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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Opening day

Often I have posted here about the building plans held by Richmond upon Thames, how the Local Studies Volunteer Support Group have accessioned and catalogued the plans; more recently assisted in producing a booklet for an exhibition. Today that exhibition was formally opened at Orleans House Gallery, there is a smaller collection of plans in Richmond Museum. The plans are mind blowing, beautiful works of art in themselves, you can see them online, to see the framed plans themselves is awesome.   is the catalogue for Local Studies.

The Building of a Borough
Found this example, think this was built, many plans were not approved of course.

This is the original press release from the Heritage Lottery Fund way back in March 2010.
An oriental-style café, complete with onion domes, could have been a prominent landmark in central Richmond, and Twickenham might have gained its own theatre in the early 1900s if plans had come to fruition. 
A fascinating treasure trove of Richmond borough’s built – and un-built – environment is to be made available for the first time thanks to a grant of £46,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Richmond Local Studies Collection will be cataloguing some 22,400 sets of plans from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The records, from the former boroughs of Barnes, Richmond and Twickenham, are mostly hand-drawn and colour-washed providing a vivid insight into how the towns developed, not only in terms of their physical but also their social growth.
And documents revealing building schemes that were rejected provide a glimpse of an alternative Richmond that can now be imagined for the first time. The plans for the onion-domed café were submitted in the 1890s. The building would have stood in Hill Street. The unsuccessful Twickenham Theatre scheme was submitted in 1909.
Working in partnership with Richmond Museum and Orleans House Gallery, Twickenham, public exhibitions will be created as well as learning sessions with the support of the Workers’ Educational Association and the University of the Third Age. Local schools and colleges will also be able make use of the material as an educational resource.
The collection of plans will be catalogued and a proportion digitised so making them available online. A CD will also be produced for use in school projects. As a first priority plans relating to buildings of historical or architectural interest, schools and domestic buildings will be digitised. The work of sifting through the mass of plans and deciding which will de digitised first and which are in most need of conservation will involve local volunteers.
The thousands of plans were discovered by Richmond Local Studies Collection during office moves about four years ago. Because of the sheer volume of them they have been in remote storage without public access. The HLF-funded project will at last make some of them available.

The whole project has been more than capturing the history of a Thames Side Community, but it has led to fellowship and camaraderie amongst the volunteers, we were greeting each other like lost friends today. The whole set up is very relaxed, I for am for ever changing the days on which I work but it doesn't matter. There are no rotas, no signing in, we are there because we wish to be, we are welcomed and, like so many volunteers, receive so much in return, none of which is measured in financial terms. Teabreaks provide an opportunity for a few rows of hexipuff knitting whilst a hot beverage cools, more knitting is done when I come home by bus.

Now I've mentioned knitting this can be post 23 of 31, nearly at the toes of my socks, worked on them this evening whilst talking to Martha on FaceTime, two ladies multitasking, or multishirking a label from another message board.

1 comment:

  1. To look at maps and plans I have always found very interesting, and all the more so when they are done so beautifully as the one on your post.