We have a very varied programme for 2015.
Unless otherwise stated meetings take place in the Hall of the Church of the Immaculate Conception and St Joseph, St John’s Street, Hertford and usually start at 8 pm with refreshments from 7:45 pm
Non members are welcome on payment of £2.00.
For any queries and bookings, please CONTACT Malcolm Ramsay.
Pubs and their Place
Les Middlewood, pubs expert and Vice Chairman of the local CAMRA group, will be taking us on a virtual pub crawl. It will embrace pubs past, present and future, with a little technical assistance beforehand and on the night from Joe Saunders.
How come we have an apparently ever-diminishing collection of pubs in Hertford?
How have our pubs been changing? What happens next?
This should be fun, I can say confidently, even without actually entering any licensed premises.
AGM - followed by "How to Look after your Old Master"
After the formal business of the AGM, local architect and founding secretary of HCS David Kirby will give us a light-hearted talk.
It’s not about looking after a retired school teacher, but takes us into an elevated realm of art history.
While most of us do not try things like this at home, David did once, for some years, take charge of a baroque painting – the identity of the artist will be revealed at the AGM.
Visit to Rochester
If you’ve never been to Rochester, perhaps you should think of it as a Durham of the South. There’s a huge Norman castle and a lovely Romanesque cathedral nestling side by side just off the High Street. Various ancient houses have links with Charles Dickens or helped to inspire settings in his novels. Nikolaus Pevsner in the relevant volume of his definitive ‘Buildings of England’ series devotes almost 30 pages to the place (by comparison, Hertford and Hertingfordbury together get only 10 pages).
A highly successful visit by this society in 2014 to another historic place in Kent, in that case to Faversham, prompted more than one member to suggest Rochester for 2015.
Rochester has an active civic society, which is keen to show us round in the morning, leaving us free to make individual decisions for the afternoon. At £25 a head for coach and tour, the cost is actually slightly less than it was last year, partly reflecting a shorter journey time, hopefully not too much over an hour.
Courtesy of Fay and Geoffrey Thornton, our annual summer party will be at Whitacre, at the top of Port Hill in Bengeo, with splendid views out over Hertford. Price £15.
As there is no parking near the house, it will be necessary to use the public car park at Hartham or on-street parking in Port Vale, where there is a pedestrian entrance to Whitacre (in addition to that at the top of Port Hill), starting from the lodge house close to the barrier across the road.
Crime & Punishment Walk
Elizabeth Eastwood, an excellent local tour guide, will take us round the last remains or the sites of courts, prisons and other places concerned with offending over the centuries in Hertford, such as the stocks. She will also be retelling the stories of some of the more famous or notorious crimes or cases connected with these locations, like that of the ‘flying highwayman’.
She occasionally does similar tours on behalf of the Town Council, but this walk will be exclusively for members of Hertford Civic Society.
All the arrangements are necessarily different from our normal ones. The tour will start from Salisbury Square by the fountain at 7.00 pm. It will last around 90 minutes, with probably a brief pause at some point.
As numbers are limited to 20 you are strongly advised to pre-book with Malcolm Ramsay. There is no fee payable by Civic Society members (non-members £4 if numbers permit),
Hertford and its landscape:
A look at the development of the town with particular reference to maps, plans and illustrations from the 17th and 18th centuries
Our final speaker is Anne Rowe, well known locally as President of the East Herts Archaeological Society.
Anne is also a widely-published author on local landscapes and is familiar to some of you as a lively WEA lecturer. While her talk has a historical theme, it also carries extra resonances at a time when East Herts Council is updating its plans for the district.