Books for sale

Check out our Publications page for some bargains on Local History books…

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Berkhamsted’s parish church 800th History Talks

Berkhamsted’s parish church is 800 years old. Here lies all the history of Berkhamsted. St Peter’s was the government of our town, it oversaw our births, marriages and deaths and the myriad events since the birth of the town. And it is our future.

In May, as part of the celebrations, there will be an exhibition and three talks of particular interest to Berkhamsted historians. These have been arranged in cooperation between St Peter’s and Berkhamsted Local History & Museum Society and you are very welcome to come to see the show and hear our four distinguished and knowledgeable speakers. The exhibition will be in St Peter’s Church throughout May and the talks will be in St Peter’s at 8pm

Tuesday 3rd May Talk 1. The History of Berkhamsted -speaker  Julian Hunt

Tuesday 10th May Talk 2. The History of St Peter’s Church – speaker Dr Christopher Green

Tuesday 17th May Talk 3. Berkhamsted in the Next 100 Years – speaker Peter Matthews

More information here

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BLH&MS talks

Change to programme – next two talks will be…
16 Feb 2022

The history of allotments
Kate Harwood
[This talk will be via Zoom to members]

Just months before the outbreak of WWI, George Loosley wrote of Fulks and Osborn, two 90-year-olds:
They both cultivate their own garden, and the latter has an allotment which he also attends to. Two years ago, his son laughingly told me he asked his dad if he should dig up his potatoes for him. “No,” he said, “you’d leave half of ’em in the ground,” which goes to prove that the old man did his ground thoroughly. (Bucks Herald, 28 Feb 1914).

Jubilee Hazel Coppice at edge of Sunnyside Allotments

16 Mar 2022
Family & Estates of Berkhamsted
Tony Statham, BLH&MS Member
(this talk preceded by AGM)

The Dorrien family
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BLH&MS talk: House Histories

19 Jan 2022
House Histories
Carol Fulton

Due to the Omicron variant, this talk will be via Zoom to members.

Title deeds
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Steaming Through the Chilterns – and Thereabouts

(Review by Humphrey Gillott – Retired Railway Mission Chaplain).

If you are one of those people who loves to get lost in a book, then this is one of those books in which you can do just that. Steaming Through the Chilterns is the second book from the Casserley stable, following on from Steaming Through Berkhamsted, published in 2017, which Mary Casserley compiled with her late father, Richard Casserley. This time Mary teams up with Railway Enthusiast Robert Freeman, a fellow Berkhamsted resident. The photographs were taken by Mary’s grandfather and famous railway photographer, H.C. Casserley.

Mary Casserley @ £22

The photographs start in Berkhamsted area, then, moving from west to east, range around Princes Risborough and the branches; Moor Park to Quainton Road, including the Chesham Branch; Watford Junction and St. Albans Abbey; returning to Berkhamsted for some dramatic snow scenes and then to St. Albans City, before moving to Welwyn and Potters Bar on the East Coast Main Line from Kings Cross.

Lastly, on page 110, “In absolutely stonking good condition, with a finish rarely seen even in the preservation era”, as Rob describes it, is a photograph of BR Standard “Britannia” Pacific 70004 “William Shakespeare” passing H.C.C’s house in Berkhamsted, being hauled on her way to London for the Festival of Britain, in 1951.

So, from deep winter snow to hot summer sunshine, Rob Freeman has selected some of H.C. Casserley’s wonderful legacy of railway photographs for us to enjoy and to see what used to be.

Available at £22. Published February 2021 by Goose Publishing.
ISBN 978-0-9543838-3-1
Available at http://www.marycasserley.com

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For Them’s Return

For Them’s Return: Northchurch Folk Who Survived the First World War, by Richard North, tells the story of the servicemen and women who went off to war between 1914 and 1918 and returned.

Amazon @ £10.99 & £16.99

It follows on from the earlier book, For Them’s Sake: Northchurch Folk Through Two World War by Richard North and Ray Smith, which told the stories of the men named on the Northchurch War memorials.

Using material from numerous archives, newspaper reports from the time and information supplied to the servicemen’s families, this book relates the stories of those who went off to war but who seldom spoke of their experiences on their return. It covers those living in the Northchurch Electoral Parish which at the time included Northchurch village and the eastern part of Berkhamsted as far as Bourne End and Potten End.

For Them’s Return (2021) published by New Generation Publishing
Hardback (£16.99, ISBN 978-1-80369-090-2)
Paperback (£10.99, ISBN 978-1-80369-089-6)
Available online from Waterstones.co.uk and Amazon.co.uk

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Celebrating Armistice Day

Click here to get your copies of WWI books from EBay

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BLH&MS talk

BLH&MS talk…
Policing – Berkhamsted before the Police, by
Elaine Saunders.

The meeting begins at at 8pm on Wed 20 Oct 2021 in the Wellcome Great Hall, Town Hall, Berkhamsted. Visitors are always welcome @ £3 at the door.

There will be a one-way system in and out of the Town Hall – enter at the front and leave by the back. Hand sanitisers will be available for use. Members should wear face masks until they are seated.

Berkhamsted’s first Bridewell, 1764…

Berkhamsted’s first Bridewell, 1764
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Dead Space to Living Place

Berkhamsted’s once-neglected cemetery wins Green Flag Community Award 

Rectory Lane Cemetery in Berkhamsted has been awarded a Green Flag Community Award, after a huge volunteer-led restoration project. 

Rectory Lane Cemetery is a free public space, open to all, every day: off the High Street Berkhamsted, HP4 2HQ. Click here for more information.

Rectory Lane public art event

For decades, this Victorian cemetery was an overgrown and forgotten space, its memorials damaged, and its old avenues buried from sight. Now, it has achieved the international mark of quality for green parks and spaces. 

The transformation came about through a Heritage Lottery Funded scheme initiated by the Friends of St Peter’s Church Berkhamsted. It has involved the work of over a hundred volunteers, artists, landscape architects, stone masons and conservationists.  

The result is a beautiful, safe and accessible green haven in the heart of the town.

“We wanted to preserve the 19thcentury features of the site – its precious monuments, and trees, and arch-ways,” says Project Manager James Moir. “But we also wanted to make the cemetery a welcoming place for the local community to come for their physical and mental well-being. The Green Flag judges commended us for giving visitors a meaningful experience and this is of huge importance to us.”

The cemetery contains a new garden of remembrance, scenic accessible pathways and seats for families and friends to meet, and a zone dedicated to wildlife study and education. 

The cemetery also provides a fascinating insight into local history: a team of volunteer genealogists are researching the stories of those who came to rest in the grounds, and offer support to individuals, from across the globe, who are searching for the memorials of family members. 

“The cemetery has become much loved by the people of this town, and its future is a bright one,” says Community Engagement Officer Kate Campbell. “It has also shown itself to be a unique venue for events. We’ve had choirs and poets perform here, school trips, yoga and tai chi classes, nature workshops on everything from bees to compost. We really encourage people to get in touch with us if they would like to hold their event in this beautiful setting. And more importantly, with the Green Flag recognition, we hope that even more members of the community will continue to be inspired to use this place for peace of mind and body.”  The Green Flag Award judge summed up: “This is an exceptionally well thought through, designed and executed community Cemetery restoration that sets a high bar for community engagement and activities.  At the heart is a small team … who are to be congratulated and celebrated for their achievement.”

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Enjoy the Berkhamsted display of old food gadgets!

The mini-display of vintage food gadgets, organised by the Society, opens at The Open Door, Berkhamsted on Tuesday 7th Sept to the 18th.

Try guessing what each item does!  (Before flipping the page for the answers).

Fun and interesting for all  –  including children (and grandchildren)  –   to see a different world.

Dating mainly before the age of electricity, and pre-dating the invention of the food-processor, the hand-cranked 20 items are on exhibition as part of this years Edible England theme of the Heritage Open Days 2021.

Enjoy also the other exhibits on display at The Open Door as part of their Food Glorious Food! event.

Where? The Open Door Community Space, 360 High St, Berkhamsted HP41HU (west end of the town, towards Tring).

When?  7th – 18th Sept 2021, Mondays to Saturdays, 10:30 to 3:30 pm.

Cost?  FREE

Organised by?  The Berkhamsted Local History and Museum Society

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