Talks

Notable historians are giving talks on a variety of local subjects throughout the Know Your Place festival.

Spies, Duels and Polo Ponies - the Story of Barn Elms

Speaker: Helen Deaton

Barn Elms was the former manor house of Barnes and stood on the east side of the Barnes peninsular. This illustrated talk traces the long and rich history of Barn Elms; the many notable men and women who were associated with it and its transformation into the home of the prestigious Ranelagh Club in the late 19th century.

  • Date: Tuesday 3 September
  • Time: 7.15 to 8.15pm
  • Location: East Sheen Library
  • Price: Tickets £5 in advance, £6 on the door. Tickets on the door cannot be guaranteed.

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Crime and Punishment in Teddington

Speaker: Ken Howe

A short history of crime in Teddington with particular reference to some of the headline-grabbing crimes that occurred and the punishments given out for them.

  • Date: Thursday 5 September
  • Time: 7 to 8pm
  • Location: Teddington Library
  • Price: Tickets £5 in advance, £6 on the door. Tickets on the door cannot be guaranteed.

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"The Hidden Area of Teddington" - the Growth of Fulwell, 1870-1939

Speaker: Chris French

This fully illustrated talk considers the development of Fulwell before the Second World War to show that there is more to Fulwell than Fulwell Bus Garage. In 1870 the Fulwell area was covered in fields, orchards, gravel pits and open spaces but by 1939 it was covered in houses, shops and other buildings.

The themes explored in the talk include the spread of housing across the area (including types of housing and local builders); the emergence of community facilities such as religious establishments, schools and shops; the people and families who lived in Fulwell and the communities they developed.

  • Date: Tuesday 10 September
  • Time: 7 to 8.15pm
  • Location: Twickenham Library
  • Price: Tickets £5 in advance, £6 on the door. Tickets on the door cannot be guaranteed.

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Artists and Paintings in Richmond, Twickenham and Kew

Speaker: Johanna Coombes

Over the years many artists have visited or lived in Richmond, Twickenham and Kew. They have been attracted by the River Thames, parks, palaces and open spaces. Some artists have concentrated on portraits. To name but a few we have Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Joseph Mallard William Turner. These are well known names, but others you may not have heard of at all. We will explore their local connections and enjoy some of their paintings.

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Ham House and the People that Shaped its History

A remarkably preserved treasure of the National Trust, Ham House and its inhabitants witnessed and were shaped by some of the most turbulent times in this country’s history. From the execution of a King, to Civil War, spies and court intrigue, discover some of the stories of the people who called Ham House home, all those years ago.

  • Date: Friday 13 September
  • Times: 12 noon to 12.20pm, 1 to 1.20pm and 2 to 2.20pm
  • Location: Back Parlour, Ham House and Garden
  • Price: Talks are included in the entrance fee of £13.75 (includes gift aid). Numbers are limited and tickets will be allocated on the day on a first come, first served basis.

On the Trail of Klaus Fuchs, Atomic Spy

Speaker: Mark Dunton

Arguably the most important ‘atomic’ spy of the 20th century, Klaus Fuchs was a German physicist who worked on the British and US-led atomic projects of the Cold War era. In 1950, Fuchs was caught passing vital secrets to the Soviet Union and sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment.

Our exhibition curator Mark Dunton delves into Security Service files in our collection to uncover how the authorities managed to unmask Fuchs and secure his confession, and reveals a fascinating local connection with Kew.

  • Date: Friday 13 September
  • Time: 2 to 3pm
  • Location: The National Archives, Bessant Drive, Kew TW9 4DU
  • Price: Tickets cost £5

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All the World's a Stage

Speaker: Brendan Riding, Theatre Director, and others

Learn about your local theatre with historical talks that will breathe life into every decade of its history. From the laying of the foundation stones, through the First and Second World Wars to the present day, Richmond Theatre has continued to provide a platform for world-class productions and will continue to thrive for future generations.

  • Date: Sunday 15 September
  • Time: 7.30 to 9.30pm
  • Location: Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond TW9 1QJ
  • Price: Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance

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Kneller Hall: Looking Backward Looking Forward

Speaker: Ed Harris

In January 2016 the Ministry of Defence announced its intention to close the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall. As well as looking back entirely on events that have shaped its past, we can look to that rich history to help determine its future.

  • Date: Tuesday 17 September
  • Time: 7 to 8pm
  • Location: Whitton Library
  • Price: Tickets £5 in advance, £6 on the door. Tickets on the door cannot be guaranteed.

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Dr John Langdon Down and Normansfield

Speaker: Ian Jones-Healey

This talk is about Dr John Langdon Down and his institution at Normansfield which brought a revolutionary and enlightened approach to care, education and training for people with learning disabilities.

  • Date: Sunday 22 September
  • Time: 12.30 to 1pm
  • Location: Langdon Down Centre, 2a Langdon Park, Teddington TW11 9PS
  • Price: Entrance is free but numbers are limited and tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Normansfield Theatre

Speaker: Ian Jones-Healey

This talk is about the history of Normansfield’s Grade II* listed theatre that opened in 1879. The talk will include a description of its fixtures and fittings and the projects to conserve the large scenery collection.

  • Date: Sunday 22 September
  • Time: 2.30 to 3pm
  • Location: Langdon Down Centre, 2a Langdon Park, Teddington TW11 9PS
  • Price: Entrance is free but numbers are limited and tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Lord John Russell, Our Local Prime Minister

Speaker: David Williams

Lord John Russell, twice Prime Minister, lived at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park from 1847 until his death in 1878. He and his wife Lady Frances took a keen interest in Petersham and Richmond. Their most important contribution was setting up the Russell School, Petersham, which they largely funded. Bertrand Russell, the famous philosopher, was brought up at Pembroke Lodge by his grandmother Lady Russell – an experience he did not enjoy.

  • Date: Wednesday 25 September
  • Time: 3 to 4pm
  • Location: Ham Library
  • Price: Tickets £5 in advance, £6 on the door. Tickets on the door cannot be guaranteed.

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Strawberry Hill - From at Risk to Award Winning

Speaker: Terry Smith

Strawberry Hill house was saved by the initiative of local supporters and went from being on the list of the top 100 most endangered buildings in the world to winning awards including the top European prize for restoration within a few years of setting up the Trust. The talk will illustrate the house before, during and after the restoration and look at some of the skills involved. With Q and A afterwards.

  • Date: Wednesday 25 September
  • Time: 7 to 8.15pm (doors open at 6.30pm)
  • Location: Strawberry Hill House, 268 Waldegrave Road, Twickenham TW1 4ST
  • Price: Tickets £8 in advance, £10 on the door. Tickets on the door cannot be guaranteed.

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Eating with Queen Victoria: a Greedy Queen

Speaker: Dr Annie Gray

What does it mean to eat like a queen? Elizabeth gorged on sugar, Mary on chocolate and Anne was known as 'Brandy Nan'. Victoria ate all of this and more. The Greedy Queen celebrates Victoria's appetite, both for food and, indeed, for life.

Born in May 1819, Victoria came 'as plump as a partridge'. In her early years she lived on milk and bread under the Kensington system; in her old age she suffered constant indigestion yet continued to over-eat. From intimate breakfasts with the King of France, to romping at tea-parties with her children, and from state balls to her last sip of milk, this talk looks at a life lived through food: what she ate, when and with whom.

Voracious and adventurous in her tastes, Queen Victoria was head of state during a revolution in how we ate - from the highest tables to the most humble. Based on Annie's recent book (copies of which she'll be happy to sign), The Greedy Queen considers Britain's most iconic monarch from a new perspective, telling the story of British food along the way.

  • Date: Thursday 26 September
  • Time: 7.30 to 8.30pm
  • Location: Riverside Room, Richmond Old Town Hall
  • Price: Tickets are £10. Advance booking recommended, tickets on the door cannot be guaranteed.

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Updated: 1 July 2019