Update: April 5th --
Thank you for the support you have shown in recent months since the announcement of the closure of the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall. On March 18th a public meeting was convened by the Twickenham MP to allow residents both to ask questions of the MOD regarding the sale and also to allow them to air their views on the proposal.
Even in light of the many thousands of signatories to various petitions - we were able to submit a further 2,800 at the meeting itself - all firmly opposed to the closure, it would appear that the MOD is viewing this as a done deal.
It was abundantly clear from the fact that the minister failed to attend (instead sending a civil servant in his place), that he has little or no interest in listening to the views of the public.
However this is not a fight which the Lib Dems councillors in Richmond intend to walk away from. We will continue to oppose this in the council chamber and our colleagues across the political spectrum will be making the case in the Palace of Westminster, both in the Commons and The Lords.
By signing below, as more details emerge we will keep you fully up to date with all developments
Published: January 19th --
The first Kneller Hall, built between 1635 and 1646 was the fourth largest house in Twickenham. In 1857 the present house transferred to the War Department which opened it as the Military School of Music. The School was founded by His Royal Highness Field Marshal the Duke of Cambridge, soon after his appointment as Commander in Chief in 1857.
Over 150 years later Kneller Hall, a Grade II listed building, still houses the Royal Military School of Music which trains musicians for the British Army’s 22 military bands. It is also home to the school's Museum of Army Music and the local Police Cadets use the facilities as well.
Almost exactly a year ago the Ministry of Defence (MoD) claimed it had no plans to dispose of the landmark mansion.
The government has just confirmed it will sell Whitton's Kneller Hall to provide the land in support of the their ambition to build 160,000 homes by 2020.
There is no mention of what will happen to the Royal Military School of Music or the Museum of Army Music.
The role of the Headquarters is to give direction and professional advice on Army music matters and develop and sustain the ethos of Army musicians.
-- Petition --
We, the undersigned, wish to register our utter dismay at the MOD proposal to dispose of the Grade II listed Kneller Hall and grounds for development. We urge the government to reconsider, and retain the 150-year tradition of army music in Whitton.