Registered Charity No:1053276

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Programme of speakers:

Speaker Programme

Six times a year, on Wednesday evenings at 8 pm, Members are treated to an hour’s talk on an aspect of local history.  These are informal gatherings, and are usually accompanied by a slide show to illustrate the Talk.

Tea, coffee and biscuits are available from 7:30 pm and there is an opportunity to look at any materials brought by the Speaker more closely.


From Wednesday 19 July 2017, the venue will be the High Street Baptist Church. The main Tring car parks are close.

Visitors will be welcome on payment of £4 per meeting.

Wed 18 January 2017                      Two Georgian country houses in the Chilterns

at Tring Parish Hall                        Adam Smith

Adam Smith is a lecturer specialising in architectural history and the history of the English country house and estate. His talk will look at two contrasting country houses: classical West Wycombe Park, the creation of the notorious Sir Francis Dashwood, and Ashridge, the Gothic palace built in the early 19th century by the Earl of Bridgewater.  

Wed 15 March 2017                          The Devil’s Own in Berkhamsted and villages around

at Tring Parish Hall                         Brian and Richard Shepherd

Brian and Richard Shepherd (father and son) were volunteer members of the project team led by Norman Groves to clear, survey and map the last remaining practice trenches on Berkhamsted Common dug by the Inns of Court Officers Training Corps between 1914 and 1918. This was part of the Chilterns Commons Project of the Chilterns Conservation Board "reconnecting people with their commons". The focus will be on the social history of the Great War when Berkhamsted became a garrison town, home to 2,500 soldiers when its pre-war population was only 7,500. The talk illuminates the huge impact on the town and surrounding area with a unique collection of contemporary images by James Newman, a local professional photographer, and other memorabilia.

Thurs 18 May 2017                           AGM

at Tring Parish Hall                         Pitstone Museum – what on Earth is that?

                                                                 Dennis Trebble

Dennis Trebble is the secretary of the Pitstone and Ivinghoe Museum Society, which runs the museum at the Pitstone Heritage Park. This contains a large number of artefacts from all aspects of rural life, a 1940s room, engines of all shapes and sizes, farm machinery and many other fascinating items, including a Lancaster bomber cockpit. Dennis will tell the story of how all this came about.  


Wed 19 July 2017                              The work of the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust

at High Street Baptist Church      Kate Harwood

The HGT is one of 36 individual county-based gardens trusts across England and Wales. Founded in 1991, the Trust researches and records our nearly 300 historic gardens, publishing the results as books, leaflets and reports. Using this information the HGT works with planners, Historic England, The Gardens Trust and others to protect these sites, from which much of our national and local history can be discovered.  Kate Harwood is a former university lecturer in garden history and Conservation & Planning Officer of the HGT. She writes and lectures across the country and has been involved in work to restore Tring Park, Bushey Rose Garden, Hemel Jellicoe Water Gardens and others.

Wed 20 September 2017                 The Railway comes to Tring   

at High Street Baptist Church      Ian Petticrew

Why is Tring station so far from Tring? Ian Petticrew is a local historian and joint author, with Wendy Austin, of several books, including one on this subject. His talk will cover the engineers, selection of the route, the Act of Parliament, construction contracts, illustrations of the line under construction, stations, locomotives and early timetables.

Wed 15 November 2017                   The More – Cardinal Wolsey’s lost palace at Rickmansworth

at High Street Baptist Church      Heather Falvey

During the 1520s Cardinal Wolsey greatly extended the brick-built castle of The More at Rickmansworth.  After his fall from grace it became a royal palace, but by the 1590s it was in ruins.  This illustrated talk discusses the importance of the house in its heyday and why there are now no standing remains. Heather Falvey has a PhD in History from the University of Warwick, the focus of her thesis being enclosure riots in the 1640s. She teaches local and social history in the Departments of Continuing Education at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford, and is Chairman of the Rickmansworth Historical Society.


Wed 17 January 2018                       Rothschild money moving a mountain - Waddesdon’s

at High Street Baptist Church       gardens between 1874 and 1922

                                                                  Catherine Taylor

Catherine Taylor has been the Head Archivist at Waddesdon Manor since February 2012 and enjoys her job which is varied, interesting and challenging. She qualified as an archivist in 2000 and prior to working at Waddesdon worked for the West Yorkshire Archive Service. The Rothschild family and their history at Waddesdon is a fascinating topic and Catherine will be talking about the creation of Waddesdon Manor and gardens by Baron Ferdinand. Ferdinand bought the Waddesdon estate in 1874 and held his first house party in 1880, but the process of getting there was neither easy nor cheap. Catherine uses Ferdinand’s own words and extracts from the Waddesdon Archives to tell this story.

Wed 21 March 2018                           Hertfordshire Policing History – from inception to today

at High Street Baptist Church       Nik Pringle

Nik Pringle will describe the 175 years of the Hertfordshire Constabulary, in a nutshell, including the history of the St. Albans City Police from inception to absorption by the County Force, and the story of the County's two notorious & incorrigible poaching rogues, the Fox twins. Nik joined the Hertfordshire Constabulary in 1980 and, together with Jim Treversh, wrote 150 years of Policing in Watford District & Hertfordshire County to celebrate the Force's 150th anniversary. A founder member of the Herts Police Historical Society & now Vice-Chairman, Nik retired after 30 years’ service in 2010 only to be sworn in as a Special Constable just 48 hours later. Currently he is Special Inspector in charge of Dacorum.

Wed 16 May 2018                               Champneys – carrot juice or starvation?

at High Street Baptist Church       Richard Tregoning

After the AGM Richard Tregoning will outline the many different treatments given at this famous health spa over its 90 years, together with a brief look at the owners before 1925, including the period when it was the property of the Rothschilds. He is the Chairman of the Wigginton History Society.

*The meeting on Thurs 18 May 2017 will be held at 8 pm in the Tring Parish Hall (behind the Church of St Peter and St Paul, High Street).

All other meetings will be held at 8 pm in the High Street Baptist Church, Tring.

Visitors will be welcome on payment of £4 per meeting.