Archive for the ‘VIPs’ Category

Sir Malcolm Rifkind hosts Kensington & Chelsea Chamber of Commerce Summer Party at House of Commons

A wonderful evening to network and an excuse to study the fine architecture of the Houses of Parliament. Wine and canapes on the Pavillion Terrace overlooking the Thames, with the sunlight on St Thomas’ Hospital, the Eye and other architectural delights of London.

A mixture of members and members guests were entertained by Malcolm (a witty speech-maker) and Greg Hands MP. Members from other Chambers were present too – the Terrace, balmy evening and drink made for a most convivial and easy networking evening. Thanks must go to Julia Walker-Smith who organised the event, with about 200 attending.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine




Sir Malcolm Rifkind visits Campden Hill Resident’s Association Summer Party held in Campden Hill Square Gardens

The rain held off, painted faced children ran around and the band played on. A lovely evening with local residents who were plied with canapes and drink by assured and charming pupils from Holland Park School. Old and young thoroughly enjoyed themselves, as so too did Malcolm Rifkind and the Deputy Mayoress of Kensington & Chelsea, Councillor Lady Borwick. As Malcolm commented in his speech, David White, Chair of CHRA is in danger of fast reaching his own diamond jubilee unless another Chair can be found. Raffle prizes were drawn and enthusiastically chosen, pupils presented with Waterstones vouchers as a thank you for their help that evening and the band played on.  A great evening.

Images and copyright:  Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine



Diamond Jubilee March-Past in Kensington

For a quick 15 minutes on a busy Saturday morning, Kensington High St. felt very ‘community’. Residents, businesses and tourists enthusiastically waved flags and stood alongside Councillors of Kensington & Chelsea, to cheer on the Chelsea Pensioners and some 200 soldiers from six regiments, all of whom had recently been deployed in Afghanistan.

The March-Past in front of the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Councillor Christopher Buckmaster, the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Lady Borwick, the Mayoress, Ann Hobson and the Leaders of Council,Councillor Sir Merrick Cockell was to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The Chelsea Pensioners and the regiments involved have the Freedom of the Royal Borough which permits them to march along the Borough’s roads. The regiments marching from Holland Park to the Flower Stall outside St Mary Abbots Church were The Royal Hospital Chelsea, The Royal Yeomanry, D (London Irish Rifles) Coy, The London Regiment, 256 Field Hospital, 10 Coy, 4 Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, 41 (PLK) Squadron 38 Signal Regiment.

All too soon and within a few minutes of the March-Past Kensington High St. became a normal busy high street on a Saturday morning.  Leaving just the tourists slightly bemused by the preceding events.

Images and copyright:  Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine





HRH The Countess of Wessex Reviews the Chelsea Pensions at their Founder’s Day

HRH The Countess of Wessex reviewed 283 In-Pensioners at the Royal Hospital on Thursday. Clearly enjoying herself she spoke to many of those being reviewed, including Joe Britton who is approaching 101. The Hospital apparently has one of the “best Clubs” in Britain, provides support and respite to soldiers injured from fighting in Afghanistan, and throughout the year holds social events such as lectures, drinks parties and an annual carol service in the Wren chapel. It is well known that those lucky enough to live at Royal Hospital Road enjoy a full and active life with life expectancy of more than ten years of those living on their own. The ‘Scarlet Coats’ are very well recognised and honoured throughout the UK, with even one of the budget airlines giving them excellent and preferential service! The rain held off until the end of the ceremony when attendees (including those in Scarlet Coats) moved extremely fast to undercover  provided by the marquees to continue celebrating this very special day for them.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine


The Draycott Nursing & Care 15th Anniversary Party at The Orangery, Holland Park

Angela Hamlin, MD and founder of Draycott Nursing & Care celebrated her 15th Anniversary with a wonderful party at The Orangery in Holland Park. Blessed by a fantastic summer’s evening, guests were treated to cocktails, champagne and never ending canapes as well as inegenious poetry – made up on the spot and relevant to any three words (nouns, verbs or adjectives) you cared to chose. Characteristically generous of Angela, she chose to use the occasion as a means of raising awareness of Canine Partners, a wonderful (and very small charity) which helps disabled people lead a full and active life by training dogs to assist them in everyday situations. We watched as dogs picked up ventolin inhalers and five pence pieces from the floor, took washing out of the machine and helped undress someone. Equally generous were some of the guests with a total of £9,495.00 being raised on the night through raffle tickets and on the spur of the moment auction of some of the raffle prizes. The Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Councillor Christopher Buckmaster was in attendance with the Mayoress, Ann Hobson. We wish Angela and her team every success for the next fifteen years.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine

http://www.thekensingtonmagazine.com/  www.draycottnursing.co.uk   www.caninepartners.org.uk 


The Kensington Magazine and Dr Joan Martin at No. 11 Downing St.

In Autumn last year The Times ran an article about the Sternberg Award, an initiative by Sir Sigmund Sternberg recognising the huge contribution those over 70 can make to their community. We considered Dr Joan Martin who runs the Emperor’s Swimming Club in North Kensington for disabled people was top of the list and so nominated her. Joan started the swimming club in 1955 and since then, every Friday night has attended. She’s now 96 and in addition to teaching swimming she regularly tends the Vicarage gardens and is still involved in the Guide movement. In fact we were not able to daly too long at Downing St. as she had to rush off to a Guides meeting.

Accompanying Joan to receive her award by James Harding, Editor of The Times and Michael Sternberg (son of) was Joy Puritz who also lives in Kensington and recently wrote Joan’s biography.

Joan did not win but did come as a Runner Up and received a certifcate from James and Michael. The winner was Colin Murray Parkes aged 84 who set up the first hospice-based bereavement service. After his retirement at 65, he “embarked on a second career exploring the links between grief, terrorism, violence and reconciliation”.

Despite George Osborne taking a break from the trials of the Euro to meet the finalists, this was an informal but inspirational event – the older generation have a lot to be proud of and their contribution to the local or wider community is not to be underestimated.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott, The Kensington Magazine

L-R top to bottom:  Lucy Elliott & Joan Martin; Michael Sternberg & Joan; James Harding; Colin Murray Parkes; Joan & Colin; James & Joan; Joy Puritz & Joan


Miller of Kensington celebrate 25 years in Stratford Road

Mohamed el Banna, owner of Miller of Kensington celebrated being in Stratford Road for 25 years with a large street party. Young and old, all nationalities, residents and businesses joined in, danced, chatted or took photographs. The Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Councillor Julie Mills popped along for an impromptu dance on the pavement, toddlers organised their own dance routine (of a fashion) and Eight Ray provided the music. It was a wonderful afternoon sponsored by local businesses, Kensington Design, Fait Maison, La Piccolo Dely, Chez Patrick, The Garden Basket, Minx and of course Mohamed whom we wish every success for another 25 great years in the neighborhood.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine



Golden Oldies Golden Diamond Jubilee Lunch

Fabulous afternoon.  A lunch party for ten Kensington Residents – the true ‘Golden Oldies’ whose ages ranged from the spring chicken of just 80 to a sightly more mature 96.  A three course lunch with wine at the Milestone Hotel, a visit by the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Councillor Julie Mills, and a photo shoot by the Kensington & Chelsea Chronicle.   A very special occasion and a tremendous thank you to the Mayor and the Milestone for making this such a success.

This event was later reported in The Kensington & Chelsea Chronicle


Images: Top:  Copyright Matthew Grayson/Kensington & Chelsea Chronicle;

Images:below copyright Catherine Chandler

Launch of singer/songwriter Sonya Titus at a Farewell Party for the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea

A private party was held for the Mayor, Councillor Julie Mills to thank her for her wonderful work as Mayor over the past year. Organised by local resident Annie Redmile and attended by very appreciative residents in the Borough, Julie was presented with a gift and flowers. To mark the occasion and somewhat appropriately, just as we say farewell to Julie, we welcomed Sonya Titus a resident of Kensington who is embarking on her career as a singer/songwriter. Accompanied by her guitar and teacher, she played two of her songs in public for the very first time. It seemed incongrous to the usual events held in the Mayor’s Parlour, but it was a lovely change, and Sonya’s voice was reminiscent of Joan Boaz. Another number was played to illustrate how it would sound with the proper backing, and then to the amusement of all in the room, a well known song was played during which some sponteneous dancing took place. (I don’t think this will happen under the next Mayor).  To complete the soiree, Sonya’s father generously presented the Mayor with a cheque for her chosen charity of the year. We have high hopes for Sonya, so watch this space!


Images and copyright:  Lucy Elliott The Kensington Magazine

The Kensington Magazine celebrates 5 years with a Party at The Roof Gardens

A sure sign of a good party is when your mother wakes up the next morning and demands Neurofen! The Roof Gardens hosted a wonderful party to celebrate our Fifth Anniversary. The champagne flowed, the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea spoke and the even the flamingos flaunced their stuff. Residents, clients, friends and family all helped to make this an occasion to remember. Roll on the 10th Anniversary!  (written by Lucy Elliott)

Lucy’s party on 11th April celebrating The Kensington Magazine’s fifth anniversary was a glorious and glamorous affair, given in the Roof Gardens. A truly British celebration with mini portions of fish and chips, baby beef-burgers and sticky-toffee puddings and the champagne flowed freely.  It always has up there.  In the early 1930s,when the Roof Gardens were first planted, my husband’s grandmother, Lady Perry-Robinson loved to open them with the Mayor of Kensington, as a major event of the London Season. It was no surprise that at Lucy’s party the current Mayor,Councillor Julie Mills, enthused publicly about how the magazine has bound us all as a community. Pink as the flamingoes on the pond, Lucy seemed overwhelmed by the praise. Most of us simply agreed with the Mayor!  (written by Maria Perry.  A fuller version of her account will appear  in the May edition)



Images:  with thanks to Tom Elliott