2018 events.  Extra events may be added; later events subject to possible change



21st March, Wednesday


Walking the Lea Valley path

Speaker: Elizabeth Hamilton, CPRE Herts


Our lecturer comes from the Hertfordshire branch of CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England). Last year we enjoyed a talk given by her colleague Kevin Fitzgerald, who

concluded by reminding us of the importance of getting out into our ever-receding countryside. This year, besides touching occasionally on development issues, Elizabeth Hamilton takes us on a virtual walk with lots of beautiful slides to show us that lovely parts of the Hertfordshire countryside still endure, sometimes even quite close to towns. You might even be inspired to try some of this local trail yourself.



25th April, Wednesday


AGM followed by a talk and discussion by expert panel:


The future of local papers/media

Speaker: Paul Winspear, Bishop’s Stortford Independent


The editor of the Bishop’s Stortford Independent, will briefly give his views about the likely roles of old and new media in the future for towns like Hertford; this will be followed by a discussion with an expert panel, plus plenty of opportunities for the audience to join the debate.  The panel will feature three local people with expertise across a range of media: Steve Beeston, Dr Mike Howarth, and another person to be named shortly.



6th June, Wednesday


Coach outing to Sudbury in Suffolk, including introduction by Sudbury Society and tour of historic ‘make by hand’ brickyard. Opportunity to visit Gainsborough’s House museum/gallery. 


There are still a few places left. Sudbury is a wonderfully historic place. Even if you have been there before, with us you will be doing new things, only feasible if you are in a group. After an introduction to the town by a local historian from the Sudbury Society, we will also have a fascinating tour of an historic local brickyard where bricks are still being made by hand in the traditional way. They tell a great story about their survival into modern times and how they have developed an important niche through, for instance, providing the elaborately moulded bricks used in the recent renovation of Rye House. No one leaves the brickyard unmoved – and some people even contemplate how they might make use of the beautifully varied bricks themselves.  There will then be some time to do your own thing, whether visiting the shops of the equally historic silk mills, or going to the museum and gallery at Gainsborough’s House, the timberframed building where the artist was born and grew up. Or there are two of England’s thousand best parish churches to visit, as identified by Simon Jenkins, a previous chair of the National Trust.


The cost is the same as for last year, at £25. Coach leaves from outside Hertford East station behind Tesco at 8.45am, return by 6.30pm.  Book places either with Malcolm Ramsay or, after Easter, with Peter and Susan Brown - see Contact details for event bookings below.



1st July, Sunday, from 12.30pm


Summer party at Roxford, Hertingfordbury, by kind invitation of Linda and David Haysey. Tickets from Malcolm Ramsay or (from May) Peter & Susan Brown (see below).


We are fortunate to have been invited by Linda and David Haysey to hold a summer party at
Roxford near Hertingfordbury. The backdrop is a beautiful eighteenth-century house, complete
with striking modern extension, set in a lovely garden. This was the house where the composer Haydn stayed for some of the time when he visited and worked in England in the 1790s. The party planners are still working on this event, with details of entertainment to follow. Tickets will be available from members of the Committee or (from May) from Peter and Susan Brown - see Contact details for event bookings below.



1st August, Wednesday, departing Salisbury Square (by fountain) at 7pm


Blue plaques walking tour of Hertford.  Pre-booking needed with Malcolm Ramsay, preferably by email (see below).  Free to members; others, £4. Guides: Jean Riddell and Geoffrey Rice.


Hertford Civic Society and Hertford Town Council combined forces to set up, last year,
some 40 blue plaques celebrating historic locations around the town. There is an
accompanying leaflet which lists them all, available from the Tourist Information Centre,
now opposite Hertford Theatre. That leaflet does not however bring to life the how and why
of these selected places. For that, you need your own guide. Last year, Jean Riddell and Geoffrey Rice each, on the same evening, led a tour: one focusing on the Fore Street area, and the other more on St Andrew St. The event was a popular one, so we are now re-running it, with the same two guides as before. Those of you who have already done one option might like to return for whichever you missed last time. And others may like to sign up for the first time.

The arrangements for this event are necessarily different from our normal ones. The tours will
start at 7.00pm, last for around 80 or 90 minutes, and start from near the fountain in Salisbury Square. There is no fee for Civic Society members (non-members, if numbers permit, £4), but anyone who registers and does not turn up would be denying someone else a place, as the total number is limited to around 25 people, and no further re-run is planned. To register, please contact Malcolm Ramsay -  see Contact details for event bookings below.



14 November, Wednesday


Recording Hertford’s oral history

Speaker: Peter Ruffles, Oral History Group


The Oral History Group (which the Civic Society helped to bring into being) will delight us with tales of bygone Hertford as recorded by the Group and its volunteers. We will say a little more, closer to the time, not that Peter in particular needs much introduction to anyone in Hertford.



LOCATION  Lectures will take place in the hall of the Church of the Immaculate Conception and St Joseph, St John’s Street, Hertford, SG14 1RX. It is off Railway Street, near Hertford East station.  Non-members are welcome at £2.00.  To avoid possible overcrowding, non-members are requested to advise us of an intention to attend a lecture.



TIMES  Refreshments: 7.45pm. Lectures: 8.00pm. Other events are as stated above.  




We may add another event later in the year, if there is a need to hear about and discuss anything else of particular importance to us. In that case, to inform members, we use email (for those whose addresses we know), this website, and posters in the library and elsewhere.



CONTACT details for event bookings:


Malcolm Ramsay: malcolm.ramsay789@btinternet.com; tel 01992 500002 (no ansafone); Dunkirks Farmhouse Southside, Queens Rd, Hertford SG13 8BJ.


Peter & Susan Brown: studio@peterandsusanbrown.co.uk; tel 01992 589880; 40 St Andrew St, Hertford SG14 1JA.  After Easter for coach outing and garden party tickets only.




Meetings held earlier this year:


21st February 2018, Wednesday


Historical architectural gems of Hertfordshire

Speaker: Dr Lee Prosser, Curator of Historic Buildings, at the Historic Royal Palaces