17 April 2009

“Ham, Petersham & The Riverside, Then & Now"

Place names around here get argued about. I live on the Kingston upon Thames side of the border with Richmond upon Thames which I think is in Ham whereas others argue that Ham is solely in Richmond.

As you go north from Ham towards Richmond you move into Petersham and people argue about the Ham/Petersham border too - mostly snobs who really live in Ham and like to think they live in Petersham.

As far as I am concerned I live in the Ham/Petersham area and that means I am interested in events that cover both "villages".

Therefore, this year's Petersham Festival talk on “Ham, Petersham & The Riverside, Then & Now" was an attractive proposition.

It was not too clear from the flyer what to expect but what we got was an hour long film made up of photos taken in the 60s put in context by modern aerial photos and with a commentary that explained the history of what we were looking at.

I knew that Ham/Petersham had historical connections with many famous people but the list presented to us was longer than I remembered and included Charles Dickens, George Vancouver, Cardinal Newman, Vincent Van Gough, Tommy Steele, Bertrand Russell and various members of various royal families.

The historical information carried the talk which otherwise consisted mostly of poor quality photos (due to their age) of familiar places with a barely audible soundtrack (technical problems) and spurious background music. So bit of a disappointment overall but just enough good stiff there to make it worth being there.

It has also made me think that perhaps I should offer to do something similar next year based on the 1,100 plus local photos on my Ham Photos Blog.

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