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Anne Arbuthnot

A friend first mentioned Copped Hall to me about 7–8 years ago and told me I should visit so I decidec to discover more and came to an Open Day. I think it was in late autumn and I remember that it was warmer outside than inside the mansion.

The Guided Tour was excellent, very well presented and informative and I found mysel completly fascinated by the history of Copped Hall, its chequered past and enourmous potential to be returned to its former glory.

What the volunteers and trustees had achieved was impressive and one could tell the passion that the building and grounds evoked in all who worked there. I decided that day that I really wanted to be part of the work to promote Copped Hall and to help with the restoration. However my busy life as a physiotherapist working full time in Central London meant that I had to wait until I retired before I could contact Alan and offer my help in whatever way was useful.

I first met with Alan in February this year, he gave me a tour around the house and gardens and introduced me to everyone we met on our way around. I was struck by the friendly welcome I received from all and even on that initial day it was obvious what strong camaraderie there was between the volunteers.

I joined the mansion team where the work is very varied and can be either in the Mansion or transporting items around the grounds – one day we even drove to a volunteers home in Woodford to collect a large unwanted Acer Tree to bring back to Copped Hall where we planted it in its new spot in the grounds where I am happy to report it is flourishing.

There is always something to do and more volunteers are always welcome – it does not matter how much time you have to spare or even if you feel your particular skill mix is not going to be useful because belive me it will be – there will be a place for you and you will feel part of a very special bunch of people who are passionate about Copped Hall.

Even in the short time I have been there I have seen big improvements and changes and it is exciting to help Copped Hall and see the restoration first hand and to contribute. I have also made new friends and have introduced someone who has started volunteering and she is loving it as much as I do – it really is a very special place.

  • Photo: Peter Gamble