On Friday 23rd March we were all delighted and grateful to welcome Joanna Lumley to Stephens House & Gardens. She very kindly performed the official opening of the Visitor Centre and Stephens Collection in its new home in the refurbished coach house.
With good fortune the day had good weather and so she could enjoy a view of the grounds, spend time on Spike's Bench with our friends from the Finchley Society and then enjoy a light lunch before the opening ceremony itself.
After a speech of welcome from our Trust Chairman, Alison Dean, Joanna gave an enthusiastic and welcoming speech in return commenting on the value and importance of restoration and safekeeping our heritage in buildings and valuing the contribution it makes to community. She then declared the building open, in Welsh (she explained that Finchley is a long way from South London and that Welsh might have been required and so had learnt a suitable phrase for the opening), and enjoyed viewing the collection and meeting staff, trustees and tenants from the house before signing the visitor book, using Stephens Ink of course, at the end of her visit.
After several years of hard work by the trust board, trustees, house management and staff, the day was a fitting event to showcase the work that had been done to improve and maintain this important local legacy and facility.