A note from How Hill Trust Director, Simon Partridge
Every year, the Friends of How Hill raise a tremendous amount of money which goes directly towards supporting the work of the Trust. Below are some of the projects that the Friends have supported over the last couple of years.
Early in 2015, the Friends chairman, Elizabeth, got together with Sharon (our House Manager) with an idea to renovate the summerhouse for people to hire; thus providing another income stream for the Trust. After much discussion, the summerhouse has been cleaned out, painted and stocked with a table, chairs, picnic blankets, a kettle etc. The idea is that groups can hire the summerhouse, have full use of the gardens and, for evening functions, have the key to our new toilet block. Although only ready last June, we have had several customers all of whom have been delighted with the new facility.
As part of the general refurbishment of the house (the Friends paid for new mattresses and some new beds in 2014), we are currently having all the bedroom curtains replaced. A deposit has been paid and the curtains are being professionally made and due to be fitted in the next couple of months. Following on from this, the Friends have funded new curtains (with a William Morris design in keeping with the Arts and Crafts house) for the, recently redecorated, sun room.
The last big expenditure by the Friends is an extension to the boardwalk in the secret garden. There is now a boardwalk from the new entrance and the boardwalk is now a circular loop which is far more sensible! A bridge was also renovated too. The secret garden is now open all the time. Access is sign posted via How Hill wood at the rear of the house. There is a donation box at the entrance to the garden but, of course, Friends have free entry anyway!
The formal gardens have also benefitted from the Friends’ generosity too. Chris, our head gardener, now has a fantastic new ladder to help him cut our magnificent yew hedges and a four wheel drive ‘garden’ tractor which means he will never get stuck in the mud again!
The Friends contribute to many smaller projects throughout the year too, all of which make a great difference to the running of the Trust.
The support of the Friends is crucial to the smooth running of the trust and on behalf of the Trustees, we would like to thank all members of the Friends for their generosity and good will – it is truly appreciated.