• 11 August, 2004

Construction began ten years ago on a now-familiar town-centre landmark.

The United Reformed Church reached its £427,000 fundraising goal for the Richard Mayo Centre after a two-year campaign.

Building work to install the new entrance foyer, lift, coffee bar and meeting rooms was set to begin in November 2004.

The centre would invite stressed-out shoppers to pop in for a moment's peace and a cup of coffee, while community groups could run training sessions.

Church elder Derek Winsor said the church had top designers advising colours and layout and the new centre would have the "wow factor".

He said: "I'm really looking forward to getting this sorted out because it will really free this building up for everybody.

"It's got so much potential and it needs to be opened up.

"When we began it was such a momentous total we didn't think we would ever get up to it but we've had so much support from the membership and friends of the church and people from outside."

The money was raised from donations and a host of small initiatives such as an auction, a cookery book and hundreds of jars of marmalade made and sold by one church member.

Appeal director Ann Macfarlane wrote to more than 250 charitable trusts asking for money and almost £7,000 came back in small donations through the church's letterbox.

She said the appeal had been successful because members had felt included and fundraising events had been fun.

She added: "For some people it's not exciting but it's exciting for us - it will strengthen the voluntary sector in Kingston."

Today the popular centre runs craft classes, and serves as a host venue for meetings and even political debates.

  • August 11, 2004

A shortage of police cells in Kingston and Richmond could have been having a detrimental effect on policing, London Assembly member Tony Arbour said.

Kingston needed six more cells in order to ensure officers felt able to arrest suspects and keep then behind bars.

  • August 11, 1989

A major court battle loomed over British Rail's responsibility to keep Kingston bridges clear of bird poo.

The company had pledged to 'pigeon-proof' it's bridges but nothing happened for more than a year.

  • August 8, 1964

A new £20,000 hall was to be built by St James' Church, Malden, and was to be the borough's biggest with 300 seats.

The site had been bought by the Police Federation, which intended to built a new national headquarters there.