We were at Richmond’s May Fair and also at last month’s Ham Fair and Kew Fete.  Our thanks to everyone who helped on our stands, and a very warm welcome to the 32 new members who have joined us.

Celebrating Richmond’s heritage – throughout September

Now in its fifth year, Know Your Place, Richmond Library Services’ annual celebration of the heritage of Richmond upon Thames, takes place in September. There will be the usual mix of talks, workshops and guided walks.

Here are some of the events:

Find out more

Also coming up: An exhibition and a talk on Poverty

Detail from a plan, in the Museum of Richmond, of the Richmond Workhouse

The Museum of Richmond’s next exhibition, opening on 23 September, will look at Richmond during the period 1600–1948, from the point of view of the poorer classes. This will include the history of Richmond’s Workhouse, Almshouses and the effects of the Poor Laws. As well as telling the story of an often overlooked class of people, the exhibition will look at individual people and their experiences of poverty.

The exhibition will be be based on a new publication from the Society, written by Simon Fowler. Simon will also be talking about Poverty in the first in our new season of talks, on Monday 9 October.

See our complete calendar of all events and Find out about our forthcoming talks

NEW  We’ve updated our Richmond History journal index

Our free online index to articles in Richmond History has been extended and updated. It now covers all issues up to and including our 2017 issue. Richmond History 38 includes a tribute to David Blomfield and articles on the origins of Bishop Duppa’s Almshouses, the painter Mary Kent Harrison’s time in Richmond, the history of Royston House in Kew, and Sir David Williams’ memories of the Liberals in power in Richmond borough between 1983 and 1986.


“The common man fights back”: our latest publication

Richmond History 31, first published in 2010, has been reissued and is now available from our online bookshop.

Its bright new shiny cover includes a tribute to the late Christopher May, who edited the inside text. Chris described this issue as having the theme “The common man fights back”, showing just how much we can learn about the history of the less privileged people in our locality.

Find out more

Richmond History 25, which sold out almost immediately after it was published in 2004, has also been re-issued with a new cover. It includes an edited text of John Cloake’s fascinating talk, Forty Years of Richmond History, which he gave in December 2003.

These and other back issues still in print are available from our online bookshop. However, we’ve had to remove Richmond History 23 (2002), 27 (2006), 30 (2009) and 35 (2014) from our online bookshop as we have very few copies left: you may be able to buy the last remaining copies on our bookstalls.

Visiting a local art deco treasure

Mortlake Crematorium
Wikimedia Commons/Robert Smith

On 8 July we visited Mortlake Crematorium, “probably the most undiscovered deco treasure in London”. Find out more

Our summer coach outing, on 27 June, was to Hever Castle which dates back to 1270 and was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. Find out more

Exploring Old Palace Lane

Old Palace Lane is arguably Richmond’s most historic street. Many of the changes and developments that have made Richmond what it is today are reflected in this quiet little lane leading down to the Thames.

Our new book, Old Palace Lane: Medieval to Modern Richmond by Derek Robinson and Simon Fowler, published jointly with the Museum of Richmond, tells the story of the Lane, the people who have lived there, and its buildings. Illustrated in colour, it is available from our online bookshop.

The book accompanies the Museum of Richmond’s exhibition, Old Palace Lane: Medieval to Modern Richmond,  which continues until September.

If you have a smartphone you can also download an audio guide, created by the Museum of Richmond, and listen to Bamber Gascoigne’s narration while exploring Old Palace Lane on foot.

Our new President – and three new committee members

Paul Velluet

Paul Velluet was appointed as the Society’s new President at our annual general meeting on 15 May.  Find out more

We are delighted to have Paul on board and also our three new committee members – Rose Constantine, Andrew Humphreys and Shirley Newton. See a list of our committee members and key volunteers.

A new timeline on Richmond Park

Richmond Park has been in existence for nearly 400 years. A new timeline on the Hearsum Collection website features some of the key stories and images in its history. View the timeline

Remembering David Blomfield

Robert Smith, our Chairman, opened our October 2016 meeting by inviting members and visitors to observe a minute’s silence in memory of Dr David Blomfield, the Society’s President and former Chairman, who died on 12 July 2016. You can now listen again on our Soundcloud page, which also includes a recording of the last talk that David gave, three months before he died, on the history of the Star and Garter Home.

Commemorating Joseph Hooker

Kew Gardens are running Joseph Hooker tours to mark the bicentenary of his birth, at 2pm on Sundays and Thursdays until 27 August. There is also a related exhibition in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery until 17 September.

Did Vincent van Gogh preach in Richmond in 1876?

The Resources section of our website includes articles by Peter Flower on the history of Richmond’s Congregational Church.

On Lower Mortlake Road where it meets Kew Road at Richmond Circus, this house features William Selwyn the younger’s monogram. It is one of the few remaining relics of the Selwyn Estate which used to cover a considerable area of Richmond.

The Congregational Church and St Elizabeth of Portugal pictured on an old postcard in 1913

They include an expanded version of the article that Peter wrote for Richmond History 25 (2004) about a “preacher with red hair” who addressed the Congregational Church in 1876 and who he believes may have been the artist Vincent van Gogh.

You can also read about the Selwyn family and the development of Richmond on our Resources pages.

And, to complement the piece by John Govett on Richmond’s Old Burial Ground, we’ve added a timeline, compiled by Stephen Orr, relating to Vineyard Passage Burial Ground

Five books on the Second World War

Our five books on the Second World War

Our five books on the Second World War

Our five publications on the Second World War including a third, revised edition of Kew at War 1939–1945 and a reissue of Petersham: radar and operational research 1940–1946 with a new illustrated cover are all now available  from our online bookshop. They’re also sold at the Open Book in Richmond, at Kew Bookshop and at The National Archives’ bookshop. And you can buy Richmond at War 1939–1945 from Sheen Bookshop and from the Visitor Information Centre outside Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park.