Meetings

Photo:Harpenden Public Halls - the Southdown Room is on the left

Harpenden Public Halls - the Southdown Room is on the left

John Marlow, 2011

Programme of meetings for 2017, and links to reports of recent meetings

The Society normally meets at 8 pm on the fourth Tuesday of the month in the Southdown Room of Harpenden Public Halls. Please check the programme and posters for any changes to this.

There is ample parking at the rear of the Halls.

The next meeting is on:

25 April 2017: AGM

followed by The Amy Coburn Lecture

"Treasures of the Hertfordshire Archives"

Speaker: Diane Hodgson - Archivist at Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies 

Photo:Saxon Charter of 1060 -

Saxon Charter of 1060 -

HALS

The oldest document in the Hertfordshire Record Office is the Charter of 1060 recording when Edward the Confessor gave his beloved manor of Wheathampstead (which encompassed Harpenden) to the Abbey of Westminster. Our recorded history starts here! Diane will also introduce us to many other treasures in the County archives.

Diane writes: "This talk introduces the work of Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies, the name since 1997 of the joint service of the county records office and county local studies library, and also looks a examples from the principle groups of records.

"We begin with a look at how new records are taken into our care and stored, before moving on to look our oldest document, the Wheathampstead Charter of 1060 (illustrated above), and then reviewing examples from each of the major groups of historic records, namely,  Official, Diocesan, Private and Manorial.

"Highlights include Julian Grenfell’s World War I diary, cut short when he lost his life in May 1915, the Ware burial register of 1665 listing the extraordinary number of plague deaths in that year and a charter from Henry VIII, dated 1545, granting land to a faithful member of his inner circle.

"The talk concludes with a review of our local studies holdings, which support and extend interpretation of the historic records."

This is our first public commemoration of Amy Coburn, a founder member of the Harpenden & District Local History Society who spent many, many hours extracting information from these archives.

Visitors are welcome at our meetings which are free of charge (but donations of £3 are gratefully accepted!).  There is a book and information stall.

Programme Secretary: Margaret Pratt

Tel: 01582 713107; email: margaret_pratt2@hotmail.com


The programme for 2017 

23 May 2017: "My dream Job at the BBC Natural History Unit" - Speaker: Mike Salisbury, OBE

27 June 2017: "Lawes & Gilbert : an Unlikely Victorian Agricultural Partnership" (2017 is the 200th anniversary of Gilbert’s birth) - Speaker: 
Prof. Roger Plumb

26 September 2017:  "Life in Another World" - Speaker: Roy Woods, Former Head of Electron Microscopy at Rothamsted

24 October 2017: "Remembering the Coronation, 1953" - Speaker John Seabrook, followed by films ‘Harpenden Carnival, 1953’ and
‘Coronation Revels on Redbourn Common’ shown by Pauline and John Ridgewell

28 November 2017 Short Papers by Members and refreshments


Reports of Recent meetings and visits

21 March 2017: "The Impeachment of Francis Bacon, 1621" by Simon Healy, History of Parliament Trust

28 February 2017: "The Flora of Harpenden" by Professor Ian Denholm

17 January 2017 : "Gorhambury through the Ages - 1777 to 2017" by Viscountess Grimston

22 November 2016: "The role of maritime literature in history" by Julian Parker OBE

25 October 2016 : Short contributions by members - "Marianne Sherman's Dance Manuscripts : a Glimpse into gentry life in Harpenden at the time of Jane Austen" - Rosemary Ross and Alison Macfarlane; "A Harpenden Connection to the Sinking of HMS Royal Oak at Scapa Flow" Margaret Pratt; "The Festival of Britain" Dr Brian Ray

20 September 2016: " Living on the Common : a landscape history of Harpenden" by Anne Rowe

4 September 2016 Visit to the Shuttleworth collection

28 June 2016: "The Clinton-Baker Pinetum - a surprising  Heritage Site in Hertfordshire" by Dr Edward Eastwood, Curator

24 May 2016:   "Sex, crime, punishment & philanthropy : everyday stories from the life of Sir John Bennet Lawes as revealed by his diaries" by Dr John Jenkyn (Rothamsted Archivist)

26 April 2016:  "F. H. Crittall - Metal windows and modernism" by Adam Smith

16 April 2016: Visit to Medieval Churches in North Bedfordshire

22 March 2016: "Harpenden, Batford and the Danelaw boundary, including an archaeological survey of Batford Farm", by Alexander Thomas, PhD student in Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Bristol 

23 February 2016: "Being prepared in Harpenden & Hertfordshire: a selective history of our Scouts"  by Dr Richard Harrington

26 January 2016: "Before the developers got at it: Harpenden, 1945 - 1960", by John Seabrook 

24 November: Members' Evening - short talks on Mike Westmacott, the other Harpenden Everest Hero; Pat Wilson and the WEA Class of the 1970s; The Harpenden Sign; Diseases in Victorian times.

27 October: "The Great War: Rothamsted's Contributionby Professor Roger Plumb - the link is to a report of a similar talk by Roger Plumb.

22 September: "Time flies at Old Warden - history of the Shuttleworth Collection" by Debbie Lang

23 June 2015 "The spy who is buried in St Nicholas churchyard - comments on the Dreyfus affair" by Dr John Versey. Follow the links to pages about Esterhazy 

26 May 2015 "The Dirty Diggers - The story of South Harpenden Allotment Society (SHAGS)" by Richard White

April 28 2015: "Recording people's memories - The Smallford Project" by Sarah Lloyd and Jeff Lewis

March 31 2015: "Dr Griffith Pugh and the Everest Story : the man who made it possible" by Harriet Tuckey

24 February 2015:  "Historic Churches in Herts & Beds, with local examples", by  Meric Jenkins

January 27 2015:  "The Rothamsted Insect Survey, a National Asset with a local history", by Dr Richard Harrington

25 November 2014: "From Tiller Girl to Vermont Girl", by Sheila Parker; followed by a selection of slides of Old Harpenden from the Society's archives.

28 October 2014 : “Front Line Kent – Coastal Defences of the Kent Coast" by Peter Webster

23 September 2014 :  "Cottage Style, 1780 onwards - Hertfordshire and beyond" by Dr Sarah Lloyd (University of Hertforddshire)

24 June 2014 :  “Luton’s Market and Fairs” by John Newbury

27 May 2014 :  “The Nickey Line” by David Abernethy

29 April 2014 : “Dr Edward Wilson, Captain Scott’s Confidante and Friend” by Dr Isobel Williams

1 April 2014 : “Framing St Albans - pictures in the Collection of St Albans City Museum”   Catherine Newley  (curator of the post-medieval collections)

25 February 2014: “A Personal Contribution to the History of Harpenden - My Father Charles Hill” by Susan Fairbairn

28 January 2014: “Luton Hoo Estate”by Len Fowler

26 November 2013:  "Films of Old Harpenden” made by John Heather in the 1940s and 1950s and presented by Pauline Ridgewell of Redbourn Village Museum. 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013  "The Stained Glass of Frank O. Salisbury"   by Nigel McMurray, biographer of Frank Salisbury

24 September 2013 "From Pint Pot to Coffee Pot - Breweries and the Temperance Movement in St Albans"  by Jon Mein

25 June: "Delving into Harpenden Shops"  by Geoff Woodward

28 May 2013    “The Coin Hoard from St Albans"  by David Thorold

23 April 2013        “Bells, Bells, Bells”  by Amy Coburn - (the link is to an article already published on the website).

26 March 2013      "Water Colours in the Harpenden & District Local History Society Collection”  by Patricia Yates - many of these can be seen in our Picture Gallery.

26 February 2013 “The Second Battle of St Albans” by Peter Burley and Harvey Watson.

29 January 2013    "The History of Elmfield School, from its beginning as a Sanatorium, about 1910, through until the 1970s"      by Judy Hamblin and Margaret Hewitt

30 October 2012: "Frank Salisbury: Harpenden's Portrait painter"  by Nigel McMurray

25 September 2012: "Batford Springs Nature Reserve" by Oliver Randall

26 June 2012 : "From Arkwright to Mayor"  by Michael Weaver

29 May 2012 : "Wittewronge connections in the seventeenth century" by Roger Plumb

24 April 2012 "Geology and landscape of Hertfordshire" by John Catt (preceded by AGM)

3 April 2012: "Looking at Theodora - her life and times”by Amy Coburn

28 February 2012: "The First Battle of St Albans, 1455by Peter Burley and Harvey Watson

31st January 2012 : "My ancestor made swords in 1685" by Tony Scott

25 October 2011 : "The College of Arms" by John Tunesi

27 September 2011 : "Hertfordshire and the English Civil War" by Dr Alan Thompson

28 June 2011 : "Luton Hoo - Past, Present and Future" by Zena Dickinson

24 May 2011 : "The History of Childwickbury" by Christine Aitken

26 April 2011 :  AGM, followed by "Hertfordshire Maps over 300 years" by Alan Ruston

29 March 2011 : "St Albans and the Peasants' Revolt" by Revd P Wadsworth

22 February 2011 : "The Time Team at Norman Cross" by Paul Chamberlain

8 February 2011 : "Building the St Albans By-pass (now 50 years old" by Peter Fellis

This page was added by David Hinton on 30/11/2010.
Comments about this page

There is a portrait by Frank Salisbury in the Senior Common Room of Queen Mary, University of London, on the Mile End Road (E1 4NS). It came from Westfield College. The identity of the sitter is uncertain, but he is wearing municipal robes. Canterbury Cathedral has a FS painting of the visit of King George VI and Queen Elisabeth to the Cathedral for the Thanksgiving Service at the end of WW2.

By D.A.Preece
On 19/10/2012

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