Richard Hatchwell was an antiquarian and bibliophile. He was a great supporter of Athelstan Museum and before he died he arranged, with the support of his family, that his Malmesbury collection should come to the museum.
He was born in 1927 in Malmesbury and educated at Dean Close, Cheltenham. He left school early to enlist in the Navy; after being demobbed in 1947 he went into the antique book trade. In 1952 his father died and he moved back to Malmesbury to help his mother with the family antique shop. Gradually books replaced furniture but after 8 years he and his growing family moved to Little Somerfield and he ran the businesses from there. Richard had an enormous and wide ranging knowledge of books and local history – all self taught. He was adviser to the Wiltshire Museum at Devizes on their collection of Wiltshire images. Stonehenge was a passion of his and he had a most comprehensive of paintings and images.
He was a warm and courteous man, a pleasure to be with. Athelstan Museum was honoured that he felt we would be a fit recipient of his beloved collection.