In addition to the funds raised through subscriptions, holding events continues to bolster the funds available to donate to the continued restoration and refurbishment of the House.
The Friends are lucky enough to be able to make use of the House for a number of special events each year. These have included performances of jazz, period dance and chamber music. The success of these events has been assisted by the high calibre of artists that have performed, (often just for their supper and no fee !!) helping us attract sell-out numbers for most of our performances. The Friends have also held quiz nights. The evenings always include a wonderful buffet supper as well as a bar - of course.
The Friends have also held two workshops entirely on the subject of Hylands House and the Estate. The workshops have called upon the expertise of local historians and professionals to produce an in depth day on all you ever wanted to know about Hylands.
The Friends organise a couple of coach trips each year to encourage Friends (and their friends) to visit other heritage attractions and sites of interest. These trips are always well attended and are thoroughly enjoyed by all participants. To date the Friends have visited Windsor Castle and Ham House (April 1998), Somerleyton Hall (October 1998), Pattydenne Manor and Down House (June 1999), Eltham Palace and Chartwell (September 1999), and Somerset House and St. Paul’s Cathedral (June 2000). The trips are not priced to raise money and therefore provide fabulous great value days out with ‘Friends’.
The Friends Christmas social is not an event to be missed. Always held at the House (except in 1998, when due to restoration at Hylands it was held at Newhall in Boreham), the Christmas event is an opportunity for Friends to meet and enjoy the festivities in the grandeur of Hylands House. The event has been held at lunchtime, but has latterly been of the first Sunday evening in December. There is of course Christmas fayre, a raffle and entertainment ranging from a court jester, hand-bell ringers, and a local choir to a rousing sing-a-long of Christmas carols around the piano in the Drawing Room. Christmas at Hylands, for the Friends, is always a joyful occasion !
Every year in March or April the Friends hold their Annual General Meeting. The AGM is usually held at the House whenever possible when the usual business of the AGM takes place. Chaired by the President, reports from the Chairman and the officers are received, the annual accounts are approved and the election of the officers and other members of the Executive Committee are held. After the business of the meeting a special guest speaker is invited to entertain those gathered with a short presentation. One of the most memorable of these was in 1999 when officers from the 1st SAS Regiment visited Hylands to commemorate their stay at Hylands from Nov 1944 to Dec 1945. During the evening a plaque was presented to the Friends which is now on display in the House.