Who we are

Who’s who

President and Vice-President:

  • Paul Velluet (President)
  • Robert Smith (Vice-President, publications and website)


  • Dr Simon Targett (Chair) 
  • Elizabeth Velluet (Hon. Secretary)
  • Rose Constantine (Hon. Treasurer)

Elected committee members:

  • Wendy Carter (newsletter)
  • Simon Fowler (Vice-Chair, talks programme and e-bulletin editor)
  • Jill Lamb (visits)
  • Mark Lucas (Membership Secretary)

Ex-officio committee members

  • Gary Enstone (Curator, Museum of Richmond)
  • Janine Stanford (Richmond-upon-Thames Borough Archivist)

Other volunteers assisting the committee:

  • Judith Church (proofreading)
  • Shirley Clark (visits)
  • Linda Duffield (events)
  • Karen Feeney (events)
  • Dr Joan Marsh (copy editing and proofreading)
  • Doug Pinchin (events)
  • Mary Pollard (design/production, and social media)
  • Nigel Shipman (membership)
  • Judy Weleminsky (Zoom and YouTube)

Paul Velluet was appointed President at our annual general meeting on 15 May 2017.

Born in East Sheen, brought up in Richmond and now living in St Margarets, Paul is one of our founder members. He joined what was then the Richmond Society’s Historical and Archaeological Section when it was set up in April 1975 and has delivered talks to us for more than 40 years.

Paul is an architect with particular expertise in the conservation aspects of projects involving historic buildings, a former assistant regional director for English Heritage (now Historic England), a local historian and a former Chairman of the Richmond Society. Paul continues to lead the Richmond Society’s highly successful annual summer season of heritage walks and has also introduced a programme of summer walks for the Richmond Local History Society.

DSC04511 (2)

Robert Smith

Robert Smith was appointed Vice=President at our annual general meeting on 13 May 2024, after chairing the Society for nine and a half years , He edits the Society’s website, manages its social media accounts and leads on its publications programme.

Robert  has lived in Kew since 1993. His career has been in marketing and communications, including five years running the press department at The National Archives.

Dr Simon Targett

Dr Simon Targett was elected as the Society’s Chair at our annual general meeting on 13 May 2024. A former Financial Times journalist, he lives in St Margarets.

Simon, who has a PhD in History, has given talks to the Society on: Richmond and Mortlake’s part in the founding of America and the launching of the British Empire; Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first Prime Minister, and his connections with Richmond; and naval captain George Vancouver, who is buried in the churchyard of St Peter’s, Petersham.

Simon’s book, New World Inc: How English Merchants Founded America and Launched The British Empire, co-authored with American business writer John Butman, was published in 2018 by Atlantic Books. It tells the story of how England’s merchant adventurers founded America before the Pilgrims.

Simon Fowler

Simon Fowler, who a lives in Kew, is Vice-Chair of the Society, edits our e-bulletin and and is responsible for organising our talks programme.

Simon has been a member of the Society since it was set up. He is a professional writer, researcher and teacher specialising in the two world wars and the 20th century. Simon used to work at The National Archives in Kew where his many roles included editing its family history magazine, Ancestors.

The publications Simon has written for the Society include Richmond at War 1939-1945 (2015), Old Palace Lane: medieval to modem Richmond (2017 and 2020; co-authored with Derek Robinson) and Poverty and Philanthropy in Victorian Richmond (2017). With Robert Smith, he co-edited the second edition (2024) of J M Lee’s Petersham: Radar and Operational Research 1940-1946 and also worked on the 2019 and 2022 editions of The Streets of Richmond and Kew.