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Wednesday, 20 June 2012


As you may know, I am one of many volunteers at the Richmond Local Studies library, one of the projects on which I am working is recording the details of the illustrations that the collection holds. The catalogue for local studies is here: .

Today I was looking at this photograph

and noticed that is was taken from the Richmond and Twickenham Times dated 20th June 1912.

Yes, exactly 100 years ago today. What a coincidence. This local newspaper was owned by the Dimbleby family until recently and was a treasure trove for local history. It has in a way been part of my life, my birth was recorded there, I was once on the front page in a story headlined "Penfriends meet after 10 years", and if I was wanting to plough through the microfilm records I could find other family events recorded there. When I was at Liverpool Library School my mother dutifully posted the paper to me each week. Today, like many local newspapers it is a shadow of its former self, hardly any news and no longer a record of the local community.

The feature in the century old paper was about the queue at the boarding point for the motor bus, this queue was holding up other buses and traffic in Hill Street. The bus was a 37 going to Isleworth, today there is still a 37 bus route across the bridge going through Isleworth today and thence to Hounslow. There was another photo from the same publication date showing two buses passing each other on Richmond Bridge, the article commented that the buses were forced into the gutter because the bridge was so narrow and when it was wet weather the water and mud splashed onto the bridge. These buses were a 37 going to Herne Hill and a 27 going to Twickenham. I suspect that many of today's London buses follow similar routes to these, I remember the 27 route, I think it went to North London. Perhaps there needs to be a massive overhaul of the routes that buses take.

The bridge, opened in 1777, has been widened since 1912, but it was amusing to me to come home by bus across that same bridge which still seems narrow for modern buses and vehicles. It still affords one of my favourite views, that of the River Thames, the Hill topped by the Royal Star and Garter Home.

As you will have gathered, it doesn't take much to please me, a sense of history, a view and today a little warmth and sunshine. Even the traffic jam from St Margarets to Twickenham meant I knitted half a hexipuff on my way home.

Oh, and I didn't show you the photos taken today of the Gloriana which was moored just below Richmond Bridge. That will be another post.


  1. Local history is fascinating, isn't it! And indeed, what a coincidence. The story behind the photo goes to show that traffic difficulties are certainly not an "invention" of recent decades!

  2. I was thrilled to see the Gloriana back there yesterday. Seeing it's progress was more exciting than watching the flotilla.

  3. My husband was born in Richmond! He often talks about how much things have changed from 70 years ago! For me, it's quite difficult getting my head around the geography of the area! My sister-in-law now lives in Brentford right across the river from Kew -- I guess that is the next up and coming place... For me it's all very hard to imagine how it's all changed.

  4. Really interesting. Love local history too. Just popping down to look at your last post.