ROW: How It Started
Since the arrival of the internet it has become much easier for the various Richmonds around the globe to keep in touch more closely with one other.
In the 1980's a global Richmond network was set up by the Mayor of Richmond, North Yorkshire and Roy Cross, which took the form of a leaflet featuring all the Richmonds around the world, a copy of which was mailed to all the other Richmonds in 1980. The ROW Concept was the also an idea of Councillor Serge Lourie, Leader of Richmond Council, Surrey, and of Rick Tatnell of Richmond, Virginia, with the purpose of linking all towns and cities named Richmond and encouraging mutual co-operation and international friendships.
For the 2000 Millennial Celebrations, Graham Walker and Dennys Clarkson (Richmond, North Yorkshire) produced a pictorial calendar which was also sent to Richmond settlements around the World.
In 2007, Jamestown, Virginia celebrated its 400th birthday as the Founding settlement in Virginia and the USA. Serge Lourie, then leader of Richmond upon Thames Council attended the fabulous two-week celebrations with a party of 20, including Jason Debney who is based in Richmond Park and working for Thames Landscape Strategy.
2008 saw a Richmonds of the World meeting at Richmond University, London. Delegates from Richmond, Virginia and Richmond Council came with idea of encouraging mutual co-operation and international friendships with all other Richmonds; Serge Lourie (then leader of Council) welcomed Rick Tatnall from Virginia
In 2008 there was also a ROW photographic exhibition (commissioned by Richmond London Arts Service) displayed in the Old Town Hall, Richmond upon Thames.
Summer 2009 saw the exhibition moved to The Station, Richmond, North Yorkshire, where it was a great success with 12 pages of complimentary comments, and 11,000 visitors. Four representatives from Richmond, London came to the opening where they met Mayor Gillson and William Hague (present MP for Richmond, Yorkshire for 20 years). The Station won a National Rail Heritage Award for its conversion from a dilapidated building into a venue that includes a 2-screen cinema, restaurant, shops, education centre, art gallery and meeting rooms.
May 2012 saw 8 people from Richmond, Virginia attend the New Mayor of Richmond Ceremony in Richmond Town Hall (North Yorkshire) and were a given rousing reception.