Category Archives: meeting

Antoinette and the Chamber – Networking Event in Kingston

Another networking breakfast event with Kingston Chamber of Commerce. At the Antoinette Hotel in Kingston, they’re always fun and you meet some really interesting people, as you can see below. I take my camera and they’re too polite to tell me to bugger off. Well, usually!

“Every picture tells a story, make sure it’s the right one!”
Trevor Aston Photography and Video is based in Teddington, Richmond upon Thames in southwest London close Kingston, Twickenham and Surrey.

Business Networking in St. Mary’s University – photography

Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill House, artistic licence moving the River Thames onto the back lawn!

St.Mary’s University is just up the road from where I live. It specialises to sport science and many of their students are themselves athletes. Part of their campus is in Strawberry Hill House, Britain’s finest example of Georgian Gothic Revival architecture, Strawberry Hill House was designed and created as a Gothic fantasy between 1747 and 1792 by Horace Walpole, historian, writer, collector and son of Britain’s first Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole.


The University leased most of the dilapidated old mansion to a trust for renovation some years ago. After £9,000,000 of work the beautiful building was opened to the public in 2010. But the university kept a few beautiful rooms for their own use, known as the Waldegrave Suite. When the Head of the School of Sport Health and Applied Science, Prof. John Brewer spoke to a Chamber of Commerce, he used the hall and it’s features to illustrate just how far, high and fast ‘elite’ athletes hop, skip and jump. St.Mary’s students did incredibly well in the Rio Olympics. Prof Brewer explained very proudly that, had the University been a country, it would have been 25th on the medal table, with 3 golds, a silver and a bronze.


Police Chief Superintendent Parm Sandhu, Borough Commander of Richmond, spoke at the meeting. Parm is currently one of the highest-ranking Asian women in policing in the UK. She is also the first in the history of the Met Police to hold the position of a Borough Commander.


Prof. John Brewer, Head of the School of Sport Health and Applied Science


Members of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce

Thalidomiders – People to Look Up To

It can be truly uplifting when you spend time with people who have to overcome real challenges every day. I spent an afternoon with people damaged by the drug Thalidomide, they call themselves Thalidomiders. It’s not just that your own problems get put in perspective, but something more profound in the spirit and character that these people, have had to find in themselves. My afternoon with the Thalidomide Society was inspirational. Not a word I have cause to use very often.

The Society held it’s AGM in the morning with talks scheduled for the afternoon. I was engaged to photograph the afternoon talks and in particular Heidi Thomas, the Series Producer and writer of BBC TV’s ‘Call the Midwife’ with Stephen McGann, who plays Dr Patrick Turner. The series reached 1961 and tackled the still scandalous issue of Thalidomide damage to unborn babies.  The programme has been commended for it’s sensitive handling and powerful storyline. It seemed to me that Heidi and Stephen we’re glad to have the opportunity of explaining how and why they’d done it, and their audience – people who had and were still struggling – seemed enthralled. Most moving was seeing their reaction to baby Susan, the specially-made animatronic baby with vestigial arms.  Several people wept as they held her, one lady telling me that for the first time she could imagine how her mother must have felt when she was born, and her mother first held her.

It’s not known for sure how many babies were affected by thalidomide. Many miscarried, were still born or died soon after birth. Recently it’s been estimated that over 24,000 babies were born worldwide, 2000 in the UK. Experts estimate that those babies still-born and miscarried because of thalidomide would add a further 123,000 worldwide. Most horrific is the suggestion that these figures would be still greater if they included those babies born alive who became victims of state infanticide. These were never registered.


Trevor Aston Photography is based in Teddington, Richmond upon Thames in southwest London with easy access to and from central London and Surrey.