Save the (revised) dates

The dates of our talks in September and October have changed. The Richmond Theatre event is now one week earlier, on Sunday 15 September, and Dr Simon Targett’s talk on the founding of America is one week later than previously advertised, on Monday 21 October.

Fascinating stories in two short talks on 8 April

At our meeting on Monday 8 April we have two short talks on current research topics.

Andrea Potts is the Museum of Richmond’s Project Officer for its 2019 exhibition, Celebrating 800 years of St. Mary Magdalene: At the heart of Richmond. She will tell us about the project and reveal some of the fascinating stories that the project’s team of volunteers have uncovered about Richmond’s historic parish church.

The church of St. Mary Magdalene, Richmond (Photo: Amandajm, Wikimedia Commons)

Local resident and Society member Dr Robert Wood has contributed articles to our journal, Richmond History, and co-presented an earlier talk to the Society about the Hearsum Collection at Pembroke Lodge. He has found an intriguing image in the Hearsum Collection about an ascent from Richmond in a hot air balloon in 1785. This has prompoted his latest research which is revealing some entertaining stories about the amazing Sr Lunardi, his pioneering balloon flights, the Drury Lane actress, and a fashion craze for Lunardi bonnets and skirts!

Vincenzo Lunardi’s Ascent from Richmond in a Hot Air Balloon in 1785 (Image from The Hearsum Collection)

Introducing our new book on Richmond and Kew’s street names

Our new publication, a fully revised edition of The Streets of Richmond and Kew, is now available at £10 in local bookshops – The Open Book in King Street, Richmond, the Museum of Richmond, The National Archives’ bookshop, Kew Bookshop  and Lloyds of Kew Bookshop  It will also be available from our online bookshop soon.

We are delighted to be able to reintroduce the book to our publications list after a very long gap: the first edition was published in 1989 and the second in 1990. Many Society members, including the late David Blomfield, have contributed to this new, third edition, which has 140 pages and includes a full colour map. Comprehensive and up to date, it describes how each of Richmond and Kew’s streets was named and their wider significance for our local area’s history.

Let us entertain you at the West London History Conference

The West London History Conference is an annual event that is organised jointly by the Richmond Local History Society and other local history societies in west London.

This year’s conference takes place on Saturday 30 March. The theme is Entertainment in South & West London. Two of the talks are being given by members of our own society: our President Paul Velluet will be talking about two Richmond theatres and their roles in the social life of the town, while Alan Sherriff, a Richmond Heritage Guide, will be speaking on the National Jazz & Blues Festivals that were held in Richmond in the 1960s.

The venue is the University of West London in Brentford. Tickets, £15, must be bought in advance and are available by post from Janet McNamara (31B Brook Road South, Brentford TW8 0NN; send a cheque payable to West London Local History Conference).

In 2019 we have three joint talks with other societies, including an event at Richmond Theatre

See our calendar of forthcoming events and our list of forthcoming talks

Our programme of talks in 2019 has a new twist. We are partnering with three other local organisations and one of our events will be at the Richmond Theatre. Coming up, we have:

The New Inn, Ham

 Reports of previous talks

Our website now includes reports of some of our previous talks, including John and Eunice Drewry’s presentation in November 2018 on the Voluntary Aid Detachment.

The Victorian burial plot – from graveyard to garden

Coffin plaque

Holloway gravestone, rediscovered in August 2018

On our Resources pages, Peter Flower, archivist at the Vineyard Church in Richmond, tells us of recent discoveries in the Victorian burial plot, which is now a garden. One of the graves discovered is that of the Revd Henry Martin, the church’s remarkable first pastor, who died in 1844 aged only 36. Find out more

Our Resources pages also include a piece by John Govett on Richmond’s Old Burial Ground and Stephen Orr’s timeline on Vineyard Passage Burial Ground.

You can also read about the Selwyn family and the development of Richmond.

Our new-look journal, and an updated free index

Richmond History 39, the 2018 issue of our annual journal, has a new design and features a painting by Ron Berryman, a Society member, on the front cover. Copies are available from The Open Book in King Street, Richmond, the Museum of Richmond, The National Archives’ bookshop, Kew BookshopLloyds of Kew Bookshop and our online bookshop.

Richmond History 40, our 2019 issue, is in preparation and will be launched at the Richmond May Fair.

Our free index to our annual journal Richmond History includes all issues up to and including no. 39 (2018). You can view the index or download it as a PDF.

Oh deer, another Richmond Park myth…

It is sometimes suggested that the “deer leap” or “freebord“, the strip of land immediately outside Richmond Park’s wall, was designed so that if a deer managed to escape its hunters and get beyond the deer leap, it was then free from capture. That’s unlikely, says Richmond Park historian Robert Wood, in an article about the freebord’s history. Find out more and see a timeline on Richmond Park