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Christopher May 1943-2014

Chris and David at Kew FeteChris MayWe are very sorry to announce the death of our Chairman, Christopher May.

For many this sad news will come as a shock, even to those who knew he was ill. He had in fact been battling with a virulent form of leukaemia since February. Last week he turned down further invasive treatment that could offer him only a few more weeks of life. He died at home, as he wanted, with his family around him and his affairs in order.

His funeral, celebrating his life, will be at Mortlake Crematorium at 3.20pm on Friday 21 November. It will be followed, at he wanted, by a party. This will be at The Botanist on Kew Green. His family very much hope that as many of his friends as possible will come to both. See the invitation. The dress is to be informal.

Do please forward this news and the invitation to any fellow historians who might wish to attend.

Kew Fete 2012 -  RLHS + C's cards 031 wkg copyChristopher May at this year’s Kew Fayre


Our next talk is on Monday 8 December

St Elizabeth's 2Stephen Orr will talk about THE VINEYARD: AN ONLINE HISTORY. This will be followed by our seasonal Party.

The Vineyard in Richmond has two churches, three sets of almshouses, seven other listed buildings and a listed telephone box, not to mention a varied group of interesting houses. Yet in 1700 there was just Michel’s Almshouses and Clarence House – both newly built.

Stephen Orr’s website – The Vineyard, Richmond: An Online History for residents, their families and friends – aims to document the drastic change from fields to town and to illustrate the advantages of the internet over the traditional book in telling that story.

Stephen Orr will also look at some of the residents in the road between 1841 and 1911. The Vineyard is especially interesting because it was developed piecemeal as the result of having many individual landowners and residents, whereas most of the other roads on Richmond Hill were mainly designed at the behest of a single developer.

The talk, which will be at Duke Street Church in Richmond TW9 1DH, starts at 8pm, with coffee available from 7.30. The talk is free to members. Visitors are welcome: admission £2.

Richmond Park and its role in the First World War: a free exhibition

The Hearsum Collection at Pembroke Lodge has a free exhibition about Richmond Park and its important role in the First World War.

Military Band edited

The Second Battalion Artists’ Rifles leaving Richmond Park for a route march, headed by their band, 1914

Richmond Poor Relief Indexes go online

Over 103,000 names of people applying for poor relief in Richmond Poor Law Union between 1870 and 1912 are now searchable, free of charge, on Surrey History Centre’s website at http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/recreation-heritage-and-culture/archives-and-history/archives-and-history-research-guides/poor-law-records/richmond-poor-law-union-application-and-report-books