Do More

…In Redbridge!


Leave a comment

A week in the life of a work experience student

valman

What a week… Last Monday was the day I finally started my work experience placement, in Valentines Park. I always dreaded work experience after my past experience and hearing stories about how I would just be sitting around waiting on staff and providing them with the occasional beverage; but how wrong I was.

Day 1

Day 1 began and I readied myself for a day sat inside a cramped office waiting on staff, with no real purpose or use. I was taken through the park with my work experience supervisor, and ended up at a mansion surrounded by the gardens of Valentines Park. We began to stop and I came to the realisation that this is where I would be spending some of my work experience placement time.

Window

As I entered, the staff couldn’t have been more welcoming; offering me drinks and biscuits, I even received my own desk! So day 1 officially started and I began with general office work which was good as it enabled me to gain a feeling for what I might encounter if I was to enter a similar work place, of which I want to take part in after my A levels. Eleven o’clock came and I was told to go downstairs and help out with a school trip coming to view the mansion. This was great, as it enabled me to not only interact with the public but also learn some facts about the 300 year old mansion I was spending my time in. Time flew by and before I knew it I was back in the office attending to folders and organising work for the staff, I really felt like I was part of a team.

 

 

Day 2

Day 2 came around and I continued with office work, even being given the responsibility to count out the money before the start of the day. Tuesday was open day and so I got to help out with showing people around the mansion. It also allowed me to use my knowledge about the mansion and provide them with facts which they may not have found in the leaflets.

Day 3

Day 3 is where it changed. I explored the other side of the park and worked closer with my work experience guide, down in Wash Lodge. I carried out more office work and was even given the responsibility of work specifically for the manager in that team.

2016meerkat

Day 4

Day 4 seemed to be another day, until my supervisor surprised me with a farm visit in one of the local parks which they help run and manage (Hainault Forest Country Park). This was great as it allowed me to relax from the office environment, whilst learning about one of the parks which they are looking to improve in the future. I was also able to see some animals which you wouldn’t normally expect to see so close by, for example the emus and meerkats; I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about this place!

Day 5

My final day of work experience came around so quickly but the fun wasn’t over yet. I went and worked with the final team (Parks operative team). This allowed a gentle end to the week whilst spending some time catching some sun.

I loved the variation which I was given whilst working there and I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work around. I know this will help me in any future jobs that I might have, and it’s nice to know that the people looking after our parks and open spaces care for what they are doing.

Guest Writer: Louis Machon

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Can you make a difference to Valentines Mansion?

Valentines Mansion & Gardens in Ilford is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help us to create a truly memorable experience for visitors on our open days.  Working within this wonderful Georgian Mansion, dating back to 1696, you will be surrounded by many stories and an ever-changing architectural gem.  This would suit anyone with an interest in heritage and art, providing a wonderful chance for you to share our stories with visitors.

Perhaps you enjoy talking to people about history and art, and you are keen to support the future offering of a regency building?  Might you, then, be interested in Georgian architecture and be keen to provide an exciting visitor service at Valentines Mansion?  You could even be keen to develop your experience of retail, developing events and exciting learning experiences for all ages.  We have many exciting opportunities for you to get involved in, so get in touch!

Valentines Mansion

Valentines Mansion is grade II* listed country house with a growing profile: over 73,000 visitors have visited since we reopened to the public in 2009 and the Mansion now operates as a multi-functional cultural facility with public events, exhibitions, artists’ studios, education and hire operations.   We rely on the dedication of our volunteers to welcome visitors to open days and events so everyone can take time to enjoy the stunning setting, nestled in Valentines Park.

You will ensure our visitors enjoy our exhibitions, special events and creative workshops, step back in time and explore the recreated Victorian kitchen and Georgian rooms – there’s so much to do at Valentines, you’ll be surprised!

Valentines mansion is offering the following volunteer roles:

  • Front of House and Open Days (Event) Assistants
  • Tour and Interpretation Guides
  • Storyteller & Drama Practitioners
  • Art Workshop Leaders

Sound interesting?  Then come along and meet us on our next Volunteer Open Day on Sunday 12 October we are a very friendly, enthusiastic and dedicated team and would love to share with you our experiences of working within this much loved building.

On the 12 October, you are invited to join staff and volunteers for a complimentary tour of the mansion & gardens, apply for these roles and chat about the value of this experience.  If you are interested in volunteering, drop in between 1pm-3pm or book a place on the tour at 1pm, by e-mailing Amy.mountney@visionrcl.org.uk or call 020 8708 8100.

A copy of the role descriptions can also be requested through the Volunteer Centre Redbridge by  e-mailing volunteeringbroker@redbridgecvs.net or calling 0208 514 9624.  Alternatively, please contact Amy Mountney by e-mailing Amy.mountney@visionrcl.org.uk or call her on 020 8708 8100.

Roles may require you to undertake a DBS check, and all roles will require professional references.

We look forward to welcoming you!

Post author: Hardip Sohal


Leave a comment

The Gardens Of Valentines Mansion Inspires Children To Design Their Own Crockery

From the small to the tall, from the greens to the blues and the buzzing of the bees and crawling of all kinds of bugs, the magical gardens of Valentines Mansion is home to many beautiful creatures and plants. I went along to the mansion’s creative crockery session to see how the children were going to use what they could find in the gardens to decorate their very own cup and saucer.

The elegant drawing room had been transformed into an artist’s workshop with cups and saucers all ready to be painted on. But first, everyone needed some inspiration and there’s no better place for it than the wonderful walled gardens. As children learnt that they would be spending the first part of the session outside they were bursting with glee – especially at the thought of being able to see butterflies! So, the children eagerly led their parents through the array of bright pink flowers to large green leaved plants, constantly sketching anything and everything that caught their eye. While the children carefully inspected each and everything they came across, I chatted to a few of the mums who gushed over the beauty of the mansion and the gardens and how lovely it is to come and visit.

When the time came to head back to the mansion, the children were already admiring each other’s drawings – all desperate to share what they found. Cries of delight and excitement followed the young artists all the way back into the drawing room. There were example cups and saucers all decorated in a typical victorian fashion for more inspiration and as the session leader Alison explained, victorians were known for decorating the inside of their cups too! So there certainly was a lot to think about and before going straight for the porcelain pens to design the crockery, all designs were first drawn on templates.

When it was time to start unleashing the pens onto the crockery, a burst of colour began to make its way onto the previously plain old white cups and saucers. Some children wanted to write their names on their cups and some wanted to dedicate it to their mums or dads! Either way it was clear that every creation was unique with each child’s own personality and imagination being expressed through the various designs and colours. There were small pink hearts that bordered plates, small little bees that buzzed around the cups and all kinds of flowers and plants that made these cups and saucers extremely special indeed.

The finished products needed to be set down to dry and as they filled up the table, crowds began to form to admire how beautiful they all looked. The items looked so picturesque that they could have easily been part of a window display in any victorian crockery shop! The children and parents were a little bit heartbroken at the thought of having to leave their creations behind at the mansion so that they could dry properly, but they were equally full of excitement to come back and collect them so that they can begin to use them and have them as the best piece of crockery in the house!

If you would like to participate in future workshops at Valentines Mansion:

Post Author: Raeesa Mukhtar


1 Comment

The Hunters Grimm – immerse yourself into a world of fantasy!

I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for when I joined the audience of The Hunters Grimm promenade performance in Valentines Park today, but boy was it fun, I didn’t stop smiling (even when I should have been sad!!)

Our hosts, Dot and the Brothers Grimm wanted us to help them in their quest to find stories… stories with a happy ending as one of the brothers was very sad and needed cheering up!

Introductions

The cast greet the audience

As we were led off around the Mansions walled gardens we became part of lots of little stories, firstly bumping into a seemingly harmless wolf lying on the ground; he chatted to us while moving menacingly ever nearer. Then we heard a cry for help and it was a young woman wanting help to fit into the shoe of her dreams!! Next we were serenaded by a band of animals who taught us a dance. Completely bonkers but a lot of fun on a lovely sunny day!! Finally we met a prince who had fallen on hard times searching for the woman of his dreams… would this be our happy ending? You simply must bring the family along to find out.

Animal band

The animal musicians of Breman

This show has universal appeal to old and young alike and can’t help but engage you as the cast draw you into their fantasy world. Children will simply adore this show as you can completely immerse yourself in it and become as involved as you want which makes it feel very personal.

The cast of Teatro Vivo were amazing and incorporated The Community Chorus, regular people like you or I that had signed up as supporting cast members and they blended in perfectly.

With only one day left to run, I urge you to go along on Saturday 2 August. There are 2 performances to choose from; 3pm or 6pm. I promise you, you won’t be sorry!

You can either buy your tickets online at Teatro Vivo or on the day at the box office to the rear of the Gardener’s Cottage Café.  Car parking available.

More information on the Redbridge-i website

Post Author: Cathy Pace


Leave a comment

The Very Successful Labyrinth Theatre Festival Ends With A Magical Performance Of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Picnic baskets, blankets and brollies were out in full force on Sunday evening as an audience gathered in the beautiful gardens of Valentines Mansion, awaiting Oddsocks’ 25th anniversary performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

I had barely entered the gates of Valentines Park, yet it was instantly clear to me that spirits had not been dampened, despite the rain. The crowd was being entertained by some fantastic live music that echoed throughout the park, building anticipation for the imminent performance. As I settled on the grass, I didn’t even have time to worry about it being damp as I was immediately drawn to the stage. The backdrop of the wondrous Valentines Mansion and the gardens that encircled the audience, created a truly mesmerising atmosphere.

When the bellows from the director began, all sounds of chatting, shuffling and eating ceased – it was time to begin. As the actors were introduced, the liveliness of the show was immediately established. Each of them announced the trio of characters they would be playing and once this was done, the story of ‘love, magic and fairies’ ensued.

The plot of this performance, for those unfamiliar with the Shakespearean play, is centred around four lovers. Demetrius is set to marry Hermia at the request of her father, however, Hermia is in love with Lysander (who broke out into song every now and then, serenading the audience with his bright red guitar) and finally there’s Helena or ‘the queen of whining’ as her actress described her – she is besotted with Demetrius who wants nothing to do with her. That is of course until the fairies cunningly intercept these wires of crossed love. Oberon, the king of the fairies was in the most impressive costume. It gave him the height to accompany his domineering character that causes havoc when Lysander and Hermia run off to the woods in the hope that they can be together and escape the wrath of those who disapprove.

Armed with a wild flower that causes the wrong people to fall in love with each other, the fairies thoroughly stir the pot of trouble and mischief. Among all of this exhilarating drama, that was heavily lined with comedy, are the actors or mechanicals who are also in the woods preparing for a play to perform for the Duke of Athens. These scenes of the play were full of audience interaction and comic relief as the characters weaved in and out of the audience, grabbed some food along the way and stumbled over umbrellas.

Oddsocks cast Midsummer Nights Dream

The four lovers provided the perfect amount of high-energy drama, the mystical fairies in their vibrant costumes that dazzled the audience with neon reds and pinks were the source of all mischief, while the ‘mechanicals’ generated the most laughs. Physical action and comedy were not scarce at all – it was carried out flawlessly and was complemented by the abundance of jokes on stage.

The whole show was just excellent with its perfectly timed wit and engaging performances by the actors who oozed enthusiasm during every part that they played. Laughs, gasps and applause rippled throughout the audience from the hilarious hunting dogs being brought out to the magical moment that the skies above, that had only sent rain down upon us, became brighter as if it was directly responding to Helena’s dramatic plea to the skies for some comfort. The magic of the play was kept alive and burning until the final bows were taken – even though I’m sure many people including myself took the magic home with them as the performance was so memorable.

Guest Author: Raeesa Mukhtar


Leave a comment

Don’t miss the Redbridge Green Fair this Sunday!

Held once every 2 years, The Redbridge Green Fair is a large, vibrant, inclusive community festival with a “green” theme that raises public awareness of environmental issues and brings the community and businesses together in Valentines Park, Ilford.

This year the Green Fair takes place on Sunday 25 May from 11.30am to 7pm in Melbourne Field, Valentines Park. 

The fair will showcase free, low carbon and simple arts activities for children and adults with the help of local community artists, including construction with paper and wire and tie dying. There will be workshops including composting, vegetable growing, a ‘food miles’ run, recycled bikes for sale, Dr Bikes, a large tryout bikes area, eco shopping tips, craft and mending/repairing activities, bread cooking, drumming, a give and take area and a large solar cinema. The food available will be healthy, wonderful, diverse and solely vegetarian to promote lower carbon dietary choices. Even our music stage will be powered by a fire engine-cum-solar generator!

Our aim is to help reduce the carbon footprint in Redbridge, to support the Council’s aim of reducing it by 30% and bring back community spirit!

Take a look at some of the exhibitors, performers and workshops that will be present at the fair:

Darcy Turner Workshops 

Iroko Theatre Company

Recycles Bike Sales Servicing & Repairs

Tony Harvey Cycle Coaching and Training

Fusion Foods: Pop Up Restaurant

Forest Recycling Project

Solar Cinema Groovy Picture House

For more information visit the website:

Redbridge Green Fair

Email redbridgegreenfair@gmail.com
Twitter @RdbrdgGreenFair

Guest Post: Ros Southern


Leave a comment

Object of the Week

At the heart of Redbridge Museum is a unique collection of over 7000 objects, oral history and film. Once a week we will be selecting one object from Redbridge Museum’s collection to share with you online.

This week, 7-13 April, we celebrate the opening week of our new display Kelvin Hughes – Land, Sea and Air. This new small display looks at the Kelvin Hughes company, who were based in Hainault from 1917 to 2012. This world-class firm makes navigational equipment, mainly for ships and aircraft.

This display looks at the history of the firm through the eyes of some of the people who worked there. It also features some of the things they made, which have been recently donated to Redbridge Museum by Kelvin Hughes.

Our object of the week is a Sextant made by Henry Hughes & Co., in the 1930s. This instrument was used to measure the angle between two visible objects. It was an important part of equipment to help seamen make accurate calculations.

To find out more, visit the display Kelvin Hughes – Land, Sea and Air from 8 April – 4 October 2014 or call 020 8708 2317.

Name – Sextant

Associated Dates 1930s

Location – On display, Redbridge Museum 2nd Floor, Redbridge Central Library, Ilford IG1 1EA

Object of the week Mar14 

Website Check out our website!

Twitter Check out the latest news!

Post Author:  A Deo