About The Society


We live in a time of truly historic events. The Society, along with the Abbots Langley Local History Society, is supporting our colleagues in the Three Rivers Museum in capturing as wide a perspective as possible of how the COVID-19 lockdown is affecting the daily lives of all of us.

You’ll find more detail shortly in a Blog post on this website. But we hope people will be able immediately to simply record, in any way you like, what you see and feel around you. It can be in a diary; on sheets of paper; in an audio file recorded on your smart phone; or as a collection of the official, and less official, letters, flyers and leaflets that the crisis has generated, as well as other artefacts that might have acquired a special meaning. Anything will contribute – what important is to capture it now, while it’s still fresh in the mind.

Every TRDC Councillor, and many others, have been informed of this initiative, and we hope that a reasonable number of local people from across Three Rivers District will take part – you can do so from further away if you like! We hope you’ll describe the ‘highs and lows’ of this period of such uncertainty and, for many, personal loss and sadness. You can take photos of things and scenes that mean something special to you – anything that helps describe for posterity, for all who come after us, how it was in this community, and indeed further afield.

What happens next? The first thing is to keep track. Later in the summer, depending how things pan out, the Museum will ask people to pass in their material – things, recordings, diaries. But only if they wish to do so – some of what’s collected will be deeply personal, and may well be for keeping only in their own family. What’s passed in will be recorded and sorted – then, with the contributor’s permission, some may be offered to (for example) Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies or the British Library, some will form the basis of a public display, exhibition or book, and some will simply be kept on record in the Museum for later research.

Whatever people choose to record and how they do it, we are in a real ‘key moment of history’, and we hope to be able to present later ‘how it was for us’. It doesn’t happen often.


Due to the current situation, the committee of the Society has decided to cancel the meetings scheduled for 9 April, 14 May and 11 June.  If possible, meetings will recommence in September, but that will depend on government advice nearer the time.

The 2020 AGM, which would have been held prior to the meeting on 11 June, has therefore also been postponed.  If possible, this will be rescheduled for Thursday 12 November.

We hope to publish Issue 21 of the Rickmansworth Historical Review in June as planned and to distribute it either by hand or by post.   In the same envelope we will include the accounts and annual reports for 2019.

We’ll keep members informed in the usual way, and the public through this website.

Welcome to our website nonetheless !

The Rickmansworth Historical Society was founded in 1954 on the initiative of Godfrey Cornwall, its first Chairman.

We have been greatly saddened by the death of Mrs Barbara Owen MBE, whose many roles in Rickmansworth included being Chairman of the Three Rivers Museum Trust for many years. Our member Alison Wall has prepared a tribute to her – see the recent Post on our blog.  

We’re taking part in the Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020 – you can see the official launch video here!V4 square green

Our interests embrace the history of the “old parish area” of Rickmansworth which includes Chorleywood, West Hyde, Mill End, Croxley Green, Loudwater, Batchworth and Eastbury as well as the town of Rickmansworth.

We publish the Rickmansworth Historical Review three times a year, and welcome articles on topics of both local and wider interest.

We meet at 8pm on the second Thursday of the month from September to June inclusive in the Cloisters Hall, The Cloisters, WD3 1HL, opposite St Joan of Arc School in Rickmansworth High Street, and we have a number of events during the year. We welcome visitors to our talks and meetings – the fee to visitors is £3, payable at the door, with no need to book!

The Committee meets about four times a year to conduct business and plan the programme.


The annual subscription is £10 for individual membership, £15 for family membership and corporate membership. Apply for membership by contacting the Membership Secretary, using the ‘Contact Us’ page.
Payment is due on 1st September to the Membership Secretary.


The website promotes the Society’s meetings, activities and publications, and the ongoing research of members or local people even if not members (although we hope you’ll all join). It will also promote other local history publications, and the work of relevant societies and organisations not necessarily local to us.

So we intend an increasing number of articles and items about the story of Rickmansworth. We will also be developing our Blog, which will allow short items to be posted. You can contribute by ‘commenting’ on a ‘post’ or a page, or by submitting an article for publication, after appropriate review.

We do not intend an extensive gallery of images and photographs, although articles will often be illustrated. Those will be found on the Three Rivers Museum website, and on the Social Media posts of a number of local residents.

2 thoughts on “About The Society

  1. I reckon there were only two – the Rickmansworth Picture House (12 March 1927 – 22 June 1963), which became part of the Essoldo empire in 1954; and the Odeon (Jan 1936 – Jan 1957) (see Anthony Walker, ‘Walkers of Ricky’, pp.145-153). Other may know otherwise, and will no doubt say so!

    The Rickmansworth Electric Picture House (confusingly, not the same as the Rickmansworth Picture House!) was licensed in 1906 for plays and for cinema in 1911, but when the Picture House was built in 1927 the license wasn’t renewed and it was wound up in 1929 (see Adrienne and Christopher Jacques, ‘Rickmansworth – a pictorial history’, image 51, and Tony Walker, ‘Walkers of Ricky’, pp.148-149).

    There were some other proposals (for example in Mill End) in the early years of the 20th century, and some may even have shown pictures, but none seem to have survived long, and the Picture House certainly filled a gap by providing a ‘modern’ cinema in the 20s, 30s and 40s, and into the 1950s.


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