Students help design and build Ilford Christmas grotto

The Christmas grotto at Valentines Mansion in Ilford had some little helpers when students were commissioned to help design and build the set.

The Christmas grotto at Valentines Mansion in Ilford had some little helpers when students were commissioned to help design and build the set.

Children are now visiting Father Christmas in his festive home in the dovecote, Emerson Road, which includes an advent calendar and sleigh.

Vision Redbridge commissioned more than 20 first and second year student studying a BTEC in technical theatre at Barking and Dagenham college for the project.

Students previously designed and built the “Big Book Bubble” which visited Valentines Park during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this summer.


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The grotto was started after half-term and completed in just four weeks.

Oliver Lyon, 18, of Romford, said managing the project was “challenging but loads of fun”.

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He added: “We experimented with lots of different material and techniques to make sure the Grotto looked as good as possible.

“Vision Redbridge have been really pleased with the result and said that they would keep us in mind for future projects and they can now plan more events as they have us as a resource.”

The grotto is open every weekend from 11am to 4pm until its last day next Sunday.

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