We have a very varied programme for 2014. The subjects for our lectures range over aspects of our medieval past, our local environment, and art in public spaces.
We have again been lucky enough to be offered another beautiful garden as a venue for our Summer Party and can also look forward to an interesting day out in the Garden of England.
We will, of course, also be discussing the further development of the Local Plan, so get out your diaries and make sure you don’t miss out on any of our events.
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.
Rediscover Hertford Priory
In the words of our first speaker, Chris Holdys, we "Re-lived Hertford’s glorious past", as we explored the site of the long-lost Hertford Priory. We also learned about the life of a Benedictine Monk and the subsequent story of the Priory Fields.
To bring to life the importance of Hertford Priory for the town in the Middle Ages, Chris Holdys has created a wonderful 3D scale model of the priory, which he showed us at the meeting. The priory was in the same area of Hertford as the Roman Catholic church and its hall in which we meet.
Debate on the District Plan
With the District Plan starting its three months of consultation in mid February, this event provided a special opportunity for members to learn about and engage in discussion and debate about the District Plan, particularly the proposals for additional housing in and around Hertford.
We already know that areas to the west of Hertford are being suggested for hundreds of new houses.
What though, do we think of these ideas?
A full report on this meeting will hopefully feature in a future newsletter.
AGM - followed by "What's Happening at Panshanger"
After the formal business of the AGM, Richard Threlfall, who is involved on behalf of the Society with the Friends of Panshanger, gave a talk about ongoing efforts to ensure that it becomes the accessible Country Park that has long been promised and for which we have waited so long. Indeed, progress is already being made, as we were to hear ...
Visit to Faversham - Kent
We enjoyed a fabulous visit to Faversham, as pretty and as historic a place as any, in Kent.
Sir Nicholas Pevsner talks fondly of Faversham as “one of the most rewarding towns in the county”, commending it especially for its many delightful details.
Anyone who watched ‘Southcliffe’ on Channel 4 in the autumn of 2013 is likely to have developed a taste for the place. The key pub - the Shipwright’s Arms in real life – is well worth a visit.
We started off with a full walking tour, arranged for us through the local civic society, which is a very flourishing concern. Faversham was recommended to us in 2014 by one of our regulars: many thanks, Sally Miles. There was an abbey and other churches of interest, besides an historic creek and port area, and a well known brewery (Shepherd Neame). Something for everyone, including a delightful market square fringed with cafes.
We are very grateful to Linda and Jeremy Secker for providing such an interesting and beautiful setting for this year’s garden party, held at Amores in Hertingfordbury.
Despite being surrounded by roads on all sides, this garden feels secluded and quiet, bounded as it is by high fences and tall trees. At one time it had an elaborate and detailed design typical of the C19 when gardening labour was cheaply available, but the present owners have simplified this into something more manageable. Nevertheless, it retains much variety and interest with its range of trees and other planting, shady paths, maze and a collection of historic moulded bricks and garden sculpture.
Once again, Serendipity provided excellent catering and we enjoyed a musical interlude when cellist Oliver Gray played part of Hayden’s Cello Concerto in C and Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro, an uplifting complement to a summer evening in a beautiful garden.
The Has-Beane? The disappearing River Beane
Dave Stimpson, Chairman of the River Beane Preservation Association, will talk about the plight of perhaps the most endangered of Hertford’s four rivers.
Once a revered trout stream, the World Wildlife Fund now sees this precious chalk stream as endangered.
Dave Stimpson will outline efforts to save the Beane.
Commemorating A. R. Wallace: the value of public art commissions
Our final speaker is Rodney Munday, the local sculptor who won the recent competition to create a sculpture of Wallace, destined for an exterior wall of Hertford Theatre.
He will initially reflect on different ways of commissioning of the arts, before talking about his own preferred approach, and how this has helped him in making successful sculpture for different settings around the world.
In case anyone needs a reminder, Wallace, who grew up in Hertford, was, alongside Darwin, a key figure in articulating the concept of evolution.
The sculpture competition was a joint initiative of Hertford Civic Society and East Herts Council, with additional financial support from the Town Council.