Stolen telescope to be replaced thanks to Richmond Council

Release Date: 18 August 2017

A rare telescope that was stolen from Richmond Hill last year is set to be replaced, thanks to funding from Richmond Council’s Civic Pride Scheme.

In 2015 a telescope was installed on The Terrace, thanks to funding by local resident Patricia Spaight, who made the donation in memory of her late husband – Air Commodore Robin Spaight – and it was sadly stolen last year.

Now, local charity the Father Thames Trust has been awarded £4,500 to replace the telescope. The telescope will be free to use (no coin operation) and will have improved security.

The Father Thames Trust was set up by locals of Richmond upon Thames and Kingston in 1996. The project aims to educate people about the Thames and help them make the most of it by increasing and improving access to it. They work closely with Thames Landscape Strategy, particularly on the London’s Arcadia project, raising money for local projects along the river.

The installation of a telescope, celebrating the view from Richmond Hill has been a long standing aspirational project for the Thames Landscape Strategy and Richmond Council. The original telescope was installed in 2015 as a 20th Birthday project for the Strategy in partnership with Mrs Spaight.

The Council’s Civic Pride Fund is available to individuals or groups who want to organise a project or event to improve their local area and deliver more for their local communities. Grants of up to £5k are available to organisations and £1k for individuals.

Cllr David Linnette, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Voluntary Services, said:

“It was deeply upsetting that the telescope, Patricia’s generous gift to the community, was stolen less than a year after it was unveiled.

“I am thrilled that the Council has been able to help fund a replacement that will be in place for many years to come.

“The view from Richmond Hill is one of the jewels of our borough. And soon, when the telescope is returned to its rightful place, many more people will be able to celebrate its beauty.”

Linda Duffield, a Trustee of the Father Thames Trust, added:

“We are very grateful to Richmond Council for this Civic Pride grant. The View from Richmond Hill draws visitors from all over the world as well as local residents. This telescope will give enormous pleasure to many people.”

Find out more about the Civic Pride Fund.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P383/17

Updated: 31 August 2017