We’re back! Not yet in person, sadly, but like many other Societies and organisations we’re able to move on line. Not everyone has that privilege, of course – but if you can read this you can probably join in, and very welcome you’ll be.
Members will get the invitation automatically – well, from the Chairman, anyway – a few days beforehand. Non-members can ask to be invited as well – please use the ‘contact form‘ to ask – or, even better, to apply for membership!
Talks will be summarised in Rickmansworth Historical Review.
The planned talks:
10 September 2020 (on line)
The 5 Acre Chartists Kate Harwood
Frustrated by the ‘Great’ Reform Act of 1832 failing to extend the vote to all working men, Feargus O’Connor decided instead to set up a scheme whereby the working man could achieve enough money to fulfil the criterion for being eligible to vote. This he did by setting up the Land Colonies, the first at Herringsgate Farm, renamed O’Connorville. This talk will look at the rise and fall of O’Connor’s scheme, its forerunners and its legacy.
8 October 2020 (on line)
The parishioners of St Mary’s before the Reformation Dr Heather Falvey
Just over 200 wills of Rickmansworth parishioners survive dating from 1417 to 1539. When put together the details that they contain provide glimpses of the medieval parish, of its members and of St Mary’s church itself.
Our chairman will present an important but not well known period in he life of the parish, some of whose families were to be prominent in the area for many years.
12 November 2020 (on line)
Smoke, Steam and Soot David Burnell
David gave us a terrific talk last year on the Art of the Underground, following which a group of us were able to visit the LUL art collection at Acton.
This time, he’ll go underground properly. This talk will recall, by way of contemporary accounts, the building of the world’s first underground railway. The experience of travelling on the steam powered underground was not without its hazards and these are recounted largely through the writings of those who ventured through what The London Times described as ‘tunnels with sewer drippings in London’s foul subsoil’.
Lovely. But sounds great!
10 December 2020 (on line)
Lord Ebury’s railway Chris Hillier
This is the postponed Rickmansworth Week lecture from May 2020.
Chris Hillier will recount the story of the short-lived railway opened in the 1860s that ran from Rickmansworth to Watford. If all had gone to plan Rickmansworth might have had a broad gauge station as well as a standard gauge one.
14 January 2021
The history of Hertfordshire’s Police Andy Wiseman
11 February 2021
Paradise by way Kensal Green Trevor Spinage
11 March 2021
Beacons of the Past – investigating a prehistoric Chilterns landscape Wendy Morrison
8 April 2021
‘Sights most strange’: tourists in medieval and early modern London John Clark
13 May 2021 Rickmansworth Week Lecture
Croxley Postcards David Loose
10 June 2021 67th Annual General Meeting, then
The slave owners of West Hertfordshire Brian Thomson