Last updated 18th May 2017

News from the Cambrian Centre

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JUMBLE SALE - Saturday 29th October. Thanks to all who helped at this Jumble Sale. Also to all those who donated Jumble. Road closures reduced the attendance a little, but we still made over £500.

Sunday 2nd October 2016: Our thanks to Kew Village Market

Cheque presentation picture

The mayor presents us with a cheque

We are very grateful to Kew Village Market for an award of £1000 towards our Gym Equipment fund. We have not replaced much equipment for many years and this year have been attempting to remedy this as reported already. This generous grant will help us make a major improvement to the standard of equipment in our gym. The picture shows our manager, Mary McDonald, on the left, and Chair, Teresa Grafton on the right, receiving the cheque from the Mayor and Lady Mayoress on 2nd October. The market runs on the first Sunday each month and is well worth a visit!

Walk the Thames - June 11th 2016. Over £2000 raised - many thanks!

Instructors with poster

The Gym Instructors holding our "Walk the Thames" poster

Our "Walk the Thames" Gym Fundraising Event was held on Saturday June 11th 2016. We are delighted to say that we have raised a total of over £2000! (including donations, sponsorship and gift aid). Our mission this year was to get as many people involved as possible. 28 people took part over the day - a big increase on previous fundraising years. We hit our target of 28 miles (Thames Barrier to Richmond Bridge) during the afternoon and were able to continue on to 32 miles (back to Chiswick Bridge). A BIG thank you to everyone who helped, either by contributing to the mileage walked or by donating money!
We have now replaced one of our old treadmills, and this event was a great help towards the cost. Donations for this event are now closed, but it is still possible to make a donation to the Centre through MyDonate. There's a button on the Home Page.

Arm Ergometer

Our new Arm Ergometer

Our thanks to Heathrow Community Fund
June 2016: We are delighted to acknowledge that the Cambrian Community Centre has been awarded a £2,500 grant towards our recently acquired "Arm Ergometer", a vital new piece of gym equipment.

This offers valuable exercise opportunities to gym users especially those needing to improve their cardiovascular fitness, and is particularly useful as the Centre fulfils its role supporting the new Exercise Referral programme in the borough.

We have just issued a press release which you can read by clicking here.

This equipment has been on the "wish list" of the gym team for a long time and it is great that, with the support of this funding, we are able to increase the choice to those keen to exercise as part of their recovery programme or to keep mobile as they age.

BRIC-A-BRAC SALE - Sunday 12th June 11 am to 4 pm
We raised almost £1000 from this sale - and we were delighted that so many people came in and visited the centre. Many thanks to all those who came and all those who donated the items for sale.

28th May 2016: TALKS PROGRAMME:
Three more interesting and informative talks were run in June, as follows:

Wednesday 1 June: (1.00pm) The Extraordinary Dr Epstein.  Susan Lee Kerr talked about her novel, The Extraordinary Dr Epstein.

Wednesday 8 June (1.00pm) Colour Analysis.  Rachel Green explained how colour underpins everyone’s image, and how to choose your best colours.

Wednesday 15 June (1.00 pm) The Vineyard Project.  Desiree Shepherd discussed the Vineyard Project and some ideas for their next stage of development – now that they have a base at Dickson House.

The talks were all free and open to all. Tea and coffee was served. Click here to see our leaflet.

For more details, or to suggest subjects for future talks please contact Mary McDonald (details below) . Please ask if you would like help getting to the Centre.


Following a suggestion by local residents we are delighted to announce a programme of regular talks at the Cambrian Centre, on Wednesday afternoons at 1.30pm. All local residents are welcome.

  • 27 April: Richmond Workhouse. Felix Lancashire from the Richmond Local Studies will be talking about the records they hold about the Richmond Workhouse and what these tell us about the people who lived there.
  • 4 May: Richmond Park- Past and Present. Max Lankester from the Friends of Richmond Park will talk about the Park and look at the history and wildlife.
  • 11 May at 1.30pm- Kew Gardens. Mary Done will talk about Kew Gardens

The talks are free - tea and coffee will be available and all are welcome. The cost will be covered by funding from L&Q for which we are very grateful. More details can be seen by clicking here.


8th March 2016: Supper Quiz - another really enjoyable event!
Our quiz night held on 5th March was a great success, following the first such event a year ago. Yet again, the quiz was a sell-out and we had 10 teams competing for the winners medals and title of "CamBrain 2016". We were delighted to see so many people enjoying themselves, and we would like to thank the organisers, the quiz masters, those that donated raffle prizes and everyone else who helped for their invaluable contributions. The event raised about £1200 towards our running costs.

Quiz Winners

The winning team "Ballistic" with their "CamBrain" medals.



26th January 2016: Presentation of plaque.

Helen Smith and plaque

Helen Smith and the plaque

On 26th January 2016 we held a joint event with the Rotary Club of Kew Gardens in the gym. The event was to commemorate Andy Naylor-Vane and his contribution to the gym, and the Rotary Club presented us with a plaque in his memory. The picture shows Helen Smith, of the Rotary Club of Kew Gardens with the plaque, and as recorded below (25th November) we have also been given a very generous grant by the Rotary Club which contributed towards the cost of our new Arm Ergometer. The plaque is now on display in the gym. We are planning to work together with the Rotary Club of Kew Gardens on a number of Community projects. Our thanks go to the Rotary Club of Kew Gardens who have long standing links with the Centre.



14th December 2015: Christmas Concert.

Oour "Singing for Fun" group held a Christmas Concert at Isabella Court which was very well attended and received. If you are interested in joining this group, please contact the Centre.



28th November 2015: Annual Public Meeting and Social
This meeting now taken place, and was very well attended, interesting and enjoyable - many thanks to everyone who attended. The handout (including reports etc) are available by clicking here. The discussion of the Centre's future led by Jonathan Monckton (Director of RPLC) was very informative and thought provoking. We will be following up on this and other items as soon as possible.

New gym machine


25th November 2015: We now have a splendid new piece of equipment in the gym - an "Arm Ergometer" - see picture. Come along to the gym and see it! This is designed for exercising the upper body. It is now being used extensively by our gym members. We are delighted to thank Kew Gardens Rotary Club for their generous donation towards the cost. Helen Smith, President of the Rotary Club of Kew Gardens, presented our gym staff with a cheque for £2000 at the annual meeting.  We are also grateful for a very generous grant towards this equipment from Heathrow Communities Fund and also a further grant for Gym Equipment from IBM.  Without these grants we could not have purchased this expensive but very useful device, which is of great importance to our exercise referral role.

22nd November 2015: Our first Jumble Sale for some time was very successful, and raised over £800. Many thanks to those that assisted and donated Jumble.

4th September 2015: Our activities are all up and running following the summer break. Don't forget you can click the What's on link to see a list of everything running at the Centre.

13th July 2015: The Cambrian Community Singers ("Singing for Fun") held a very successful END OF TERM Concert on Monday 13th July. If you would like to join this group, please give the manager a call.

6th July: Cambrian Centre supports ARThouse. We held a very successful 2 day drawing exhibition (and more) last weekend (4th and 5th July) as part of Richmond's free annual open studios exhibition. Details were sent out in our recent Newsletter, and there were many attendees. You can see some pictures on the Group's Facebook page

May Fair 2015: tent at May Fair Once again the Cambrian Centre had a stall at the Richmond May Fair. The weather was better than in recent years and we managed to meet and talk to many people. The tombola and bric-a-brac were both popular and the Centre was able to raise some much needed funds. There was a great turn out of helpers - thanks to all!


14th April: History Group. The History group held a very successful session entitled "Family History for Absolute Beginners". There's a report on the History Group page.

27th March: Letter in the Richmond and Twickenham Times: Click here to see a very positive letter from one of our users.

14th March - Supper Quiz - a great success!

The quiz was a sell-out and a great success! We had 10 teams fighting for the title of "Cam Brain" and much discussion about the meaning of what were often quite challenging questions. We are delighted to have had so many people tell us how much they enjoyed themselves. We would like to thank the organisers, the quiz masters and everyone else who helped for their invaluable contributions.

Quiz Winners

Winning team "The Wonky Donkeys" with their "Cam Brain" medals.

The quiz raised a much needed £1300 towards our running costs.
More pictures can be seen by clicking here:


Andy Naylor-Vane

Andy Naylor-Vane

January 2015: We have had some very sad news. As most people now know, one of our gym staff, Andy Naylor-Vane, died unexpectedly at home on Wednesday 7th January. Andy had worked at the Cambrian Gym for about 10 years, and will be greatly missed. Andy's funeral was held on Thursday 29th January. Andy was held in such high regard that there were many people from the Cambrian Centre present at the funeral, especially Gym users, staff and many of our trustees.

A book of condolences was made available in the gym for gym and centre users to record their memories or thoughts for Andy's family. This has been passed over to the family.

20th January 2015 - History Group: The History Group visited the Poppy Factory on 20th January - it was a fascinating visit. See our report. You are all welcome to come along to the group - see the History Group page.

26th November 2014 - Annual General Meeting: Our AGM was held on 26th November and was well attended - our thanks to all those who came. We presented our annual report and the audited accounts for both 2012/2012 and 2013/2014 and reported on the past year - our 25th. If you would like a printed a copy of the handout, please ask the manager.

The Raffle Draw

The raffle draw

25th Anniversary Celebration and Raffle: The Centre's 25th Anniversary was celebrated on Saturday 20th September with a very well attended event. Guests included the Deputy Mayor Of Richmond, Peter Buckwell and numerous people who have contributed to the Centre over the years. These included Rachel Dickson (Guest of Honour) and Geoff Pope (ex-Mayor) who both helped open the Centre 25 years ago. The RPLC, our largest supporting organisation, was also well represented with Jonathan Monckton (RPLC Director) leading a toast to the Centre. The Deputy Mayor kindly drew the first tickets in the hugely successful raffle, part of our 25th Anniversary Appeal. The proceeds are over £3000. All the winners have now been notified and more details are available at the Centre. We would like to thank the many generous donors of prizes and everyone else who contributed, especially our "Friends Group". Details of the prizes and the donors can be seen by clicking here.

June 21 2014: Summer Social Event: Our 25th Anniversary informal social ran very successfully, and a great time was had by all. Thanks to all of those who contributed the food. It's been suggested we hold more such events in future.

History Group: On 13th May 2014 we heard an interesting and well attended talk from local architect Paul Velluet, about the the history of the Queen’s Road Estate in the context of that of social housing in general. See a report on our our History Group page. The group meets on the second Tuesday of each month. If you are interested in joining or would like to know more, view our History Group page.

May Fair (11th May 2014): Our thanks to all who assisted at our stall at the May Fair. Despite inclement weather both the Bric-a-brac and tombola did very well, and we raised over £1000. Barclays Bank is again supporting the Centre's efforts through their community matchfunding scheme.

Picture of toys at the Jumble Sale

Jumble Sale: wonderful collection of toys

April 2014:The Jumble Sale was a great success. The attendance was as high as we can remember and we raised well over £700. We would like to thank everyone who helped on the day and, of course, all those who donated Jumble.

This class ran for three weeks in February and March 2014. It was very well attended with about 15 people and was aimed at total beginners as well as those with some experience. This 3 week activity started Monday 24 February 1pm-3pm and ran for 3 weeks. This class was held jointly with Richmond Adult Community College (RACC).

22nd December 2013: We sent out a seasonal newsletter. View it here.

Centre refurbishment: We are delighted to tell you that the Cambrian Community Centre has been awarded a grant of £10,000 from Richmond Parish Lands Charity (RPLC). The funds are to be used to refurbish the kitchen and toilets. Our grateful thanks go to RPLC for their continued support.

Book Sale: Many thanks to all who supported the Book Sale in early December. We raised over £240. We have decided to hold similar sales on a regular basis in 2014.

Nov 13th 2013: Annual General Meeting: This was held on 13th November and was well attended. Our thanks to all those who came.
We presented our annual report and the last audited accounts, as well as discussing the future. The papers distributed are available by clicking here.

workhouse clock

The Old Workhouse Clock

September 8th: The History Group held a well attended talk. This was on 'The History of the Richmond Workhouse' and was given by Valerie Boyes, historian, lecturer and member of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Richmond. The History Group has now agreed to meet regularly on the second Tuesday each month. You can see more information on our History Group page.

July 16th 2013: Our Local History Workshop held a successful first meeting! About 12 people helped us kick off our study group which will focus on the area around the Centre. One attendee had actually lived in the old Richmond Workhouse! There's a report here, and you can try our quiz here. Our next meeting is on 10th September.

July 1st 2013: New 3 year Lease / Change of status.
We are delighted to announce that the Cambrian Community Centre has signed a new three year lease with the Richmond Parish Lands Charity (RPLC). In addition, the Centre became an incorporated charity with limited liability with effect 1st July 2013. This will make it possible for a wider pool of people to consider becoming trustees and is consistent with changes that many other charities have introduced. These actions will ensure our activities and facilities (listed on this site) continue to be available for at least three more years.
In addition, thanks to RPLC, we are now able to offer grants towards Gym Fees for people on benefits, and also towards room hire for local charities. Please contact us for more information on these grants.

Cambrian Centre stall at May Fair, 2013

The Tombola stall at the May Fair

May 11th: Richmond May Fair The Cambrian Community Centre had a stand at the Richmond May Fair, which was a great success! We ran a Tombola and sold Bric-a-Brac and we've raised over £1000 - more pictures and information is here.

April 22nd: Jumble sale raised over £800: We are delighted to say that the Jumble sale on April 20th raised over £800 to help keep the centre operating and our subsidised activites running. Our thanks to all who assisted and donated some really good Jumble.

March 28th 2013 We are pleased to announced an Easter Programme of activities for children. There's something for everyone up to age 18 including art workshops, break dancing, sports and play. Activities run every weekday of the School Easter Holidays (Tuesday 2nd April onwards). Full details are given in this poster.
Our thanks go to London and Quadrant and the Richmond Housing Partnership for organising this programme. Please pass on the details to any young person you know who might be interested.

Poster winner

Sumi, age 6 - competition winner

December 1st 2012: Cambrian Community Christmas: A great time was had by all at the Christmas Event. The centre looked great with Christmas lights and decorations, thanks to the efforts of the many volunteers. Christmas crafts, carols and especially the mulled wine were all very popular! The winner of the Poster competition was Sumi, aged 6, from Camkids (pictured when she received her prize). The raffle was very well received and we are extremely grateful to the many local businesses and people who contributed prizes, including Grants Whisky, Kew Gardens, the Lass of Richmond Hill, M&S, the Marlborough Pub, Pools on the Park, Sainsbury's, Starbucks, and Waitrose.

November 21st: The taster sessions are underway. See what you missed if you didn't attend our film show "The Huggetts" or see if you agree if you did.

November 9th 2012: Taster Programme announced. In response to suggestions from our users and local residents, the Cambrian Community Centre has announced a “taster” programme of activities running throughout November. If these sessions are well attended it is planned to continue them. Full details are on our "What's on" Page.

Beginners Computer Course: This 6 week course run by Age UK started on Wed. 7th November. It was oversubscribed. If you would like to attend a similar course in the future please let us know. Click here for a poster with details.

November 5th 2012: New Gym Floor: Over the weekend of 2nd to 4th November we had our Gym Floor replaced. Many thanks to the volunteers who helped to remove the old floor tiles and the carpet beneath. The new floor looks very good and should be a great asset to the Gym.

October 27th 2012: We ran a very successful Jumble Sale, which was well attended and which raised almost £700 which will go towards the costs of running the centre. There's still some more jumble to sell, so we plan to run another one soon. Our thanks go to all those who donated Jumble or who assisted.

Play Rangers: Free play and adventure sessions. The London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames delivered several Play Ranger sessions during October for 8 to 14 year olds at 3:30 to 5pm each Friday on our Sports Pitch. View a Poster. We are hoping to offer some more sessions soon - please get in contact if you or your child would be interested in future sessions (better still, join our distribution list to receive news and announcements.)

September 24th 2012: Meeting with Local Representatives. The Cambrian centre was the venue for a very well attended meeting with our local MP, Zac Goldsmith, and local Councillors. A wide range of issues was discussed, especially the issues with increased noise at Heathrow and the local Village Plans that have been launched recently in Richmond. See and for more information on the Heathrow Campaign and the Village plans respectively. More than 60 people attended - we apologise to those people left standing; we now realise we need a few more chairs!

September 12th: FRIENDS OF THE CAMBRIAN CENTRE: Jill Grist hosted a wine and cheese lunch at her home attended by about 20 local people interested to hear our manager (Mary McDonald) and some of the Trustees talk and answer questions about the Centre’s future plans. The lunch raised about £350. Jill hopes to bring together a substantial body of Friends who will constitute a resource for the Cambrian Centre to draw upon in the challenging years ahead. Many thanks are due to her for this very generous and timely initiative.

July 28th 2012: Olympic Cycling Event: We raised several hundred pounds by serving refreshments for the people walking along Cambrian Road to see the Olympic Cycling in Richmond Park. There's a picture below, and you can view more pictures from the day by clicking here.

Annual General Meeting - Monday 23rd July: This was attended by about 45 people, a terrific turnout. 12 new trustees were elected and plans made for the coming year - watch this site for more news.

July 7th 2012: We sent out a newsletter to our distribution list, announcing the centre would stay open. View a copy.

picture of cafe

View of the "Olympic Cycling Cafe"