The two Richmonds

By | Category: Travel destinations
Richmond in Virginia

Richmond in Virginia

The American civil war important city of Richmond in Virginia is twinned with Richmond-on-Thames in outer London. Yes they can swap civic missions with cheap beanos for councillors and make pleasant platitudes about each other but these two cities have gone step further.

They have set up an award to recognise individuals who have demonstrated exceptional service to preserving heritage and environment in the twinned cities on either side of the Atlantic.

The new award, which will be presented at a gala evening event at Hampton Court Palace on 31 March 2014, has been created by preservation organisations in each city For Richmond, Virginia that means Scenic Virginia and for Richmond-upon-Thames, the Father Thames Trust and the Thames Landscape Strategy.  It recognises individuals who have demonstrated exceptional service to preserving heritage and environment in the twinned cities on either side of the Atlantic. This year the award goes to a familiar face and name, David Attenborough and people will travel across from the Virginian Richmond to be there on the night. Their intent is to support current efforts to preserve their own view by learning more on how the view of the River Thames has been preserved while still allowing for thoughtful  development and enhanced heritage in London. While in England the Delegation will be inspecting several of the Thames Landscape Strategy projects and meeting with Richmond-upon-Thames Council members. Thanks to campaigning and the subsequent Richmond, Petersham and Ham Open Spaces Act of 1902, the view from Richmond Hill has been guaranteed in perpetuity.

Today the view of the James River from Libby Hill Park in Richmond, Virginia, known as “The View That Named Richmond” because of its similarity to the view from Richmond Hill, is imperiled by potential development. The land directly below the View from Libby Hill Park is privately owned, and it is hoped by Scenic Virginia that this early environmental success story in Britain (following a widespread English campaign known as ‘The Great Indignation’) will inspire business and community leaders in Richmond, Virginia to take action to preserve their own historic view.

The two Richmonds began their relationship nearly 400 years ago when Colonel William Byrd II, a wealthy merchant and planter, sailed up the James River and named the area he found ‘Richmond’, because the view of the river from what is now Libby Hill was so strikingly similar to that of the Thames from Richmond Hill, where he had spent time during his youth.

In 2015, the ‘Richmonds Medal’ will be presented to a American recipient in Richmond, Virginia.

 

 

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