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.
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!
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.
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
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:
- in May, Sir David Williams on Ham in the early 20th century
- in September, a special Sunday evening event at Richmond Theatre, celebrating its 120th anniversary (this will be a partnership event with The Richmond Society and Richmond Theatre). Please note that this event will now be on Sunday 15 September
- in October, Dr Simon Targett on Richmond and Mortlake’s part in the founding of America and the launching of the British Empire (this will be our first ever joint event with the Barnes and Mortlake History Society) Please note that this event will now be on Monday 21 October
- in November, Dr Caroline Withall on The forgotten boys of the sea: Marine Society merchant sea apprentices, 1772-1873
- in December, Susanne Groom on The Lost Buildings of Kew
Looking further ahead, we have:
- in January 2020, Paul Velluet on the 800th anniversary of St Mary Magdalene’s – aspects of the history and development of Richmond’s historic parish church
- in February 2020, Martin Stilwell on The industrialisation of Kew and North Richmond in the First World War
Reports of previous talks
The Victorian burial plot – from graveyard to garden
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
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 Bookshop, Lloyds 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.
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