Hampton uprising

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    MARCH 18, 2016 Established 1873rttimes.co.uk 55p

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    One is not amused: Kevin Clay and, below, Queen Victoria

    Molesey residents are campaign-ing against Hampton Court Pal-aces decision to overturn a cen-turies-old order that will now permanently close free public ac-cess to the royal gardens.

    As of last weekend, only Historic Royal Palace members will be able to access the historic East Front Gardens, which were previously free to non-members during the winter months.

    But now residents are outraged that the palace has decided to end an order by Queen Victoria that has been in place since 1838, where according to the palaces website, she ordered it be thrown open to all her subjects without restric-tion.

    The palace had reportedly told residents that the gardens would stay open until the end of March, but were unexpectedly closed on March 1.

    Kevin Clay, 45, of Wolsey Road, is part of a health and wellbeing walking group run by Elmbridge council and Macmillan Cancer that holds monthly walks in the palace grounds.

    After the group was turned away from the gates last weekend, Mr Clay started a change.org cam-paign on Tuesday against the deci-sion, which gained more than 650 signatures overnight.

    He said: Theyve decided this

    Jessica Pemberton, commenting on the online petition, said: Im signing because we should all have the right to the gardens and they should be open free for all to go and not just for the select few who can afford, its disgusting! As a local we put up with many disruptions from palace events and we should get something back, my childhood was spent running round these gardens, the poor children of the future whos parents now wont bother if it costs to get in!

    Paul Gray, palace director at His-toric Royal Palaces, said: From 2016, we will be asking visitors to show a valid ticket or membership card in order to access the Formal Gardens on the East and South Fronts, a policy which is already in operation for most of the year.

    However, the vast majority of our 800 acre estate will remain free for local people to enjoy through-out the year, including Home Park, the newly-restored Royal Kitchen

    Garden, the Wilderness and the three-mile Barge Walk between Hampton Court and Kingston

    Bridges.It almost feels like Tudor

    times, like I have to go to the king himself and he will be like off with his head.

    To see the petition, visit change.org/p/hampton-court-hrp-org-uk-hamp-ton-court-palace-gar-dens-no-to-permanent-closure-of-free-access-

    during-winter.

    individual Historic Royal Palaces membership.

    He said: Theyre really rolling in it. Its just take, take, take and never give anything back. At the end of the day, theyre still stabbing us in the back. Theyre trying to do it quietly. Were not going down with-out a fight.

    Theres no need to do this. Its just ridiculous that you cant go to your local palace, its absolute-ly absurd. Its got to remain open.

    Uprising over palace chargeBy Rachel Dickersonrachel.dickerson@london.newsquest.co.uk

    Outrage as Queen Victorias order for free entry to gardens halted

    year that this will be the last time. Its important to stress, people need this for their wellbeing. The grounds have always been open be-cause for nearly two hundred years the grounds open during the win-ter months. The Government is go-ing on about health, that were be-coming fat. Theyre turning away the fact that people can gain health and wellbeing from these gardens.

    The palace caused absolute mayhem with the flower show and yet theyve never done anything for the local community.

    Mr Clay also said the palace in-tends to remove its Garden Only tickets, which will force people to pay upwards of 38 a year for an