Programme of meetings to be re-arranged for 2021-22, and links to reports of recent meetings

The Society normally meets at 8 pm on the fourth Tuesday of the month.  


However, in the light of the Covid-19 crisis we had no alternative to cancelling talks arranged for 2020, which were to to have been held at The British Legion, Bennets. 

Although we hope to re-book speakers, we do not anticipate being able to resume a programme of meetings until later in 2021.

Zoom meetings were considered, but our speakers wish to talk to a live audience and members are looking forward to meeting each other.

Programme Secretary: Janet Keen

01582 760423

The chosen topics for 2020 - dates in 2021/22 to be arranged

Look out for information when the website is re-launched

"70 years On the Crest of a Wave: The History of the Harpenden Gang Show" - speaker Ewan Murra

"Discover, Protect, Innovate, Inform - 175 years of the 'Arc & Arc'" - speaker Sandy Walkington. 

"Redbourn, 70 years ago, through the Lens of Harpenden's John Heather" - presented by John & Pauline Ridgwell

"St. Albans Town Hall: The Making of a Museum and Gallery" - speaker Sarah Keeling

"Nursing: Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole" - speaker Colin Oakes 

"On and Off the Footplate" - speaker Bill Davies

Short contributions by members, and refreshments

Reports of Recent meetings and visits - click on the blue link to the report on this website. Reports are first published in our Newsletter, and then added to the website.

25 February 2020 - Welcombe: 300 years of the House and its Occupants -speaker: Rosemary Ross (John Carpenter hopes to give his paper on the building later in this year's programme

28 January 2020 - Me and My Year as Mayor of Harpenden - Speaker: Cllr David Heritage

26 November 2019 - Short contributions by MembersPeter Tomkins: Letters from Rothamsted Manor (Peter Dawson, 1946); Gavin Ross: Ronald Fisher: Harpenden's pioneering statistician and geneticist

22 October 2019 - Harpenden Common - speaker: Karen Poore (Commons & Greens Support Officer, Harpenden Town Council)

30 April 2019 - "From Fact to Film to Fiction" - speaker: Dr Jane Hawking/Hellyer Jones 

26 March 2019 - "World War 1 in the Air" speaker: David Keen. 

26 February 2019 - "Growing Arable Crops in Hertfordshire" - speaker: Jamie Burrows - Chairman of Hertfordshire NFU 

25 September: "Life and Death During World War I - "Stories of William and Leonard Fisher, Mesopotamia and The Somme"Speaker: Jonathan Sinfield

22 May 2018 "Winston S. Churchill and Frank O. Salisbury"Speaker: Nigel McMurray

24 April, AGM followed by "My 300 Years of Harpenden Ancestry - Part II : 1823 onwards"Speaker: Peter Wilson

27 February 2018: "The curious disappearance of Glenn Miller" by Tony Eaton

23 January 2018: "Salisbury Hall and the de Havilland Aircraft Company" by : Alistair Hodgson, curator of the De Havilland Aircraft Museum

28 November 2017 Members' contributions:  "St Mary's Chapel, Childwickbury" by Christine Aitken;  "How Harpenden has changed since I moved here 30 years ago" by Mary Maynard

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 Ridgwell of Redbourn Museum

26 September 2017: "Life in Another World: Electron microscopes at Rothamsted" by Roy Woods, Former Head of Electron Microscopy and Jean Devonshire, Rothamsted Research

27 June 2017 "Lawes & Gilbert :an unlikely Victorian Agricultural Partnership" by Prof. Roger Plumb, voluntary archivist, Rothamsted Research

23 May 2017: "My dream Job as a Producer with the BBC Natural History Unit - Growing up in Harpenden from 1945 to the 1970s and beyond" by Mike Salisbury, OBE

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

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

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.

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

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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

Photo:Harpenden Public Halls - the Southdown Room is on the left, and we expect to return there in January 2021

Harpenden Public Halls - the Southdown Room is on the left, and we expect to return there in January 2021

John Marlow, 2011

Bennet's, Royal British Legion Club, Leyton Road

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