Author Archives: Robert Smith


Our talks are held at Duke Street Church in Richmond. Members can also take part via Zoom. Photo: Andy Scott/Wikimedia Commons

Our Society explores the history of Richmond, Kew, Petersham and Ham and the people who have lived here.

We hold evening talks, usually on the second Monday of the month, organise walks and visits, and publish an award-winning journal (Richmond History) and books on topics of local interest.

Join us for free admission to our talks, an informative newsletter three times a year and discounts on most of our publications. 


Photo: Gary Enstone

Our 2023/24 season of talks finished on 13 May with a fascinating presentation by author, historian and broadcaster, Dr Nick Barratt. Nick, best known for his work on the BBC television series Who Do You Think You Are?, spoke to us on the future of family, local and community history. (Our thanks to Gary Enstone, Curator of the Museum of Richmond, for the photo.)

After our summer break – during which we have a programme of visits and guided walks – we’ll be back at Duke Street Church on Monday 9 September for a talk by Dr Peter Ross on London street food .Find out more about our forthcoming talks

Our stall at the 2024 Ham Fair. Photo: Andy Scott

A warm welcome to the new members who joined our Society at our stall at Ham Fair on Saturday 8 June, a shout out to those who stopped by at our stall to say hello and/or to buy some of our books, and a big thank you to all the volunteers who helped make the day such a success for us.

Our guided walks this summer have been a great success and the remaining walks are fully booked.


Have you visited our online bookshop?

All of the Richmond Local History Society’s publications still in print are available from our online bookshop.

You can also purchase our most popular publications from the bookstall at our monthly talks and from local independent bookshops.

Our latest publications

Richmond History 44, the 2024 issue of our journal, includes articles on Kew Gardens, Richmond Park, Sudbrook Park and Ham House, on the explorer George Vancouver (who lived in Petersham and is buried there) and on attitudes in Richmond to the new Nazi regime in Germany in 1933.

Find out more about this issue and how to order a copy online.

Petersham: Radar, our most recent book, published in January 2024, is on the transformation of Petersham during the Second World War. Anti-Aircraft Command requisitioned several buildings, including All Saints Church and the vicarage. The  important experiments carried out there led to discoveries that made British radar such an effective instrument of war.

This second edition of Michael Lee‘s book includes a new, additional appendix by Timothy M M Baker on Petersham as a birthplace of radio astronomy.

Order a copy from our online bookshop.


You can join the Society online

You can now join the Society or renew your membership online.  Annual membership is £12 single; £20 for two people at one address.

If you are already a member and have a standing order in place, this will renew automatically when your next subscription payment is due – there is no need to contact us unless you wish to cancel or to amend your personal details.

If you prefer to join by post, please download our membership form; then print it and fill it in, and send to us with an accompanying cheque or cash.

If you have any queries about membership, please email our Membership Secretary, Mark Lucas.


Resources on Richmond’s history are at your fingertips

Our website’s Resources section has articles on Richmond Park, Richmond’s almshouses, Richmond’s former Star and Garter Home, the history of Richmond’s Congregational Church in The Vineyard, and much more.

Saving Kew Gardens from development

Conor Mark Jameson, biographer of W H Hudson

The National Physical Laboratory in Teddington was originally planned to be built in the grounds of Kew Gardens.

In an extract adapted from his newly published biography of W H  Hudson, Conor Mark Jameson who gave us a talk on Hudson in September 2022, describes a long-forgotten campaign to save Kew from the threat of development.

Go to Saving Kew Gardens in the Resources section of our website.