Our history

John Cloake

The Society can trace its origins to a talk on the history of Richmond given by John Cloake to The Richmond Society on 25 February 1975.  It resulted in the setting up of the History and Archaeology Section of The Richmond Society, launched in April 1975 under John Cloake’s chairmanship. The archaeologists subsequently broke away to form the Richmond Archaeological Society. In 1985 the Richmond Society’s History Section also became an organisation in its own right as the Richmond Local History Society.

John Cloake, our first Chairman, and later our first President, was a guiding force in the Society’s development. In December 2003 he gave a talk to the Society on Forty Years of Richmond History, charting the development of his own enthusiasm for history and, since his arrival in Richmond 40 years previously, his interest in the local history of Richmond. His talk also encompassed the history of the Richmond Local History Society.

Chris May

Christopher May

We lost John Cloake in 2014 and also, later that year, Christopher May, our then-Chairman and editor of our annual journal, Richmond History. A full appreciation of the contribution of Chris May to the work of the Society appeared in Richmond History 36, published in May 2015.

Norman Radley

Norman Radley, our Chairman from 1995 to 2003, and later one our Vice-Presidents, died in September 2015, a few days after celebrating his 94th birthday. An appreciation of Norman Radley appeared in Richmond History 37, published in May 2016.


David Blomfield

David Blomfield, the Society’s President from 2014 to 2016, died on 12 July 2016, the day after his 82nd birthday. He was our Chairman from 2003 to 2013 and edited Richmond History from 1994 to 2001.