Talk by Jonathan Crofts: Meadows, Mansions and Munitions – stories and lives of Cambridge Park

Date(s) - Monday 17 January 2022
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Duke Street Church

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Local historian Jonathan Crofts will reveal Cambridge Park with a talk based on his book Meadows, Mansions and Munitions. Cambridge House and Park’s streets and gardens have a history to rival that of neighbouring Marble Hill House and Park. 

Using many illustrations and sharing stories of some of its colourful characters, Jonathan will:

  • cover how the original 17th-century Twickenham Meadows became the Cambridge Park estate and progressed into today’s affluent riverside suburb
  • examine whether the 19th- and 20th-century Little and Foulkes families were really “dodgy developers” or “local visionaries”
  • describe how the area became a veritable “Belgium-on-Thames” in the First World War
  • recount how the Thames-side munitions factory become a world-ranking ice rink and then met a contentious demise in the late 1980s.

Jonathan Crofts

Jonathan Crofts is the author of Meadows, Mansions and Munitions: Stories and Lives of Cambridge Park, described by former Twickenham MP Sir Vince Cable as  a meticulously researched, comprehensive, beautifully illustrated history of that part of Twickenham… Jonathan Crofts has managed to unearth just about every photograph, art work, map and architects’ drawing of the area over the last few centuries and has compiled a detailed account of the characters who lived there and shaped its history and geography.”

Jonathan has lived in the Cambridge Park area of East Twickenham since 1993, and has followed local history ever since through reading, talks, walks and visits, as well as his own research and photography. He has built an extensive collection of local antique prints.

After leaving Bristol University with a degree in Modern Languages in 1986, he embarked on a career in theatre and television, including 16 years at the BBC, and latterly working all over the world as a consultant with media and broadcast organisations.

He founded Richmond Bridge Media in 2020 with his wife, Monica Byles, who has spent over 30 years in book publishing, both fiction and non-fiction.

Jonathan’s first book is a tribute to the people of Cambridge Park, East Twickenham as much as a reflection of its history, buildings and gardens.