Celebrating Humphry Repton Conference


Ashridge House
Friday 10th and Saturday 11th August 2018

A two- day conference based at Ashridge, Hertfordshire to cast new light on the life and works of Humphry Repton and consider his legacy in landscape design. The programme comprises a series of lectures on the first day followed by a tour of the gardens at Ashridge. The second day takes a similar format with a series of lectures in the morning followed in the afternoon by a tour of Woburn Abbey gardens led by Gardens Manager Martin Towsey. The conference will finish after the tour of Woburn.
More details and booking here

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University of Hertfordshire Oral History Showcase

UH Oral History Showcase

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See in the Spring at Luton Hoo Walled Garden!

Luto Hoo Garden

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Berkhamsted Heritage Hub wins National Lottery support!




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HALS Community Archives Network Day

Commmunity Archives Network Day at Hemel

All welcome, a light lunch is included with the ticket.

How to Book: Visit the HALS website or call 0300 123 4047 (ask for Local Studies)

This is a day both for those new to the world of community archives, as well those who are already involved.

The day begins with a introduction to HALS’ approach to community archives, this will be followed by three case-studies of current community archive projects taking place across the county.

Speakers will include:

  • Judy Faraday from the John Lewis Partnership Centre who will be talking about the Trewins Memorystore website
  • Jeff Lewis from the Smallford Station and Alban Way Heritage Project
  • Helen Hofton from the Pirton Local History Group and website
  • Bob Redman who will be talking about the “All Change” project celebrating 150 years of the Elstree and Borehamwood railway station
  • Anne Murphy from the University of Hertfordshire will also be delivering a talk on ‘Memories Matter: collecting and preserving oral histories’.

After lunch there will be an opportunity to hear about the creative resources available at Hemel Hempstead Library in the newly refurbished CreatorSpace which includes access to a 3D printer, digital cutters, design software and other creative resources for hire to help with projects. There will also be an introduction to Data Protection and Freedom of Information and how this can impact historical research and storage of information by our Archivist Gary Moyle.

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Grasp the Nettle

A new play with music performed by contralto Lucy Stevens and pianist Elizabeth Marcus at the Old Town Hall Arts Centre, Hemel Hempstead on 3 Mar 2018 at 8pm.

Dame Ethel Smyth, the composer, writer and suffragette, was the living embodiment of the courage and passion with which Victorian women challenged the ‘male machine’. As an activist, she was imprisoned in Holloway Prison with Mrs Pankhurst. As a composer, she wrote the anthem for the suffrage movement ‘The March of the Women’ as well as six operas and many chamber, orchestral, and vocal works. As an author she published ten books.

Grasp the Nettle

Ethel Smyth: Grasp The Nettle weaves her music, songs and greatest opera, ‘The Wreckers’, with her battle for an equal voice. It is Illuminated with anecdotes from her confidants, her letters and her own writing “…which is peculiarly beautiful and all of it rippling with life” (Maurice Baring).

In 1902 Ethel Smyth was the first female composer to have an opera performed at Covent Garden and, in 1903, she was the first female composer to have an opera performed at The Metropolitan Opera House in New York. The next opera by a female composer to be performed at Covent Garden was in 2012 and at The Met in 2016.

George Bernard Shaw wrote to her “Magnificent! It was your music that cured me forever of the old delusion that women could not do men’s work in art and other things … Your music is more masculine than Handel’s. You scorned sugar and sentimentality and were exuberantly ferocious. You booted Elgar contemptuously out of the way as an old woman.”

Professional contralto and actress, Lucy Stevens presents Ethel Smyth: Grasp the Nettle to coincide with and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, the decisive step in the political emancipation of women in the UK getting the vote.

More information here

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Bryan Donkin, Victorian engineer

Bryan Donkin

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Two new books

Flyer_WWI books

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Royal Residents of Berkhamsted Palace

The next Society winter talk will take place at 8:00pm on 18 Oct 2017 in the Wellcome Great Hall, Town Hall, Berkhamsted. Visitors are always welcome @ £3 at the door.

Castle_Edward Ashdown

Berkhamsted Castle by Edward Ashdown

This time it’s local military historian and National Trust guide John Waller on “Royal Residents of Berkhamsted Palace”, the Royal Kings, Queens and Princes who have lived in Berkhamsted.

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Hertfordshire Carol Workshop

Carol workshop

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