Richardson Evans (5 April 1846 – 10 May 1928) was a British civil servant, journalist and author.
From the 1880s onwards, Evans campaigned to limit advertising in the fields alongside railway lines, to save the view of the Thames from Richmond Hill, and similar causes. He was the principal founder in 1903 of the John Evelyn Club, now known as the Wimbledon Society, and was its secretary until 1920.
The Richardson Evans Memorial Playing Fields (REMPF) are named in his honour.
There is also a memorial plaque on Owler Tor in the Peak District stating ‘This viewpoint and 25 acres around forming part of the Longshaw Estate are given in memory of Richardson Evans 1846-1928. One who greatly loved the beauty of this world and strove by thought and deed to preserve that beauty for others that they, say build from age to age and undefined heritage.’ The quotation is from ‘The Children’s Song’ from Puck of Pook’s Hill by Rudyard Kipling, better known by its first line, ‘Land of our Birth, we pledge to thee’.
Reporting the ceremony handing over the Deeds of Longshaw to the National Trust on 27 June, the Sheffield Telegraph stated the following:
‘A part of the estate, covering 25 acres, consisting of Owler Tor, a view-point near the Hathersage Road, and surrounding Land, will always be a memorial to the late Mr Richardson Evans, a pioneer in the work of preserving natural beauty, and a founder of the Scapa Society, his widow having given £500 to the fund on condition that his name was associated with it in this way.’ (Sheffield Daily Telegraph 29 June 1931). The Scapa Society (Society for Checking the Abuses in Public Advertising) was ‘the first organized reaction against advertising’.
In October 1890 a magazine called The National Review contained an article by Richardson Evans entitled ‘The Age of Disfigurement’.
‘It took the form of a vigorous attack on the various abuses which had arisen through the indiscriminate use of posters and advertising signs which he believed ‘are efficacious very often in proportion to the annoyance they cause’.
Evans believed there should be regulation to allow local bodies to control advertising, ‘to schedule scenes of remarkable beauty or interest and to protect them from desecration by a general Act’, to tax posters and to boycott goods which were ‘offensively advertised’. (Terry Nevett http://mcs.sagepub.com/content/3/2/179.extract)
- "Papers of Richardson Evans (1846-1928), Indian Civil Service, North-Western Provinces... | The National Archives". Discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
- "Richardson Evans (1846-1928)". Wimbledonmuseum.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
- "Wimbledon Choral Society : History". Wimbledon-choral.org.uk. 2018-10-17.
- "Richardson Evans Memorial Playing Fields - Wimbledon and Putney Commons". Wpcc.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-24.