2015 Previous meetings

18th November 2015, Townscape Awards

Every other year the Society presents Townscape Awards recognising building developments which in the Society’s view have done the most to enhance the environment in the Royal Borough. In November we will present the awards and hear from the developers and architects behind them.

21th October 2015, Royal Star and Garter Home

We will have a talk on the new Royal Star and Garter Home in Surbiton.

Alistair Kingsley, Royal Star and Garter Regional Fundraising Manager, will give a talk entitled “From Richmond to Kingston”

All residents in the nieghbouring boroughs of Kingston and Richmond will be familiar with the landmark building outside the Richmond gate to Richmond Park. What they will not be so familiar with is the sort of new thinking that has led to the search for new premises, offering different sorts of accommodation in the surrounding area. What is going to happen to the old site? How are the moves managed? How will any attendant possible trauma be managed? These and many other questions can be posed in the course of this meeting.

16th September 2015, Mini-Holland

We got an update on Kingston Council’s Mini-Holland programme of cycling improvements across the Borough.

Kingston mini-Holland was a £33m investment package in an exciting range of projects to encourage cycling in and around Kingston. Funded by the Mayor of London, it included new infrastructure and special activities to encourage and support new and nervous cyclists to take up cycling.

The presentation was by the Programme Manager, Julian Sindall, who explained what the projects were, and why the offered benefits for both cyclists and other road users in Kingston.

15th July, Eden Walk

British Land, USS and their design team presented their plans for the transformation of Eden Walk with new shops, homes, offices and public realm. Together with the plans for the Old Post Office site, this redevelopment will have huge significance for the Kingston town centre.

With a major public consultation planned for June, the presentation gave an opportunity for Society members to hear about the feedback to the emerging scheme from local residents and to probe the plans well before any application is submitted later in the year.

17th June, Former government offices in Tolworth

Tolworth former government building site – final application for redevelopment? It appears that Tesco has finally given up on a new supermarket of any size on this site and the proposal now being consulted on, the last of several, is largely housing but of what type?

A team from the developer and architect presented their ideas.

20th May, The Warren House Tales – A social history since 1865

Victoria K.L. Good, author of the recently published book of this title, told us about her researches into this interesting house in Warren Road, Coombe.

Warren House, is probably the finest Victorian House on the Coombe Estate and its former Japanese water garden one of the most delightful in England at the time. As part of the 150th Anniversary celebrations of the property, author Victoria K L Good, will give an illustrated talk, based on her book, about the lives of the six different families who owned and occupied Warren House since its construction in the late 1860’s.

They and their visitors were some of the richest and most influential men and women of their day and each played an important role in the history of this country. There was also a chance to learn about the gardens, and an exciting new project to commemorate Coombe’s horticultural heritage.

15th April, Coombe Conduit, an enigmatic Tudor waterworks

Coombe Conduit is one of Kingston’s most important ancient monuments. It was built around 1540 as part of a system, together with Gallows Conduit and Ivy Conduit, to collect fresh water from springs on Kingston Hill and channel it through three miles of buried pipework to the palace of Hampton Court. Dr. David Kennedy, the Society’s Secretary and officer responsible to English Heritage for the Society’s management of Coombe Conduit, shared the latest research on this subject.

After taking us on a virtual tour of Coombe Conduit, pointing out some of the enigmatic features, David outlined how the system worked. Then, he evaluated the ongoing controversy whether it was initiated by Cardinal Wolsey or by Henry VIII.

David presented experimental evidence on water quality and then focused on how the pipes crossed the Thames upon the bed of the river. Finally, he considered why a decision was made in 1876 to obtain drinking water from a commercial source, and the fate of the Conduit system thereafter.

18th March, Pocket development in North Kingston

Pocket is a new kind of property developer providing intermediate housing for London’s singles and couples. They are built and priced for the young working market earning less than the GLA threshold for affordable housing but earning too much to qualify for social housing.

Pocket create small developments of compact apartments which are only available to first time buyers who purchase their property outright with at least a 20% discount to the open market. Their homes have a restrictive covenant which controls their future affordability.

Daniel Poll from Pocket provided information on the current planning application for a Pocket development in Cowleaze Road, North Kingston.

18th February 2015, Matthew’s Manifesto

Our new chairman, Matthew Rees, used the first public meeting since the AGM to outline the direction that he wanted to take with the Society in the next few years.

In his talk he said a little about himself, what he had done and the buildings and places that he liked, as these had been a strong influence on what he wanted to do. He also shared his initial thoughts on what these things might be, things like making the email updates more informative. He also gave his views on Kingston and what this might mean for the Society.