When we moved into our house in Percy Road the previous owners hadn't changed the decor much since the 1950s, including the carpets.

When we pulled them up we found loads of old newspapers including a copy of the Evening News from January 19, 1959.

I kept them as old papers are always fascinating and looking through the aforementioned Evening News I found a story about a chase across the ice on Leg of Mutton pond where the patrolman was one Brian Alderson. Now noting the slightly different spelling of the name the question is - Bryan, is it you?

P.s. I'm trying to upload a picture but the site isn't having any of it. The story involves a Mr Gillett, a botanist from Kew who was on the ice with his son. It also features a rather fetching photo of Mr Gillett standing waist deep in the water wearing a flat cap and Fred Scuttle style glasses. Mr Gillett was also reported as having made several disobliging remarks about the park staff!

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Hi Gareth, Yes, That is me. When Richmond Park was covered with snow and we could not ride our horses we were detailed for 'Ice Patrol' for safety reasons members of the public were not allowed to go on the ice until Pen Ponds was five inches thick and the smaller ponds, like the Leg of Mutton Pond were three inches thick. Jan Bevington Gillett (A Botanist at Kew Gardens) was having non of this and used to come to the Park to skate, ignoring the Danger notices.. On the day in question my colleague and I went to Pen Ponds and there was Mr Gillett happily skating on the Leg of Mutton Pond. I called on him to come off the ice but he ignored my requests. We then went onto the ice and proceeded to chase him. It was an unfair match, as he had skates and we had our riding boots. After about fifteen or twenty minuets I decided enough was enough. In those days I was in my twenties, so I brought him down with a rugby tackle (although I have never played rugby !!!). At Richmond Magistrates Court Mr Gillett gave a long speech about the 'Liberty of the Subject' Today it would have been about his 'Human rights'. He was found guilty and fined. I read some time ago that Mr Gillett had died. I must admit he was a character. I know what you are thinking 'What harm was he doing? I remember one year the Park Superintendent declared it safe to go on the ice. We had over five hundred people on Pen Ponds. Bryan.

Yes. Mr Gillett does sound like a character! Wonder whether we will be skating this winter?

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