Category Archives: Community

Richmond Society Arts Forum recording

Thursday 15th October 2020
Panel Discussion: How can the Arts help to revitalise Richmond?

Chair:

Anne Sebbaauthor, presenter, lecturer and former President, Arts Richmond

Panel:

Ann Chapman-DanielChair, Richmond Business Improvement District

 

Cllr John Coombs – Richmond upon Thames spokesperson for Arts

 

Dr Hilary Dodman – Chair, Arts Richmond

 

Paul Miller – Artistic Director, Orange Tree Theatre

The recording of this meeting is now available. If you would like to watch it please click here. The pass code is SS=gX&1@.

Anti-Social Behaviour in Richmond

The Richmond Society is deeply concerned at anti-social behaviour and crime in the town and surrounding area as COVID-19 lockdown measures have eased. We intend to work closely with the Council, police and others to deliver improvements.

In the meantime we urge you strongly to tell the police about further incidents. You should register incidents online at www.met.police/uk. If you seek police attendance call 101 and the police will register the call and decide the priority. If you need support right away call 999.

The Society’s Trustee responsible for the town centre, licensing, anti-social behaviour and police liaison is Peter Willan. He writes:

Richmond has always been a magnet for visitors from all over London during the summer. Now it risks being the destination of choice for visitors who, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, cluster and create disorder and intimidate, threaten and scare residents and other visitors. They fight and brawl, and violence erupts.

Urination and defecation in open spaces and close to homes has reached crisis levels. Noise and music disturbance, sometimes to 3:00 am, has escalated. ASB, disorder and crime in Richmond’s evening economy have risen seriously.

A large virtual public meeting arranged by the Council Leader, Cllr Gareth Roberts, with a presentation by the Police Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent Sally Benatar, was attended by Society members. Members of the public, including two Trustees and other members, asked questions. A video recording of the conference can be viewed here.

Pro-active intervention and deterrence by the police and the Council’s Parkguard last weekend using dispersal and other powers reduced the number of more serious incidents and the edginess that pervaded the Green, the Riverside and the Terrace and Terrace Gardens on Richmond Hill.

The re-opening of pubs, bars and restaurants this coming Saturday and the Government’s easing of licensing laws could result in Richmond’s streets and open spaces becoming one large beer garden.

We are discussing with the authorities the lack of lavatories and the prevention of the more serious incidents of crime and disorder including drugs dealing. Disruptive people must be discouraged from coming to Richmond. The supermarket supply of alcohol to under-age drinkers is also a high priority for attention.

The Society seeks a much-needed update of the Council’s 2011 observational study of Richmond’s evening economy. We are also reviewing the application of legal powers of dispersion and Public Space Protection Orders. We are discussing with the authorities fixed and mobile CCTV coverage, and signage informing people of ASB laws and penalties.

We will continue to update you and welcome your observations about any part of the town and its surrounds that need attention. Please send any comments to us at www.richmondsociety.org.uk/contact.

Life under Lockdown

Social distancing, self-isolating and the new normal

In the Richmond Society News of 23rd April, our chairman Barry May called for photos, short audio or video clips (less than one minute), or stories (less than 100 words), on what’s different in Richmond since social distancing and self-isolating became a thing and a new normal changed us. Here are some of the contributions.


A quiet day on Water Lane

Lamar Raine, one of The Richmond Society’s volunteers, has just completed a pen and ink and watercolour showing an all but deserted vista down to the river. She writes:

“My street, Water Lane, is now usually full of people walking to and from the river. As I watched the trees leaf up since my quarantine 27 February, having come back from Half Term in Italy, this painting shows the change. More birdlife than people and not a plane in the sky. A lovely change! However, it also shows our fabulous but now closed, new local, ‘The Waterman’s’. Indeed a sad change. Much work had gone into its ten month makeover with such a well received opening last November. Richmond Society members may know its great food, fabulous wine and warm hospitality – Karen Feeney generously hosted a ‘Thank You’ drinks for our supporters there 28 February. Let’s hope it can re-open again very soon!”.

Watercolour of the view down Water Lane, Richmond, painted by Lamar Raine


Tango by the Thames

Loic Verrall writes: “My Grandfather, Eric Ruggier, who is 88, and loves dancing Tango. Well, with the restrictions of social distancing, he has managed to work out how to continue dancing Tango, with his dancing partner, Jola, by using a broomstick!”


Enjoying the quiet

Lisa Perez writes: “There’s no boating allowed on the Thames during lockdown, but at least we can sit on the moored boat and enjoy the quiet”.

Photo of dog looking out from bow of boat on Thames


Safe Distancing

Our first contribution was from new member Sandra Thwaites:

By 7am I am walking at a prompt pace along the Thames path to avoid other path users that increase in numbers later in the morning.

With the weather so glorious the temptation to stare at anything other than four walls has never before been so precious. Whereas most people are considerate enough to maintain a safe distance on the river path there are unfortunately, as with any restrictions on human behaviour, the odd few who appear to be completely oblivious to me. In such situations I take responsibility for my own health and move out of the way.

Richmond under Lockdown

How are you coping with life under lockdown? What has changed for you in these strange times of keeping your distance from others; shuttered shops, pubs and restaurants; controlled access to supermarkets; streets emptied of traffic and fewer people about?

Every cloud… Have you noticed the clearer, unpolluted skies enabling you to see farther and allowing birdsong to be heard in our gardens and open spaces?

Send us a photo, record a 1-minute audio or video clip, write a story (100 words max), on what’s different in Richmond since social distancing and self-isolating became a thing and a new normal changed us.

Photo of benches at Bridge House Gardens with Lockdown Richmond hashtagIf you use social media – Facebook, Instagram or Twitter – go to the Richmond Society pages and use the hashtags #lockdownrichmond and #loverichmond

Links to help you get through Lockdown

The following links may help to get through confinement to your home during the current health emergency. If you know of others worth sharing, please tell us.

Theatre, Musical & Circus

Richmond’s Orange Tree Theatre (OT On Screen)is currently showing the play Amsterdam for free

London Theatre: Five theatres streaming productions to watch at home for free

The National Theatre is streaming one of its full-length plays for free every week

The Globe Theatre is streaming a recording of one of its full-length plays every two weeks

The Southwark Playhouse Theatre Company is streaming four of its plays at no charge

Andrew Lloyd Webber is making one of his full-length musicals available for free viewing on YouTube every weekend. Subscribe to his channel here

Cirque du Soleil has uploaded a series of one-hour performances onto its YouTube channel

Classical, Opera & Ballet

Classic FM’s best live-streamed classical music concerts online

Berliner Philharmoniker Digital Concert Hall

Royal Opera House

New York’s Metropolitan Opera is streaming a different opera on its website every night – free

The Australian Ballet is streaming one ballet performance every two weeks, free of charge

Richmond

BBC Sounds Radio 3 item about The Lass of Richmond Hill

Museum of Richmond temporary exhibition on Queen’s Road: 500 years of history

Other Entertainment & Education

Curzon Cinemas streaming (£)

Museum of Modern Art, New York: Free online classes from MoMA

25 of the best video games to help you socialise while self-isolating

Cooking & Catering

Some local restaurants are providing an online ordering and delivery service. Go directly to their websites for details.

Keep Cooking & Carry On with Jamie Oliver

The Barefoot Contessa Recipes

Fitness

Coronavirus: Stay fit to fight the virus

NHS Get fit for free

NHS Vinyasa flow yoga

Government

You can sign up to the UK Government daily email updates on the coronavirus pandemic

Sarah Olney MP’s blog

Help

Coronavirus conditions: what to do if you think you are infected

Richmond Council, including how to seek help from the Community Hub

Election Hustings Video

On Thursday 28 November 2019, The Richmond Society and The Kew Society held an Election Hustings at Duke Street Church in Richmond.

Candidates on stage with Richmond and Kew Societies' chairmen
From Left to Right: Barry May (Chair, Richmond Society), Roger Mason (Chair, Kew Society)
Zac Goldsmith (Conservative), Mary Russell (Labour), Sarah Olney (LibDem), Caroline Shah (Independent)

A full video of this is now available on YouTube. Please click the image or this link to watch it.

The Richmond and Twickenham Times also covered the hustings in their article Here is everything you need to know from the Richmond Park hustings.

General Election Hustings – Thursday 28 November

Poster for HustingsThe Richmond Society and The Kew Society are jointly holding a General Election hustings for the Richmond Park & North Kingston parliamentary constituency on Thursday 28 November.

It will take place at Duke Street Church, Duke Street, Richmond TW9 1DH from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm. Doors open at 7:00 pm. All members of the public are invited.

Questions for the candidates should be submitted no later than Thursday 21 November to secretary@richmondsociety.org.uk.

Rachel Dickson MBE 1920-2019

Rachel Dickson 1920-2019Rachel Dickson, MBE, who died peacefully on 6 August just six months before her centenary, was a Patron of the Richmond Society for nearly three decades.

Trained as an architect, she was an early member of the Society when it was set up in 1957 and became a Patron in 1990.

She served as a Liberal Councillor for Kew from 1971 to 1974, and for Richmond Hill from 1978 to 1986 when she was Deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

Dickson House was opened as a space for studio workshops in 1989 on Queen’s Road Estate, where 400 subsidised homes were built, and named for her work with Richmond Parish Lands Charity, whose Chairman she became in 1985.

Rachel Dickson was active in many local charities, in recognition of which she was awarded an MBE for her dedication to helping and engaging with Richmond residents. Those with which she was associated included almshouses in Richmond, distributing poppy collecting boxes, the Council for Voluntary Services, mental health support organisation RABMIND, Richmond Forum Lunches, Single People’s Emergency Accommodation in Richmond (SPEAR), and the Vineyard Project. She was also interested in penal policy and subsidised housing.

Richmond’s former Team Ministry Rector Julian Reindorp dubbed her ‘Mrs Richmond’.

She leaves two sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren to whom we offer our deepest sympathy. Her eldest son predeceased her in 2013.

Bus route changes consultation response

The Richmond Society has responded to Transport for London’s consultation about proposed bus route changes in Richmond.

1) Loss of service along the A316 corridor between Richmond and Manor Circus.

The proposals to withdraw the H22 and 493 service along this stretch would appear to remove 11 buses per hour between Richmond and Manor Circus during peak periods (a reduction of 40% in the current service).

TfL state that, because routes 190, 391, 419/110 and R68 offer 17 buses per hour, this will continue to provide sufficient capacity to meet demand. However, that capacity would only be available at a reduced frequency, meaning longer wait times and more passengers having to change buses to complete their journey.

It seems particularly inappropriate to consider reducing capacity when significant population growth is occurring along this stretch of the A316 corridor. The fact that Sainsbury’s large supermarket is located at Manor Circus, serves this expanded population, and is highlighted for residential development in the Local Plan should all be relevant considerations.

Furthermore, a loss in bus service frequency negatively affects the PTAL of other nearby development sites for which planning decisions have recently been taken, or are forthcoming. It would especially affect a current proposal to develop 400 units on the Homebase site immediately south of Manor Circus. This development (see www.avanton-manorroad.com) is proposed to be car free, but a reduction in bus services to Manor Circus potentially reduces the site’s PTAL from 5 to 4 – causing it to fall below the council’s stated threshold for acceptability as a car free development. Reducing bus services to Manor Circus therefore works against a coherent and sustainable Mayoral strategy for new housing.

2) Comments on specific routes

i) H22 – The loss of bus capacity connecting Richmond and Twickenham town centres via Marble Hill would be retrogressive and mean a reduced service to Orleans School and the Civic Centre. It is important to know what repercussions this change could have for a modal shift away from public transport, for congestion in both town centres and across Richmond Bridge and consequently also for the reliability of other bus routes.

ii) 493 – At present this route assists a significant population cluster around the A316 who need to visit the hospitals at Tooting and Roehampton. If the service to Manor Circus is withdrawn as suggested then TfL is expecting potentially less able residents to transfer buses and/or walk substantially greater distances to connect with an essential service. The Hopper Fare cannot be guaranteed in perpetuity and does not mitigate against the added difficulty while breaking a journey to transfer buses will never represent a better service.

iii) 419 – Incorporating this service into a substantially lengthened route 110 is a concern if the extended journey time negatively affects service reliability. However, the proposed routing via Chertsey and Whitton Roads is very welcome, not least because it simplifies the ability of Richmond students to reach the new Richmond upon Thames School on A316. However, Richmond residents travelling to and from West Middlesex Hospital will get a worse service.

iv) 371 – Although not part of this consultation, it is worth reiterating requests for this route to connect with Kingston Hospital. This becomes even more pertinent if travel to other hospitals is more difficult.

3) Existing service deficiencies are not addressed

These proposals do not address the poor bus service currently offered along the Lower Richmond Road (i.e. between Manor Circus and Mortlake). This existing service deficiency will become more acute once the large Stag Brewery development and secondary school are built in Mortlake.

We support the representations to extend the 219 bus service from the Avondale Road terminus, past the Stag Brewery site and Chalker’s corner either to Kew Retail Park (itself also due to be redeveloped for housing), or to Richmond. The Mortlake school is planned to serve students living in Kew and North Richmond and they will need a much improved bus service between these areas.

In summary the Richmond Society does not support curtailing existing services. We do not consider that this meets TfL’s stated objectives of providing a better bus service by improving the experience for customers, or in supporting housing growth.

Walking and cycling in Richmond – can you help?

This is an opportunity for you to feed back your views.

There is plenty in the press about the importance of getting more people walking and cycling and the Richmond Society promotes active travel.

Street scene with police and cyclist

With more people walking or cycling ever greater levels of care and tolerance will be needed between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Many of us use these different modes at different times and so developing a mutual understanding should not be difficult. Nevertheless, too many people in Richmond (most especially the elderly and infirm) live in fear of being knocked over while out on foot.

It is vitally important that everyone can use Richmond’s pavements and roads safely – even if they are narrow and heavily parked. There are many locations where pavement parking is permitted (these are signed), but we have all seen instances of people parking inconsiderately and making the pavement impassable for anyone walking with a pram, a wheelchair, shopping bags, etc or who is in any way disabled.

The Richmond Safer Pavements campaign has been formed by a group of residents with support from the South Richmond Police Liaison Group, local Councillors and the Richmond Cycling Campaign. Its aim is to promote pedestrian safety on the footway by trying to curb incidences of illegal parking and dangerous cycling on the footway.

The group would like to identify where and when the pressure points for parking and pavement cycling exist. From that work they hope to identify where better signage and/or enforcement is needed.

If you would like to help this campaign please email Alan Laird
at richmondsaferpavements2018@gmail.com.

He would particularly like details (not rants!) relating to the following:

1) Have you been involved in a cycling:pedestrian accident yourself? If so, when and where? Please explain what happened.

2) Where in South Richmond have you personally come across people cycling on the pavement (i.e. the road or alley name?) If it’s a regular occurrence is there a particular time of day, or day of the week, when this happens?

3) Pavement parking – can you identify pressure points (using the same criteria as above for pavement cycling)?

4) Signage – where do you think “no cycling” signs should be deployed and what form should these take? There is a range of signage across the area.

5) Directional signage to help cyclists – where do you feel signage should be used to help cyclists get to the town centre, the river etc.?

6) Anything else you would like to contribute including something innovative. For example is there a specific road where the pavement on one side could be for pedestrians with the other for cyclists?

7) Would you be interested in joining the working group to help gather the facts, crunch the statistics and help us find solutions?