Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery Thrilled To Be Reopening

Move to Tier 2 allows events to resume include the Hogarth exhibition

Gallery director Clare Gough
Gallery director Clare Gough. Picture Mark Bowles

Staff at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery are “absolutely thrilled” to be allowed to re-open under Tier 2 next week.

Director Clare Gough said it was “really crucial” that people know arts venues will be open, and is encouraging visitors to return to the Walpole Park-based space this Christmas.

“I’m thrilled we are able to open, of course I would love to be Tier 1 but let’s do whatever we can do during Tier 2,” she said.

“Now open, we are determined to get back as a facility to be a wonderful meeting point for Ealing people to come out and re-inspire themselves.”

The gallery’s exhibition of William Hogarth paintings was disrupted under lockdown but will continue to run until New Year’s Eve.

The collection was first bought by the Pitzhanger architect Sir John Soane for Ealing 200 years ago, and this is the first time the works have returned to the manor.

“We’re really keen for local Ealing people to proudly come and see the paintings,” Clare added.

“What’s really hard for us is…exhibitions are expensive to stage. We can’t extend the loan, we can’t make the exhibition go on for longer.”

The arts boss admitted that Tier 2 restrictions are still challenging over rules such as no households mixing indoors for the cafe setting, and a crowdfunder is also being considered for the venue.

“Lockdown and Tier 2 has been really tough…the first lockdown, the moment we closed, we lost all our admissions income and commercial income, we have been very badly financially hit by it,” Clare said.

And as they await funding allocations from the Government, venue bosses are excited for Christmas, but worried about what happens after the festivities end, and before the vaccine kicks in.

Meanwhile Clare vows Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery will bring some Christmas cheer with special events online, and the charity’s annual Christmas tree will be outside this year so that more people can enjoy the view.

Four Christmas weddings have also now finally got the go-ahead at the manor after the government’s easing of lockdown.

“We are determined to make them feel really special for those poor brides and grooms,” Clare adds.

To find out more about Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery click here.

Anahita Hossein-Pour - Local Democracy Reporter

November 30, 2020