Wednesday 19th February 2020

A history of the Fairfield Recreation Ground

David Kennedy will present “Mayor John William’s and the Fairfield Recreation Ground”. John Williams, Mayor of Kingston in 1858, 1859 and 1864, was an energetic, public-spirited, self-educated man who had poor and humble beginnings.

Williams came to Kingston in 1851 to take over the ailing Griffin Hotel which he developed into a flourishing enterprise that was highly regarded. He was instrumental in securing the Fairfield as a recreation ground for the townsfolk and played a part in improving the Promenade on the River Thames.

While he acquired enemies, notably Alderman Frederick Gould, his civic funeral in 1872 and obituary tributes indicated that overall he was a greatly respected and valued man. Local historian June Sampson’s view that John Williams deserved greater recognition in Kingston was justified and a memorial in the Fairfield would seem appropriate for this.

Read David’s excellent research project here

Coming to our public meetings

Unless otherwise noted, all our meetings are held in the Judge Lecture Theatre, Tiffin School, Kingston upon Thames KT2 6RL. Click here to see a map of the area.

Access is from the London Road entrance where there is free parking available, subject to other events happening at the school. There are bus stops outside and opposite the school entrance, and the main bus and railway stations are within short walking distance. The Judge Lecture Theatre is accessed through the main doors next to the new circular school cafeteria. It is on the ground floor and we believe you will find it accessible.

Meetings begin promptly at 7:30pm. Doors are open at 7:00.

Free admission for members of the Society. Members of the public are very welcome to attend and are asked to pay £2 toward our costs, alternatively they can join the Society on the night for just £10.