- Ken Hathaway
There is a black and white photograph on the wall of Ken Hathaway’s Strawberry Hill home, showing him with his colleagues in the Twickenham Labour Party supporting Ban the Bomb CND marches.
An active member of the party for over 40 years, it was Ken’s commitment to principles of social justice for which he will be remembered.
Ken believed that correcting society’s ills began immediately and locally, a commitment that saw his involvement with building good homes in his neighbourhood for mentally damaged childrenand with the refurbishments of Teddington Hospital.
Above all, Ken’s socialist principles explain his untiring efforts to retain local land for local use within the community, and which led to his 25 year crusade for the development of Twickenham town centre and the riverside site of the old baths for the benefit of local people.
This campaign reached a milestone at Richmond’s planning committee when his application for a park and recreational/voluntary use of the borough-owned area was commended by planning officers when it came up for decision.
Over the years Ken fiercely and persistently questioned the loss of local authority-owned land to private buyers, specifically the sale of Fulwell Golf Club, the sale of land and granting of planning permission to Squires, the loss of the Ice Rink in East Twickenham to luxury housing development and the sale of Hampton Court House. He also remained an enthusiastic organiser, deliverer and canvasser in every election, local and national, for his party.
Ken was 16 when he joined an architectural firm in Oxford to embark on a qualification leading to Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects through part-time study – a gruelling route. He was still very young when he won a National Annual Architectural Award for designing the Neath Civic Centre. He designed and built his own house on a plot of land – still charmingly wooded and rural – in Strawberry Hill, where he has lived with his family since 1959.
Those who support his ethos and his work will continue to pursue the application he submitted for the riverside park, possibly to be called the Ken Hathaway Memorial Park, and its achievement would be a uniquely fitting memorial to his years of service to the community.
With thanks to Twickenham Online and Mrs May Hathaway.