Richmond History 41 (2020): Journal of the Richmond Local History Society


The 2020 issue of our journal, Richmond History, with colour illustrations for the first time, was a double award winner. It won in the category for best journal in the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society (LAMAS)’s 2020 Publications Awards, announced in 2021, and an article by Martin Stilwell, on Kew and North Richmond’s industrialisation in the First World War, was given an award  in 2021 by the British Association for Local History.


Richmond History, our annual journal, has colour illustrations for the first time: 20 of its 98 pages are in colour. It’s priced at £7 and is available from our own online bookshop, postage free (if you live in the UK). There’s a discount of £2 for members: please see the link below.

What’s in this issue:

  • early street names in Richmond
  • anti-alien agitation in Richmond in 1918
  • two prominent families in Ham and Petersham who were linked by marriage and had royal connections
  • the architecture of St Anne’s Church, Kew
  • a momentous conversation in Richmond Palace between Elizabeth I and Francis Drake; and
  • Isador Caplan’s The Richmond Hill Committee chaired by Isador Caplan, one of The Richmond Society’s founder members

Following on from his talk to the Society in February 2020, Martin Stilwell describes Kew and North Richmond’s industrialisation in the First World War, and Robert Wood has written up his very well received talk in 2019 about Richmond’s first balloon flight. Stephen Bartlett, who gave a talk on Lawn Crescent, Kew to the Society in March 2021, has a piece in this issue about the street’s history and its early residents.

How the view from Petersham Meadows might have changed had the proposed development of what is now the Petersham Hotel gone ahead. Painting by Ron Berryman.

Ron Berryman writes in this issue about a founding member of the Richmond Society. Isador Caplan lived on Richmond Hill and chaired the Society’s Architectural subcommittee; he was also the Richmond Parish Land Charity’s first chairman.

On learning that the then owner of what is now The Petersham Hotel was proposing to replace it with an 18-storey point block tower, Isador Caplan set up the Richmond Hill Committee, which became an amenity group within the Richmond Society, with the actor John Mills as president. It opposed the hotel’s plans, which were later withdrawn. It also scrutinised, and had some success in modifying, proposals for development of other hotels on Richmond Hill.

Ron says “Isador Caplan’s … legacy relies largely on a struggle to limit, due to commercial expansion, the consequential loss of green open space on Richmond Hill. In a last committee agenda, he imparts the adage ‘the price of amenity is eternal vigilance’. There is so much to admire him for.”

This issue, our first to include colour illustrations, is £7 (£5 to members) and can be bought, postage free in the UK,  from our online bookshop:


Richmond History 41 (2020)

Find out more about other issues of Richmond History:

An index to issues 1 to 39 of Richmond History is now available online. You can view the index or download it from our website.