jacobean Country Houses in the London Countryside

Wednesday, 18 October 2017, at 7pm in the Orangery

Malcolm AirsThere is still time to book for our autumn talk on Jacobean country houses given by Malcolm Airs, Emeritus Professor of Conservation and the Historic Environment at Oxford University.

He will tell us about the changes in architecture and appearance of country houses in the early seventeenth century, placing Holland House in the wider context of a distinctive group of houses in the London suburbs, such as Charlton House, Ham House and the Dutch House at Kew. He will examine the roles played by patrons, developers and designers, and will explain why Holland House is so important.

Tickets are £18, to include wine and Janice Miles’ delicious canapés. To order tickets, please download the order form here.

[Autumn 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 Stable Yard 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; meet outside the Stable Yard. 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 and old clothes, and bring waterproofs and your lunch. For further information from the Ecology Team visit www.rbkc.gov.uk/ecology, call 020 7938 8186 or e-mail ecology.centre@rbkc.gov.uk.

Sat 7 Oct    NW

Weds 18 Oct    ‘Jacobean Country Houses in the London Countryside’  in the Orangery, £18, 7pm

Sat 21 Oct    Autumn tree walk. Dr Alan Harrington. Meet by Stable Yard. 11am-1pm

Mon 23 – Fri 27 Oct  ES. Children’s half-term holiday activities. Must book. £

Fri 3 Nov    ES. Children’s Night Safari (5-8 year-olds). Must book. £. 4-6pm

Sat 4 Nov    NW

Fri 10 Nov    ES. Children’s Night Safari (8-12 year-olds). Must book. £. 4-6pm

Sat 11 Nov    ES. Fungi Foray (sponsored). Must book. 2-4pm

Thurs 16 Nov    ES. A Year in Holland Park: talk. Must book. 6-7.30pm

Sat 2 Dec    NW

Sat 2 Dec    ES. Feed the Birds: Ecology Centre Open Day. 11am-3.30pm

Sun 10 Dec    Christmas Concert: Tallis Chamber Choir in the Orangery, £22. 7.30pm

[Autumn 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 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; meet at the Holland Park 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 and old clothes, and bring waterproofs and your lunch. For further information from the Ecology Team visit www.rbkc.gov.uk/ecology, call 020 7938 8186 or e-mail ecology.centre@rbkc.gov.uk.

Sat 1 July    NW with John Wells

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. £

Sat 5 Aug    NW

Sat 12 Aug    ES. Dazzling dragonflies. Open Day. Drop in at Wildlife Area 12 noon-4pm

Sat 2 Sept    NW

Sat 9 Sept    ES. Small mammal trapping and surveying. Must book. 10-11.30am

Thurs 14 Sept    Autumn bat walk (sponsored). Must book. 7-8.30pm

Sat 23 Sept    Autumn seeds. Open Day. Drop in at Wildlife Area. 12 noon-4pm

Sat 7 Oct    NW

Weds 18 Oct    ‘Jacobean Country Houses in the London Countryside’, in the Orangery, £18, 7pm

Sat 21 Oct    Autumn tree walk. Dr Alan Harrington. Meet in Stable Yard. 11am-1pm

Mon 23 – Fri 27 Oct,  ES. Children’s half-term holiday activities. Must book. £

Fri 3 Nov    ES. Children’s Night Safari (5-8 year-olds). Must book. £. 4-6pm

Sat 4 Nov    NW

Fri 10 Nov    ES. Children’s Night Safari (8-12 year-olds). Must book. £. 4-6pm

Sat 11 Nov    ES. Fungi Foray (sponsored). Must book. 2-4pm

Thurs 16 Nov    ES. A Year in Holland Park: talk. Must book. 6-7.30pm

[Summer 2017]


News Update

Landscaping improvement

Following Planning and Listed Building consent for Camlin Lonsdale’s plan to improve landscaping around Holland House, Blakedown Landscapes (SE) Ltd have been appointed to carry out the work. This major project will make the café yard and Holland House terrace much pleasanter spaces in which to spend time, and the re-siting of the access road to the terrace will be safer and less disruptive to café users. Much needed conservation work is proposed for the masonry of the walls and steps related to the terrace. Work will commence in late September 2017 and be completed before the opera build starts in March 2018.

Holland House conservation

At last a Condition Report on Grade-1-listed Holland House and the exterior of the East Wing has been commissioned, as required by the Conservation Management Plan for Holland House. While we await the results of the report, we hear that recent high wind has uncovered defects in the stonework, and some stones have had to be removed from the building for safety. This is as we had feared and highlights just why the Council must not allow actions determined in the Conservation Management Plan to fall behind schedule. Careful repairs were last carried out on the building in 2007-8 as a result of the property being put on Historic England’s (then English Heritage) ‘At Risk Register’. We want to see the great old structure safe and preserved so that it can be enjoyed by future generations, and do not wish to see it ‘at risk’ again.

Sustainable Drainage

You will have noticed that the path from the car park to the D Garden has been closed for some weeks in order to carry out work to channel rainwater into small overflow basins in the woodland. This is to make use of the water for the park, rather than lose surface water to the sewerage system. The path is unlikely to be open until early July.

Recycling unitsRecycling units at car park entrance

The old recycling bins were being misused and causing a mess of dumped rubbish which was not a great welcome to the park. Smart new units are now in place, with clear signage and little space between for rubbish. On the front of each is a photo of the park, supplied by The Friends with the intention of showing potential miscreants that we have a beautiful park that is not enhanced by their rubbish.

Schedule of works

There is so much work scheduled for the park in the next 18 months that Park Management have produced a helpful schedule of projects and timing (see inside back cover of newsletter).

Text and photo: Jennie Kettlewell

[Summer 2017]

Jacobean Country Houses in the London Countryside

Wednesday, 18 October 2017, at 7pm in the Orangery

Malcolm AirsWe sometimes forget what makes Holland House so special, but it is of course a fine example of Jacobean architecture, and we are fortunate to have it as the centrepiece of our park. Who better to set Holland House in context than Malcolm Airs, Emeritus Professor of Conservation and the Historic Environment at Oxford University.

He will tell us about the changes in architecture and appearance of country houses in the early seventeenth century, placing Holland House in the wider context of a distinctive group of houses in the London suburbs, such as Charlton House, Ham House and the Dutch House at Kew. He will examine the roles played by patrons, developers and designers, and will explain why Holland House is so important.

Professor Airs’ many distinguished roles include serving on advisory committees of English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund, past president of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, member of both the Council and the Architecture Panel of the National Trust.

This talk could not be better timed as our local council considers what conservation work needs to be undertaken to ensure our grand old building is kept in a state that will delight future generations.

Tickets are £18, to include wine and Janice Miles’ delicious canapés. To order tickets please download an order form here.

Photo: Professor Malcolm Airs

[Summer 2017]

Silvi Spassov Joins as the Friends’ Accounts Co-ordinator

Silvi SpassovWe are delighted to welcome Silvi Spassov to the new role of Accounts Co-ordinator. That means he handles all the day-to-day accounts and payments, and he keeps the trustees informed on the state of our finances. Silvi is a qualified and experienced accountant, having worked for many years as a PricewaterhouseCoopers consultant with client-facing roles, which means he well understands how to build relationships with others in a team. We are already enjoying working with him and hope he will equally enjoy working with the Friends.

Silvi lives locally, was already a member and loves the park, but he can express this better himself: ‘My love of Holland Park has been developing for many years and I became a member of The Friends of Holland Park with great passion. I always wanted to be more involved in the activities run by the Friends, and an opening for an Account Co-ordinator was a great opportunity for me to bring my expertise and knowledge to the charity. Recording the daily life of the charity by preparing the accounts and assisting the trustees with ad-hoc work, I can see the enormous work, effort and love everyone puts into this job. I feel extremely honoured and privileged to be part of this.’

In the short term, the Chairman will retain the financial oversight role of Treasurer, but this will be reviewed over the coming months. Simon Lindesay-Bethune continues as Assistant Treasurer.

[Summer 2017]


Barrie Maclaurin Wins Award for Kyoto Garden

Barrie Maclaurin, former Parks Manager for the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, has been chosen to receive the prestigious Japanese Sato Award for International Exchange. This award, in memory of Mr Akira Sato, is presented to individuals and organisations for outstanding achievement in fostering exchange between Japan and other countries on the subject of parks and green spaces. The citation for the award explains just why Barrie was chosen:

Barrie Maclaurin receiving his award‘As Parks Manager for the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, London, Mr Maclaurin has greatly contributed to the promotion of cultural exchanges and mutual understanding between Japan and the UK through his work with parks and Japanese gardens. His efforts have included presenting Holland Park’s Kyoto Garden to the Emperor and Empress during their visit to the UK in May 2012; developing the new Fukushima Garden and holding its opening ceremony in July 2012; promoting cultural exchanges with elementary school children in Fukushima Prefecture’s Miharu-machi in November 2012; erecting and holding an unveiling ceremony for a stone monument bearing the words used by the Emperor to express his gratitude for the aid provided for relief activities following the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2013; and presenting the Kyoto Garden and the Fukushima Garden to the Speaker of the House Representatives Ibuki during his visit to the UK in September 2013.’

Barrie was invited to receive the award at a ceremony in Tokyo at the end of May 2017, where he was treated royally in celebration of his achievements. He will feature in Japanese media, including the Japanese publication ‘Parks and Open Space’.

Barrie is obviously delighted, and we are proud on his behalf and very grateful for all he has done to ensure Holland Park’s Kyoto and Fukushima Gardens are authentic in concept. We must ensure they remain that way.

Jennie Kettlewell

[Summer 2017]

Generous Gift Funds New Mediterranean Bed

Andrew WhiteleyAndrew Whiteley was a long-term member of The Friends and someone who not only loved trees and shrubs, but was extremely knowledgeable about them. Being a classics scholar, he knew and was very fussy about the Latin (botanical) names. When he became ill some years ago, he told me he wanted to leave money ‘for nature’. He left his ‘nature’ money to a friend and asked me to work with that friend to choose projects of which Andrew would have approved. Sadly, Andrew died in 2014, but the money has funded wonderful projects in his memory: Japanese cherry and maple trees for the redesigned Azalea Garden at Kew, a habitat study at Barnes Wetlands, some funds for The Tree Register (a record of Britain’s notable trees) and rare Rhododendrons from Wakehurst’s plant nursery for Holland Park’s Fukushima Garden.

So, what about the Mediterranean Bed in Holland Park. In recent years this 80m-long flower bed along the old brick wall on the north side of the Dutch Garden has outgrown its structure and has ‘forgotten what it is meant to be’. In spite of careful management of the bed by IdVerde, it needed a complete overhaul. A donation of just under £14,000 from Andrew’s money was made to the Friends for this purpose.

The intention is to give a structure to the planting scheme that ensures the bed will look good for many years. That structure will be provided by sizeable ‘anchor plants’, interspersed with plants of varying size, shape and texture. Predominance of evergreen species means the bed will look good in winter as well as summer. Bulbs and perennials will add some colour, but not so much that it clashes with the main attraction, the formal beds in the centre of the Dutch Garden. In keeping with the Borough Parks strategy, the planting will be sustainable in the sense that it will not need regular replacement. The microclimate of the old brick wall allows inclusion of some unusual plants from areas of the world that enjoy a Mediterranean climate. We hope it will both look beautiful and please those who follow a botanical interest, but it will be a little while before the bed is fully established. That is the nature of good gardening.

The first anchor plant in the bed is a rare Lyonothamnus floribundus (Catalina ironwood), which bears panicles of creamy-white flowers in early summer. Once the bed is planted up we will tell you about all the different plants so you can go and identify them for yourself.

Text and photos: Jennie Kettlewell

[Summer 2017]

Pimm’s in the Park

Tuesday, 11 July 2017, 6-8pm, in the marquee east of the Dutch Garden

Our annual summer party is almost upon us, so hurry to book if you wish to attend. We again have to thank Michael Volpe, General Director of Opera Holland Park, for kindly allowing us to use the marquee on the raised terrace at the east end of the Dutch Garden. He will be one of our special guests. This year the party will coincide with an opera rehearsal, which will mean that access to the marquee will only be from the Dutch Garden.

This is our one event of the year that is only open to Friends and their immediate guests, but not to the general public. Pimm’s, soft drinks and canapés will be served. The trustees will again be inviting other special guests in gratitude for helping the Friends in their efforts to make the park a place of enjoyment and relaxation for everyone.

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

[Summer 2017]

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]

Membership Cards and Subscriptions

Those of you who use your membership cards to receive discounts when shopping with some of our Friends & Neighbours might have noticed that the end of February is when your card expires. A new (cream) one was enclosed with the Spring newsletter if our records show you as having paid your subscription for 2017. Your order form would have been white. All subscriptions were due on 1 January except for those who joined after 1 September 2016. If we think you have not yet paid, there would have been no membership card and your order form would have been green with a standing order form on the back. Over 600 of our members use standing orders, as it means they never have to remember again, and it helps our treasurer too. Current minimum rates are £12, or £9 for the over 65s, with joint subscriptions available for two people at the same address for £20, or £15 where both are over 65. You will agree these are very moderate sums, but we keep them low to enable all to join.

Our records are not infallible, so do contact Rhoddy on 020 7602 0304 or rhoddy.wood@virgin.net if you have a query.

However you pay, we are most grateful for your support as it gives us clout in all our dealings with the Borough and other bodies.

[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 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 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 ecology.centre@rbkc.gov.uk.

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]