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Mayor’s Blog: The Mayor’s Parlour

Date: 4 April 2024
Author: Councillor Suzette Nicholson
Title: Mayor of Richmond upon Thames

One of the enjoyable things about the Mayor's Parlour is not just the fact that you can enjoy inviting people there but the paintings. These are from the Borough's Art Collection and the Mayor chooses the ones for display in the Parlour for their year. Sometimes of course they are not available for viewing, for example, being committed to other exhibitions for that time.

Three of the paintings at present are of people, 'Kate Matilda Bentley' by Fred Brown (oil on canvas) 1881, 'My Dad 2002' a portrait of Brian Parker by his son Jonathan Parker (oil on board), 'Wedding at Twickenham Church' by Osmund Caine (oil on canvas) 1948. These of course are personal choices for various reasons they connect to my thoughts and past. However, they remind me of the many residents in the borough and who I represent as Mayor. Recent visits to the 'Young Carers' Celebration Event' (which was great fun) and the 'Young Writers Final' put on by Arts Richmond, reminded me of the wonderful young people we have in the borough too.

The other paintings are of places that represent parts of the borough, 'Crossing Tracks' by Roger Hutchins (acrylic on canvas board) 2014, with Asgill House in the background, 'Richmond Hill at Night' by David Downes, (acrylic on canvas board) 2014 and the 'Gateway Old Palace Richmond' by J. Munday (watercolour). These remind me that as Mayor I represent the many different physical parts of the borough. Visits to the Royal Ballet School in White Lodge, Richmond Park and the Twickenham Yacht Club were events very much in special places in the borough. On both these occasions I was made particularly welcome.

There are some new paintings, the Winner of the Asgill Prize for last year, Alison Groom, showing a view from Richmond Hill and the runner-up, Patricia Burbridge, a view from the riverside including Twickenham Bridge.

These paintings have all been done in different decades, even different centuries. This borough and the ones that formed it in 1965, Richmond, Twickenham, and Barnes, have been home to many people over time. Even before these smaller areas of the borough were urban district councils for example Hampton and Ham. All residents living their own lives, sometimes through major events such as the two World Wars and more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. What interesting and talented people you are!

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Updated: 2 May 2024