24th April, Wednesday, 8 pm start

 

Brief AGM: Committee and Treasurer's Reports, Election of Officers, followed by:

 

Discussion led by panel: Hertford’s last 50 years: for better or for worse?

 

Hertford has changed a lot over the last half century, as we sometimes like to lament – or applaud. A panel of speakers with knowledge or experience of different aspects of Hertford life will give their views on the changes that have affected the town, and we will then have a more general discussion, enabling every to offer their person views. We might even take a light-hearted vote at the end. One good reason for focusing on the last half century is that the Civic Society is 50 years old in 2019, and our discussion might help us to reflect on our future, and the town’s. If anyone wants to nominate themselves or someone else for the panel, please contact Malcolm Ramsay. Catholic church hall, starting at 8 pm (refreshments from 7.45pm).  (Address: next to The Church of the Immaculate Conception and St Joseph, St John’s Street, Hertford, SG14 1RX, off Railway Street, near Hertford East station).   £2 for non-members.

 

8th May 2019, Wednesday, 9.00 am to 6.30 pm approx.

 

Essex coach trip: Templar barns, Coggeshall and winery

 

We will have an exciting outing in Essex. First we visit two of the most amazing medieval barns in Europe, at Cressing. They are like wooden cathedrals (built by the Templars), though they do need some explanation. We will have a guided tour of the barns, plus farm and walled Tudor garden. In the middle part of the day we will visit Coggeshall, one of the most delightful old villages in the County.  There are plenty of places for lunch. These include Paycocke’s House, ‘one of the most attractive half-timbered houses in England’ (Pevsner), more of which has recently been opened up; a National Trust house and garden, it comes complete with coffee shop. Aside from lunch, there should be enough time, if you like, to visit at least one historic place, perhaps Grange Barn (National Trust, you can picnic here in wet weather, joint ticket with Paycocke’s House) or the church where many Paycockes are buried.

 

We will end the day with a visit to Bardfield winery. Just outside the beautiful village of Great Bardfield (favoured by such 20th century artists as Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious), there is a winery even lovelier than Dedham Vale – complete with a Grade 1 listed Tudor barn (Anne of Cleves retired to the manor here after her marriage to Henry VIII was annulled). There will be an opportunity taste some of the wines, all organic, and quite splendid. Alternatively, cups of tea or coffee are possible.  

 

The cost is almost the same as for last year, at £26. This will cover the coach, and the guided tour of Cressing (those enjoying the wine tasting will need to pay a little more). And we will of course travel in great comfort. You can book your place by contacting Malcolm Ramsay (most people now do this by email: his contact details can be found below.

 

This year we leave Hertford in our coach at a slightly later time (9.00 am), departing from alongside Hertford East station or Tesco. And return by around 6.30 pm at the latest.

 

 

Sunday 30 June 2019, from 12.45 pm

 

Summer party, near Port Hill, Hertford

 

This is the Civic Society’s birthday bash, as we will be 50 years old. We are fortunate to have been invited back to hallowed ground on the side of Port Hill, where founder Alan Melville lived and where, lower down the hill, Jane and Harold Chaplin are our main hosts (at 39 Port Hill). We will have the run of a pair of linked gardens on a series of different levels. There is even a terrace with a seat presented to the Melvilles at the Society’s 20th anniversary. This seat rests on paving graced with delightful hand-cut lettering which reads, in conclusion, ‘Enchanting garden where the sun smiles on a hundred delicate friendships’. Perhaps that says it all, though there will also be an eco-house under construction, which we may be able to inspect. And there will of course be some music, given we will be the guests of a very musical household. Plentiful free parking just over the road at Hartham.

 

The tickets will be priced at £10 providing that they are purchased more than two days in advance (thereafter £12.50, and no admission without a pre-reserved ticket). They will be available from Malcolm Ramsay and other committee members or (from May) from Peter and Susan Brown, who have kindly agreed to go on taking bookings  at 40 St Andrew St.  They can be phoned (01992 589880) or emailed: studio@peterandsusanbrown.co.uk

 

 

 

20 November 2019, Wednesday, 8 pm start

 

Achieving the best contemporary architecture in and around East Herts,

 

Andrew Goodman, local architect

 

Andrew has a strong interest in sustainable design. In Hertford, his recent projects in the public eye include the foyer extension to Hertford Methodist Church in Ware Road and the St Andrew’s Centre for the church of that name. He will talk about leading examples of contemporary architecture locally, and about some of the difficulties faced by architects in this area, in creating good modern buildings.   

 

  

 

FURTHER EVENTS  We hope to have another event towards the end of 2019 (or, failing that, in early 2020), focusing on Bircherley Green. It would be good to hear about the progress of this huge development. Assuming this event takes place, we will use email (for those whose addresses we know) and flyers in the library and other public places, to inform everybody.

 

 

 

MEETINGS IN 2009 which have already taken place

 

16th January 2019

 

A414 strategy – bypass for Hertford? - talk then discussion

 

Derrick Ashley, County Councillor, Executive Member for Environment, Planning & Transport

 

The County Council was consulting on a potential Hertford bypass until 25 February 2019. It was looking at this option as part of a wider strategy to upgrade the capacity of the A414, with a southern route as the preferred option.  The issue of whether or not to have this bypass is still a ‘live’ one among decision-makers, and Councillor Ashley was keen to hear how people in Hertford respond to this proposal - the meeting was open to the public. A report of the meeting, and the views of the committee, can be found elsewhere on this site..

 

 6th March 2019

 

Portrait of a Hertford marriage: the Cowpers at the Castle

 

Clare Gittings, historian

 

This talk with slides was based on the extensive diaries that Sarah, Lady Cowper, kept in the early eighteenth century. The voices that emerge, often raised in argument, are recognisably all too human. Our lecturer is Clare Gittings, who gives talks to a wide range of local groups. 

 

 

CONTACTS

 

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

 

For just the Summer Party, from May onwards: Peter and Susan Brown:

studio@peterandsusanbrown.co.uk; tel 01992 589880; 40 St Andrew St, Hertford SG14 1JA