“Ham is where the heart is”

“Ham is where the heart is” is a new Heritage lottery-funded project that is seeing to capture local people’s stories about Ham. It will be launched on Friday 30 September from 7pm to 9pm at the community space in Ham library. Do come along to find out more about the project and its volunteering opportunities.

Richmond’s Cambridge connection: talk on Monday 3 October

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Dr Lucilla Burn, Keeper of Antiquities and Assistant Director for Collections at Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, will be talking this coming Monday evening, 3 October, about one of Richmond’s many famous inhabitants, Richard, 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion.

Richard Fitzwilliam was born in Fitzwilliam (later Pembroke) House on Richmond Green in 1745. He grew up to become a talented musician, collector and connoisseur. His family tomb is in Richmond churchyard, but his true memorial is the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, the result of his bequest of his entire collection and funds to build a “good, substantial and convenient museum”.

In her talk, Dr Burn will discuss Fitzwilliam’s life and character and sketch the origins and development of the Fitzwilliam Museum over the past 200 years. This is a fundraising event for the Museum of Richmond, and it’s at St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Richmond, at 7:30pm. Tickets are £10 (£8 for Museum of Richmond supporters). Find out more

Celebrating Capability Brown

brown-logoLondon Parks & Gardens Trust is holding a study day at Syon Park, Brentford, on Sunday 2 October. It’s about Capability Brown’s landscapes at Richmond and also at Braunschweig (Brunswick), which has its own Richmond Park. Find out more

Jason Debney, Coordinator of the Thames Landscape Strategy, will be giving the Richmond Local History Society’s talk on Monday 12 December on How the Arcadian View from Richmond Hill inspired the English Landscape Movement. Find out more

What’s new

Have you noticed the lettering on the house on Lower Mortlake Road where it meets Kew Road at Richmond Circus? The two intertwined initials WS, dated 1853, are the monogram of William Selwyn the younger. The house is one of the few remaining relics of the Selwyn Estate which used to cover a considerable area of Richmond. You can now read more about the Selwyn family and the development of Richmond on our Resources pages.


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

If you’ve already read our 2016 journal, Richmond History 37, you’ll be familiar with the story of the Victorian graveyard at the Congregational Chapel in The Vineyard (now the Vineyard Life Church). The author, Peter Flower, also wrote an article in Richmond History 22 (2002) about Thomas Wilson, the 19th-century businessman and philanthropist, whose generosity led to the building of the church. We’ve now republished it on our website – again, you’ll find this in the Resources section.

And, to complement our existing piece (supplied by John Govett) on Richmond’s Old Burial Ground, we’ve added a timeline, compiled by Stephen Orr, relating to Vineyard Passage Burial Ground.

What would you say to a free afternoon tea in Richmond Park and the chance to learn about the park’s history?

Pembroke LodgeOur talks programme resumes in October. As well as our monthly evening talks we have a special afternoon event on Sunday 20 November at Pembroke Lodge. It includes afternoon tea and it’s free to members of the Richmond Local History Society and their guests. That’s yet another reason to take out membership (£6 for the remaining months of 2016).

Coming up: minding your Ps in 2017

A01 TitleWe’ve now finalised our 2017 programme, with talks on palaces, princesses, poverty, pubs, public records, politics, playing sport and performing Shakespeare. Our January talk will be on Crown Lands in Kew – The Public Record Office and beyond.

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

West London Local History Conference 2017

Next year’s West London History Conference, on 25 March, will be on the theme Communications in West London History.

David Blomfield 1934-2016

David at the 2015 Richmond May Fair

The Guardian has published an excellent obituary about our President, Dr David Blomfield, who died on 12 July.  Read The Guardian obituary and find out more about David.

You can listen again to David Blomfield’s talk

You missed a real treat if you didn’t hear our late President, Dr David Blomfield, speak about the history of the Star and Garter Home at our meeting on 11 April. But you can now listen to his talk on our new Soundcloud page. This also has Murray Hedgcock’s talk on the history of local cricket and Q2 Players’ dramatised reading of extracts from Simon Fowler’s book Richmond At War 1939–1945.

Five books on the Second World War

AA Book reprints march 2016 IMG_8234 (2)One of the last publications that our late President, David Blomfield, worked on was the third edition of our popular book on the history of Kew during the Second World War, published in May 2016.

Revised, and with a new title, Kew at War 19391945 by David Blomfield and Christopher May is now available at Kew Bookshop, at the Open Book in Richmond and from the Society’s online bookshopFind out more about the book.

Our five publications on the Second World War  – including a reissue of Petersham: radar and operational research 1940-1946 with a new illustrated cover – are all now available to buy 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.

Our journal, Richmond History

Journal 37 cover (2)Former Richmond Council leader Sir David Williams writes in our latest Richmond History journal about the Liberal Party’s rise locally in the 1970s. And, in the same issue, Kingston University lecturer Dr Steven Woodbridge gives a history of the Richmond branch of the Junior Imperial League, a forerunner (between the First and Second World Wars) of the Young Conservatives. You can order it online, via PayPal, using a debit or credit card. Back copies of Richmond History still in print are also available to buy online.

Our free online index to articles in Richmond History covers all issues up to and including No. 36 (2015) and now includes a new author index.

“The Tradesman’s Entrance to Richmond Palace”

Museum_of_Richmond_logoThe Museum of Richmond is looking for help in researching the houses and people who lived in Old Palace Lane, which runs from the Thames past Asgill House and the White Swan, along the former Richmond Palace wall to Richmond Green.

The story of the Lane, which begins in the medieval period, mirrors Richmond’s development over the centuries. This research will inform a Museum exhibition in 2017 that will illustrate, in microcosm, the growth of the town since its early beginnings. Find out more.

Fairs and fetes

Ricmond Fair inside We enjoyed showing off our new publications, including the 2016 issue of our journal  Richmond History, at Richmond’s May Fair  and the Kew Midsummer Fete  in June.

Thank you to everyone who visited our stands and a warm welcome to the many new members who have joined us!