An author who lives in Richmond has shared how he became inspired to write a story about the life of music, drugs, and cultural revolution of teenagers in the sixties.

Andrew Humphreys, 55, was born in the northwest of England, but decided to move further south and found himself gravitating towards to Richmond.

Andrew’s book, Raving Upon Thames, is an untold story about teenagers in Richmond through the sixties, who lived through local music legends and had their first taste of freedom.

Andrew added: “I talked to over 90 people who lived as teenagers in the 1960s.

“They always said to me, ‘if you were a teenager in the 1960s you’ve won the jackpot, and if you were a teenager living in Richmond in the 1960s, then you’ve won the rollover’ “It was the best place to be and some of the people I spoke with are still around now.”

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Andrew says he spoke with “musicians, promoters and fans” who partied at the clubs in the sixties and had a “great deal of information” to work from.

The story talks about the possibilities Richmond had to offer, and why it compared to the likes of Chelsea, Mayfair, and Soho.

Andrew said: “The book plays tribute to icons we all know today.

“The Rolling Stones were the local Richmond band - they didn’t come from Richmond, but they made their name here.

“If you lived in Richmond or Twickenham in 1963, then you had the possibility to see the Rolling Stones 70 or 80 times in six months.

“In Richmond, the Crawdaddy Club was to the Rolling Stones what the Cavern was to the Beatles.”

“As the sixties progress, you have so many artists who visited Eel Pie Island in Richmond– including a young Rod Stewart and a young David Bowie.”

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Although Andrew lived out his youth in the eighties, he found the history of Richmond “extremely interesting” because it had never been told before.

He explained: “What interested me most when discovering this story, was that this was a story that hadn’t been told.

“I am a Journalist myself and knew this story was worth telling.”

Andrew said he started doing interviews over five years ago and dedicated a lot of his time to transcribing people’s story.

He added: “When Covid hit, I became a freelance Journalist.

“Work became dry, and I started to transcribe my notes and wrote the majority of the book through Covid.

“The hardest part about writing the book was to finish.

“There was so much material, I could have kept going and going, as there was always another person to talk to.

“I stopped interviewing at 96 people, but there were at least 20 more on the list.”

After living in Soho for a few years, and working as a Journalist in London, Andrew and his wife moved to Richmond for a lifestyle of “peace and quiet”.

He and his wife have now lived in Richmond for over 12 years.

Andrew said: “We moved to what we thought would be peaceful by the river, with parks and animals - which it is, and it is beautiful.

“But what I didn’t realise, was the rock n roll heritage that people have forgotten about.”

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“From 1963 to 1971, Richmond rivalled Soho and Chelsea for being one of the most happening places in London - regarding music, youth culture, drugs and all the swing in London.

“It is something that is completely forgotten, and no one talks about this history of Richmond.

“This was when I realised the story of Richmond has never been told before.”

Raving Upon Thames intends to show readers the freedom, opportunities and promises teenagers were given in the sixties.

Andrew said: “This period was so important for people and was a highlight of their lives.

“It was when teenagers were recognised as teenagers, because before that you were a child then an adult.

“For five or six years the world seemed like a different place and the music was at the forefront of that.

“This was once a bohemian place and I wanted to bring that back to life “Richmond and Twickenham were at the heart of this cultural revolution.”

Andrew’s riveting book, Raving upon Thames, is available to buy in local bookstores and

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