Kingston RPM; Records, People and Music has launched at the Rose Theatre, with an exhibition ‘To Make A Record’ celebrating Kingston’s rich and fascinating musical heritage.
The interactive exhibition, based on the oral histories of local residents, immerses visitors in Kingston’s varied musical past, dating from the second World War all the way to the 1970s. The exhibition will run through the International Youth Arts Festival and continue until 9th September.
The town was not only home to many successful musicians such as Eric Clapton, but was also visited by the likes of iconic performers such as David Bowie and Lou Reed. Toby Jug – a celebrated pub in Tolworth – is best known for the launch of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust tour in 1972. The Decca Records factory in New Malden employed a generation of Kingstonians and created its own local culture.
Robin Hutchinson, chair of Creative Youth, the charity delivering the Kingston RPM project, described the importance of these records being kept, ‘because it’s amazing how fragile memory is.’ People with musical memories of Kingston are being encouraged share them as notes on blank vinyl records, at the exhibition itself.
Kingston RPM has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council, Royal Borough of Kingston and Kingston Music Service. Further music heritage events are scheduled, including a day of free live music on 8th July, as part of the International Youth Arts Festival.