Category Archives: Events

Colliers Launches meeting recording

On Thursday 17th September 2020, Danny Collier of Colliers Launches spoke to The Richmond Society by videocall, telling the story of this local company established in 1976 by a family of licensed watermen.

The recording of this meeting is now available. If you would like to watch it please click here or on the Colliers Launches logo. The pass code is vDT.b.f8.

Further information about Colliers Launches can be found on their website at https://www.colliers-thames-boat-hire.co.uk.

Cancellation of all Richmond Society events
until the end of June

Following Government advice for what we should all do about the coronavirus pandemic, we have decided to cancel all Richmond Society events until the end of June. This includes our talks, walks and Summer Party.

It is a big disappointment, not least because much effort goes into arranging the programme. However, we are certain that the Society’s 1,300 members will appreciate it is necessary to get us through these uncertain times safely.

We hope to resume our events in July and will keep you informed about that and other relevant developments as they occur. Speakers for those events that have been cancelled will be invited to talk to us next year.

The health, safety and well-being of members and guests who come to our events is of paramount importance. We are grateful for your support for our efforts to keep Richmond special.

We have several ways to keep in touch: in addition to this website www.richmondsociety.org.uk, we have our quarterly Newsletter, online messages such as this one and our periodic News Bulletin to which you can subscribe at https://richmondbulletin.org.uk. Past issues can be reached from the website, as can an archive of Newsletters. We also have a presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Keep well, stay safe and take care. We hope our growing community of people who love Richmond will be spared the effects of this dreadful disease.

Meeting Cancellation, Thursday 19th March

The Richmond Society’s Executive Committee has decided that in view of the deteriorating public health situation the only responsible course of action is to cancel our speaker meeting planned for this coming Thursday 19 March. We are sorry it has not been possible to give more notice and hope you will not be inconvenienced.

We had hoped to go ahead but thought it only prudent to err on the side of caution by putting the health and safety of our members first.

We were looking forward to hearing from Tom Chesshyre about his walk along the length of the Thames from source to sea, so we will ask him to come at a later date.

We hope you will not be affected personally by this terrible pandemic.

Richmond Society Christmas Party and AGM 2019

Richmond Society AGMs are fun. Not many organisations can say that but ours combine the serious business required by the Charity Commission with entertainment and a party.

Regina Gössel singing with Chris Britton on the pianoThe entertainment this year was a programme of Christmas songs and arias sung by one of our members, soprano Regina Gössel, accompanied by pianist Chris Britton (photo).

They concluded their short programme by getting everyone on their feet to join in three rousing choruses of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.

Then began our Christmas Party attended by almost 70 members who enjoyed a selection of savoury and sweet finger food with wine or soft drinks.

It all kicked off the festive season splendidly.

The party was preceded by the Annual General Meeting at which Barry May was re-elected as Chairman and Andrew Coleman as Hon Treasurer. Henry Clay was elected a trustee and, Louise Fluker, Ginny Curry and Neil Maybin, were re-elected. One long-serving trustee, Patricia Spaight, decided not to seek re-election.

Paying tribute to Pat, Barry said that since becoming Hon Secretary in 1990 she had supported seven different Chairmen. He said it will be very hard to replace her and he, his predecessors, and fellow trustees were grateful to Pat for her dedicated service which has made the Society run so smoothly. Pending appointment of a new Secretary, Ginny Curry, Membership Secretary, will act as Secretary on a temporary basis.

Barry thanked David Izett who, whilst remaining Chairman of the Planning Committee, has decided not to seek election as a Trustee.

Noel Flannery, who was appointed Independent Examiner of the Society’s accounts during the year, was reappointed.

Barry also thanked trustees, volunteers and members of the Society.

The AGM approved the Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 30 September 2019. It also featured a presentation on proposed changes in the Society’s constitution to modernise its objects clause. The AGM approved the changes and authorised the trustees to seek consent from the Charity Commission. Once this consent is received we will ask members at an Extraordinary General Meeting for permission to put the changes into effect.

Andrew Coleman, Hon Treasurer, has been leading work on the objects. We are not looking to change the Society’s ethos, or the scope of what it does. The rights of members are not affected.

The identity of the Society – how it presents itself to the world at large – is under separate review. Progress has been achieved and we expect a conclusion in this current membership year.

Membership subscriptions, last increased in 1999, are also being examined and it is likely they will have to increase in 2020 to bring the Society’s income into line with its expenditure.

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.

Annual Awards 2019

Annual Awards 2019 logo. The Richmond Society’s Annual Awards for 2019 were presented on Thursday 17th October by the Deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, Councillor James Chard.

This year’s brass plaques were given for the renewal of the floor, and installation of modern facilities including a coffee point in St Mary Magdalene Church, and The Bridge @ RHACC in the Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College.


Brass Plaque Award – St Mary Magdalene Church:
renewal of the floor,and installation of modern facilities including a coffee point

Annual Awards 2019: Internal view of St Mary Magdalene showing the renovated floor.

Client
Richmond Team Ministry

Architect
Peter Bowyer

Contractors

Floor-layers:
Ammonite Projects Ltd

Quarry:
Haysom Purbeck Stone

Ground-work:
William Aldridge

Carpenter/decorators :
John and Gordon Carter; Adrian Robinson

Joiners/furniture-makers:
Robin Johannsen, Tim Hawkins, Luke Hughes Ltd

Services Consultant:
Chris Reading

Heating Contractor :
RS Mechanical Ltd

Electrical Contractors:
Lowe & Oliver Ltd


Brass Plaque Award – The Bridge @ RHACC:
Creation of flexible space in the building at the back of the former Magistrates’ Court for community and college use

Annual Awards 2019: Internal view of The Bridge @ RHACC.

Client
Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College

Architect
3BM

Contractors

Fusion Project Management
Noble House


Commendation – Wakefield Road Bus Station:
Development of new bus shelters for passengers allowing better accessibility and protection against the weather

Annual Awards 2019: Wakefield Road Bus Station

Client
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Transport for London
Design
Steer Davies Gleave
Contractor
FM Conway Ltd
London Buses
Funding
LIP
Village Plan

Commendation – Entrance to the Old Deer Park Car Park:
Installation of wooden pillars and landscaping at car park entrance to replace previous old metal barriers

Annual Awards 2019: Entrance to the Old Deer Park Car Park

Client
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

Contractor
Cristi Popa

Stakeholder
Old Deer Park Working Group

Funding
Richmond Society
Kew Society
Friends of Richmond Green
Friends of Old Deer Park


With many thanks to Michael Izett and the Parish of Richmond for the photos.

Richmond Hill Open Gardens, Sunday 2 June 2019

On Sunday 2nd June 2019, 15 beautiful gardens will be open to the public, offering something of interest for everyone.

Within walking distance of each other and close to Richmond town centre, the gardens are all set on the slopes of Richmond Hill. The gardens will be open from 11am to 5pm; some will have plants for sale.

For further details and tickets, please see the Richmond Hill Open Gardens website.

Richmond Society Forum – Under New Management

Our Autumn Forum on Thursday 18thOctober provided an opportunity for Society members to meet the new administration running Richmond upon Thames Council since May’s elections.  We were pleased to welcome Council Leader Gareth Roberts, together with Deputy Leader Alexander Ehmann who has responsibility for Transport, Streetscene and Air Quality, and Martin Elengorn who looks after Environment, Planning and Sustainability.

Councillor Roberts opened the forum by setting out the administration’s three main priorities: making Richmond fairer, greener, and safer.  These would have to be delivered in the context of the scope of the limited powers available to local authorities and the financial constraints under which they operate.

A good example of these limitations was the central government cuts in policing that have led to the disappearance of routine police presence in Richmond and measurably reduced police performance against targets. Councillor Roberts recognised that this was unsatisfactory, both from the perspective of reported crime and low-level anti-social behaviour.  However, the Council had no powers to increase police resources so instead was focussing on crime prevention.

In response to questions, Councillor Roberts spoke about the merger of services with Wandsworth.  Some departments had good local knowledge of Richmond borough; others were still shaking into place.  It would not be practical, nor indeed affordable, to return to a more localised arrangement, so his focus was on making the current situation work well and delivering the best possible services within cost constraints.

Councillor Ehmann then spoke about the current consultation on introducing a 20 mph speed limit on all roads in the borough other than its two trunk routes, the A316 and the A205.  This proposal had been included in the LibDems’ manifesto in response to mounting evidence that at slower speeds far fewer accidents take place, there are far fewer injuries, and far fewer deaths.  This applies even more so to main roads than side roads, which is why routes such as the A307 Kew Road are included in the proposed 20 mph zone. Additionally, a piecemeal implementation of the zone could as much as double its cost with the extra signage needed, and make it less straightforward for motorists to follow.

It was expected that overall air quality would improve as a result of implementation.  In addition it would encourage walking, cycling, and the use of public transport.  Councillor Ehmann was keen to point out that the administration was not anti-car, but that its aim was simply to encourage people to shift to more sustainable forms of transport.

In response to questions, Councillor Ehmann explained that enforcement of the 20 mph zone would be as for 30 mph. There would be no additional police. Compliance by most drivers would lead to an overall reduction in speed, which would deliver the expected improvement in road safety.  In order to assess the effectiveness of the proposal, and to optimise it if it goes ahead, the Council has already started gathering speed measurements to establish a baseline.  They would not be implementing the modern-day equivalent of speed bumps, as these often lead to an increase in emissions when cars brake to avoid them and then accelerate to the next one.

Former councillor Frances Bouchier asked about the budgetary plans for improving safety for cyclists.   Councillor Ehmann responded that though the budget was limited this was an important priority.  They were reviewing the acclaimed Tower Hamlets scheme, and there was also a bid being made to the Mayor of London to improve the cycling route from Ham to Richmond. In response to a question about dangerous cyclists, he explained that his focus would be more on providing an environment where cyclists did not feel the need to misbehave than on enforcement.

Regarding the length of housing lists, Councillor Elengorn explained that this was a challenge.  The Borough of Richmond had a target of 300 new homes per year, rising to 800.  Failure to meet this target would result in the Council having to relinquish planning powers.  Their approach to resolve this is a “Green Growth Strategy”, which aims to provide quality homes on larger sites.  One site currently under evaluation is at Homebase by North Sheen Station. Additionally he reconfirmed that the Friars Lane Car Park, which was controlled by Property rather than his department, is still zoned for residential development.

Other areas covered included: possible reversion of the Old Town Hall to community use; providing the Museum of Richmond with a more accessible site; consolidation of Richmond’s libraries on the site of the current lending library on Little Green utilising the adjacent Queens Hall; increased pedestrianisation of George Street; the hope that over time the TfL buses that cause most of the air pollution will become greener; the future of the House of Fraser site; and the dilapidated state of some areas of the Riverside, which Councillor Elengorn promised to escalate.

We would like to thank Councillors Roberts, Ehmann and Elengorn for their time, and for providing a very informative evening.

The Byways of Richmond walk

Paul Velluet at the K6 phone boxes on The Green, Richmond, leading the walk around the Byways of Richmond About 50 members and guests turned up for the Society’s inaugural heritage walk of the 2018 season – an exploration of many of the byways of Richmond including the town’s historic lanes, courts and alleyways on a fine, summery evening. It was led by Paul Velluet, seen in the photo during a pause by two of the red telephone kiosks close to The Prince’s Head on The Green, now preserved and listed thanks to The Richmond Society’s intervention some years ago. Richmond used to have 40 of these iconic phone boxes, now there are only four.

Such was the success of the tour that the size of the group precluded deeper exploration into some of the smaller lanes and a plan to end the evening with an adjournment to The Victoria, Richmond’s smallest pub on the lower slopes of Richmond Hill, had to be abandoned. Many of us ended up in The Duke’s Head in The Vineyard, where more anecdotes about Richmond’s rich heritage were exchanged.

The next walk is on Wednesday 23 May. The title is From The Lass to the Marshgate: The Queen’s Road Estate, Pesthouse Common and Courtlands. A visit to the former Parish Workhouse of 1787, now converted to residential apartments, is included.