img_7002The History of Ham

On Friday 21 April Gordon Elsden, will give a talk on the history of Ham. People have been living by the Thames for thousands of years but until now nobody has collected all of the records to tell this fascinating story.

Gordon is the only local historian who has researched our local history from prehistoric times to the present day. He has written several articles for the Ham and Petersham Magazine in recent years and has also written a book to be published this year.

He grew up in Ham, attended local schools and gained an important part of his education roaming Richmond Park, Ham Common and the fringes of the Thames.

This is likely to be a sold out event so book early to be sure of a place.

Coming to our events

Our meetings are held in the community meeting room at Ham Library in Ham Street and start at 7.30 pm.

Admission is £3. Reserve your seat with Gill Douglas-Smith on 020 8546 9179 or email her at You can also pay at the door, if there are still spaces available.

Visit to Thenford House

On Saturday 13 May we will be visiting the 1760 Georgian house near Banbury in Oxfordshire has 70 acres of parks and gardens with over 3,500 varieties of plants, medieval fishponds, a walled garden and lakes.

The estate, owned by Lord Michael and Lady Anne Heseltine, is only open four days a year so we are very fortunate to get tickets.

HAG members £27, others £29.

Contact Gill Douglas-Smith on 020 8546 9179 or email her at for more information and booking.

Some of our previous events

800 years of Kingston History

Jill Lamb, former Head of Heritage Service, explained how Kingston has evolved since the Royal Charter was given to the town by King John in 1200. She covered plague and palaces, crime and punishment, trade and taxes and, of course, shopping!

History of Eel Pie Island

Dan van der Vat told us about the history of Eel Pie Island. He co-authored the definitive book on the island’s history, with particular emphasis on the music at the Eel Pie Island Hotel in the 1960s.

Traditional Craftsmanship meets High Technology

There will soon be three Huf Houses in Ham and Petersham and we were very fortunate to get Peter Huf, chief architect, to speak about his award winning houses.

Coombe Conduit, an enigmatic Tudor waterworks

Dr. David Kennedy, the Kingston Society’s officer responsible to English Heritage for the management of Coombe Conduit, shared the latest research on this subject.

Writing a Psychological Thriller

Fleur Smithwick, the well known author and Petersham resident, gave a talk on writing a psychological thriller, and about her books How To Make A Friend and One Little Mistake

Wimpole Hall Farm

A coach trip to Wimpole Hall and Farm in Cambridgeshire, run by the National Trust.