Book review: a new book on Ham and Petersham

Simon Fowler, Editor of our journal Richmond History, writes:

“Richmond is particularly lucky in having had a large number of pictures, drawings and photos showing how the area has changed over the past 250 years or so. The photographs in particular have appeared in numerous cheap and cheerful books of the ‘Richmond one hundred years ago’ kind. Unfortunately, neither text nor the quality of the reproduction of the images in such books does the subject any credit.

“Vanessa Fison’s new book A Glimpse of Old Ham and Petersham shows how it should be done. She has taken 50 or so prints and photographs showing the parishes of Ham and Petersham in their bucolic rural heyday over about a hundred years up to about the time of the First World War, including photos of such institutions as Secrett’s Cows, and the Old Russell School, as well as buildings like Farm Lodge and the New Inn. With each picture, there is a short apposite essay explaining the significance of the image and providing additional information as required. Ms Fison is perhaps the best of the current crop of historians of the area, so she writes with real knowledge.

“She is helped by the generous layout which allows each image to be shown properly and the high-quality reproduction which brings depth and subtlety to each picture.

“Quite genuinely this is a book which should be on the shelves of all local residents in Ham and Petersham and will be of interest elsewhere in Richmond and Kingston.”

Vanessa Fison (2017): A Glimpse of Old Ham and Petersham ISBN 978-1-5272-0980-0 £15.00 plus £3.00 p&p. Copies available from the author: 38 Ham Common, Richmond TW10 7JG