The Council of The Chelsea Society elected Dr. James Thompson to be its twelfth Chairman, as from 21st November 2016.
Dr. Thompson is an Honorary senior lecturer in psychology at London University, and has lived in Chelsea since 1982. He has been a member of The Chelsea Society since 1983.
He was drawn to Chelsea by the architecture, individual shops, mews houses, bohemian crowds, music, history, river views along the Embankment, and the exciting mix of cultural past and vivid quirky present. Within a year of moving to Chelsea he opposed a major planning application in his street, and since then has been Chairman of his local Residents’ Association in the streets between the Physic Garden and the Royal Hospital.
In 2006 James led the “Save Sloane Square campaign, and since 2011 has chaired the King’s Road Association of Chelsea Residents (KRACR) – campaigning particularly against large basement developments. He will retire from that Chairmanship in February 2017.
James holds membership card no. 20 at the Chelsea Physic Garden, and would have had an even lower number if he had responded more promptly to the first-ever membership application, hand-delivered by the Garden Curator to nearby streets in 1983.
James taught psychology and held clinics at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, later University College London Medical School. His first job was as a researcher on brain-damaged children. He was clinical psychologist at Guy’s Hospital Medical School, and later at the Institute of Psychiatry. He continues to publish academic papers.
He was depicted as a character in a play at the Royal Court, as a psychologist explaining the motivations of terrorists!