Following 25 years as Chairman of our Society, James Wisdom was honoured in June 2009 with a Personal Achievement Award from the British Association for Local History for his dedication in encouraging interest and promoting greater understanding of the local history of Brentford and Chiswick.
After his 1976 MA thesis on The Suburban Development of Chiswick James ran local history evening classes in the 1980s, and co-edited the early issues of our Journal. As Chairman he has presided over a regular programme of talks and outings and is a popular and enthusiastic lecturer on local history.
He founded and chairs the Friends of Gunnersbury Park and Museum and was a founded member of the Friends of Chiswick House. He campaigned to stop the sale of Hogarth’s House and was involved in the fund-raising for a statue of Hogarth, the celebrations for Hogarth’s tercentenary and the 100th anniversary of the opening of Hogarth’s House to the public.
He ran the campaign to keep the Thomas Layton Collection in the area, and now chairs the Layton Trust, working hard to make the collection better known and used. He has also led our partnership with the Battlefields Trust on projects commemorating the Chiswick V2 and the Battles of Brentford and Turnham Green.