THE FRIENDS 40TH BIRTHDAY PARTY
Over 50 Friends attended the Friends’ 40th Anniversary celebrations on a warm summer evening on Saturday 23rd June.
Guests attending included Cynthia Bradly, the first curator of Whitehall.
Pat Jackson, also a Whitehall Curator came to the party with her daughter, Victoria, who was a steward on the day Whitehall first opened to the public.
Celebrating 40 years
The video below features Pat Jackson, one of the original Friends of Whitehall, when the building was first opened to the public. Now her daughter, Eleanor Jackson has written about her memories of that day.
Friends of Whitehall will be 40 years old!!
I can’t believe that after the successful campaign to save the building from development, Whitehall has been at the heart of Cheam Village and in our hearts for so long.
It seems like only a couple of years ago that I as a child lined up (and the queue was down to the Crossroads) to see the house finally open to the public, stewarded and supported by Friends, of course. It’s wonderful that the Heritage Department looks after Whitehall, but without us Friends there wouldn’t be a Whitehall to look after.
So let’s celebrate our involvement over 40 years.
On opening day many of you were involved – and I’d love to have a few of those memories of the day in a forthcoming newsletter and what Whitehall and the Friends have meant to you.
For me, it’s meant friendship and the joy of a common purpose. From conversations with the Thursday Club of Winifred Walker and others, to the excitement of seeing familiar faces at the many events organised over the years. And encouraging so many people to knit for the Yarn bombing of Whitehall just a few years ago too.
So this a request for ideas for 2 things:
One. How you would like to see this monumental events celebrated? Hopefully Whitehall will be open again in time for the Birthday, currently it is on track to be open in the summer so fingers crossed.
It would be lovely to involve local schools, churches and groups, maybe musical performances or dance or fireworks, or massed bands or a parade of elephants or a fly past… or…or…or – The Friends are your organisation so please pass on any suggestions you may have – big or small – and any offers of help too or if you have any connections with groups who would like to be involved.
Two. How shall we move forward as a Friends organisation? More of the same? More one-off events? More talks? More teas? More fairs and stalls? More involvement with other local organisations? More local walks? Organised tripe? YOU DECIDE!
And how do we recruit more Friends and make Whitehall and its Friends relevant for the next 40 years? It would be lovely if we could get some of the newer residents of Cheam and the area involved so they can get as much pleasure as we have had from the Friends over the years.
Please use the site contact form for ANY ideas or memories of the Friends of Whitehall. We can’t promise to act on them all, but your voice in the Friends has mattered so much in making the House and the Friends what they are today, so let’s have your thoughts for the future.