Who we are

Who’s who


  • Paul Velluet


  • Robert Smith (Chairman; also Web Editor and Editor, Richmond History journal
  • Elizabeth Velluet (Hon. Secretary)
  • Rose Constantine (Hon. Treasurer)

Elected committee members:

  • Simon Fowler (Vice-Chair, talks organiser and e-bulletin editor)
  • Jill Lamb
  • Shirley Newton  (visits and bookstalls)
  • Dr Simon Targett

Co-opted committee members

  • Wendy Carter (newsletter editor)
  • Mark Lucas (Membership Secretary and publicity organiser)

Ex-officio committee members

  • Vicky McGrath (Museum of Richmond )
  • Janine Stanford (Richmond-upon-Thames Borough Archivist)

Other volunteers assisting the committee:

  • Joanna Brackenbury (bookstall)
  • Judith Church (proofreading)
  • Shirley Clark (visits)
  • Karen Feeney (events)
  • Dr Joan Marsh (copy editing and proofreading)
  • Doug Pinchin (events)
  • Mary Pollard (journal 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.

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Robert Smith

After acting in the role for six months, Robert Smith was elected Chairman at the Society’s Annual General Meeting in May 2015 and has been editor of its journal Richmond History since October 2019. He also 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.

He says: “Founded in 1985 by the late John Cloake, The Richmond Local History Society has made a very significant contribution to our understanding of the history of Richmond, Kew, Petersham and Ham. But its work deserves to be better known and I hope to encourage more people, particularly local residents, to join us in learning about and discovering the history of the area.”

Simon Fowler

Simon Fowler, who also lives in Kew, is Vice-Chair of the Society and is responsible for organising its 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 also worked on the 2019 and 2022 editions of The Streets of Richmond and Kew.