WADIHS

Watford & District Industrial History Society

LECTURE PROGRAMME FOR 2012 - 2013

20 September 2012

CAMDEN'S RAILWAY HERITAGE 
Camden Town in the 19th century became an important interchange for road, canal and railway, fostering rapid growth and a strong industrial base. The Regent's Canal and the London & Birmingham Railway together with its successors have left a rich structural heritage above and below ground, including the Roundhouse, Stephenson's Stationary Winding Engine Vaults and Stables Yard. Peter Darley, founder of Camden Railway Heritage Trust, takes us on a journey of exploration, information, illustration and celebration of the remarkable and little known features of Camden Goods Depot, Camden Incline, and associated heritage.

18 October 2012

ANY OLD IRON: THE BUTLIN FURNACES AT WELLINGBOROUGH 
This talk by Jon-Paul Carr, will look at how the Butlin family developed from being farm owners to become agricultural engineers and ironmakers. It will explore how they took the lead on the iron industry in Northamptonshire after seeing an iron ore sample at the Great Exhibition in 1851 and how they went on to establish the first Victorian iron ore furnaces in Northamptonshire at Wellingborough. 

The Lecture will be preceded by the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING and will therefore start at the earlier time of 19:30.

15 November 2012

WIND AND WATER POWER - YESTERDAY AND TODAY 
Our film evening with Allan Willmott. A programme of three films: 'Turn to the Wind'- old English windmills and the need for their preservation; 'Water Power', here and in the USA; and 'Harness the Wind' - experiments in wind-power generation. 

20 December 2012

HISTORY OF THE ELSTREE FILM STUDIOS and our SOCIAL EVENING
In 1914 the first silent film studio in Borehamwood opened, marking the start of what became known asthe Hollywood of England. Six more studios followed and by the 1980s six of the top ten grossing films world-wide had been produced here. Since the 1950s television productions have used these same talents. All but two of these dream factories have been lost, but the BBC Elstree Centre and Elstree Studios continue to be active. Bob Redman looks forward to sharing some tales of the ups and downs of film and TV-making in the studios of Elstree and Borehamwood. 

The talk will be followed by our annual informal get-together where the coffee flows like water and we feed ourselves on a veritable cornucopia of nibbles.

17 January 2013

THE HISTORY OF LONDON'S DOCKS 
This talk by Jeremy Batch tells the story of the rise and fall of London's Docks - the East India, West India, London, the Royal Docks, the Surrey Docks, etc. It also covers some of the other history of theLondon River: Alfred and the Danes, the first locks, the East India Company, the Jamestown expedition, and the Blitz. 

21 February 2013

The R-R Merlin Engine & The WWII Planes it Powered 
This talk, by WADIHS member Colin Gent, will describe winning the Schneider Trophy which led to the development of the Merlin and the Spitfire. Significant performance enhancements were achieved during the War and the Merlin became the most prolifically manufactured, the most widely used and perhaps the best piston aero engine of WWII. 

21 March 2013

THE LYNTON & BARNSTAPLE RAILWAY 
The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway was opened in 1898 and was closed for economic reasons by the Southern Railway in 1935. A narrow-gauge line, it had a lot to cope with on its 19 mile journey through the beautiful hills and valleys of Exmoor but even in its short life it captured the hearts of the locals and of all railway lovers. Chris Ward tells the story of this line, now under restoration - 1 mile of track rebuilt and 18 more miles to go. In 2011 it carried over 30,000 passengers on steam hauled trains.