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Village Diary

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New Hampton Wick History book

Wednesday 18th November 2020

New Hampton Wick History book

Prolific local historian Ray Elmitt has been hard at work during lockdown, producing a new book entitled “Walking the History of Hampton Wick or How to Explore 300 Years in 90 Minutes”.

The origins of the book stem from an initiative on the part of Heidi Johnson-Paul, then headteacher of Hampton Wick Infants and Nursery School, to create a young person’s local history walk for her Year 2 classes. It was designed to require just 90 minutes to complete the itinerary and take in nine places of interest to a curious seven-year-old’s mind. The first walk took place in 2010 and every June – until now – Year 2 have kept coming back for more.

An adult version of the walk – on which this current volume is based – followed in 2012 and was created specially for the HWA. It too visited five of the same sites of interest as the junior version but added another four designed to appeal to the more mature explorer’s interests and knowledge. It starts and finishes at the Jubilee Fountain by the Hampton Wick Library (where parking is available) and the 90-minute duration has been retained.

However the real purpose of the book-version of the walk – produced in an era of social distancing and government restrictions on intermingling – is to allow would-be explorers to self-guide themselves around the route. The original commentary on the nine stops is reproduced and it should still take 90 minutes to walk, look and read – just! But this content is now augmented with comprehensive instructions on the route, information on additional items of interest to be seen along the way and details of the 14 English Heritage Listed Buildings passed en route.

The book runs to over 50 pages and is fully illustrated in colour, with some art and design by our good friend David Rees. It costs £6.50 and is available from Priyas.