HVA Member Kim Roskell in the news ... and Friends of Little Cassiobury are raising awareness about their plans for an Arts & Heritage Centre in Watford....


HVA Member Kim has been personally invited by the BBC as one of a select group of artists to paint The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee River Thames Pageant, interpreting  the spectacle in their own way. The artists will be positioned on The Millennium Bridge and will form part of  BBC1’s live coverage on 3rd June 2012.  One thousand boats will be led by The Queen and Members of the Royal family in The Royal Barge which will be decorated especially for the occasion sailing from Chelsea to Tower Bridge. The artists’ progress will be filmed throughout the afternoon and some of them may be interviewed about their art and how they view The Pageant.

The honoured chosen artists will be using different mediums and styles. Kim will be painting acrylic on canvas which is her favoured medium. Her impressionistic style portrays her love of dramatic light and shade within a subject. Kim loves to paint the British countryside and animals within it,  such as sheep and cows, also British coastlines where she enjoys capturing  patterns in the sea, incorporating boats, beaches, buildings, jetties and such-like.


'Grazing Sheep'


Look out for ‘Britain’ magazine who are soon doing a feature on Exploring Britain in Art, where it will look at artists who have been inspired by the British countryside from Constable to Hockney. Kim has been invited to feature in the article showcasing a selection of her paintings portraying her passion for the beautiful British countryside.


'Shap Abbey'

'Curly Fleece'

'Portree Harbour'

'Boats at Manningtree'




Little Cassiobury is a 17th century grade 2* listed Dower House tucked away between the two college buildings in Hempstead Road Watford. It is one of the last remnants of the old Cassiobury Estate, former seat of the Earls of Essex. It  had a  significant part to play in the development of the town and is therefore of historical importance.

The house retains many original features,and is an excellent example of the architecture of its time, designed by 'the first lady of architecture' Elizabeth Lady Wilbraham in the late 17th century who is reported to have been tutor to Christopher Wren. It was built to accommodate the widowed and unmarried members of the Essex family.

Little Cassiobury came into private ownership in the 1930s following the sale of the estate and subsequent demolition of  the main house. It was later compulsorily purchased by Herts County Council to use some of the grounds to build Watford West Herts  college. Little Cassiobury  was used as education offices for a considerable period of time, since moving the offices it has been unused for a number of years now.

The Friends of Little Cassiobury is  an organisation in its infancy aiming to acquire the house from the local authority in order to restore it to its former glory and to transform it into an 'Arts and Heritage Centre' for the use of the people of Watford.

The Arts and Heritage centre could provide space for artists to create and exhibit their work, offer courses to both adults and children, work as an educational resource for schools offering history and art topics, work with disadvantaged groups , give presentations and exhibitions about the history of the house and the people who lived there (this could be linked to our local museum).

Of course this is our dream for the future, first we have to make our case to  HCC to acquire the building then the hard work will really begin,when we will need a team of willing volunteers to do anything from cleaning to decorating to plumbing and anything that is needed!

We are always looking for the support of new members. Please look at our website for further information and for a membership form if you are interested