WADIHS

Watford & District Industrial History Society

LECTURE PROGRAMME FOR 2009 - 2010

17 September 2009

THE FLYING BOATS OF SOUTHAMPTON 
This talk by Colin van Geffen recalls the Golden Years of the commercial flying boat era, when Southampton and its Empire flying boats - 'Ships of the Sky' - led the world. The talk covers the history from the beginnings in 1913 to the swansong in the 1950s and later.

15 October 2009

TRANSPORT BY CANAL 
Once again Allan Willmott will delve into his extensive film archives and come up with films of life on the canals when they were in their heyday. The programme will include "Transport by Canal" and "There Went the Boats - in Britain".

The Lecture will be preceded by the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING and will therefore start at the earlier time of 7:30 PM.

19 November 2009

LORD NUFFIELD AND MORRIS MOTORS 
Terry Pontin was a Morris Motors apprentice in the 1950s and later a representative for the BMC Service Division. The talk covers early the life of William Morris, later Lord Nuffield, the growth of the firm into The Nuffield Organisation, the merger with Austin, his marriage to Elizabeth Anstey and their home, Nuffield Place. Morris is remembered for his generous benefactions and this will be covered. The cars produced and the men he appointed to make it all happen will also be dealt with. 

17 December 2009

THE CRAFT OF THE COOPER and our SOCIAL EVENING
The Cooper is the craftsman who constructs staved vessels and in particular casks. Coopering has been one of our most vital, fascinating and deep-rooted traditional skills. This presentation by Richard Filmergraphically examines the "mystery" and history of the industry, looking at various branches of the trade, from the brewer's cooper through to the wine and spirit industry, together with domestic cooperage and many other aspects of this intriguing craft, including tools, techniques and materials.
The talk will be followed by our annual informal get-together when we let our hair down and indulge in a wild orgy of coffee and nibbles. 

21 January 2010

THE HISTORY OF PRINTING 
This talk by Andrew Gunton charts the invention of writing, the alphabet, papermaking and then printing. Hertfordshire played a part in this story, with a rich local history of papermaking and printing, linked to the advent of canals and later the railways, supported by the local engineering industry. The talk then focuses on Hubert von Herkomer, a Victorian artist who worked for many years in Bushey. Herkomer is known as a successful oil painter artist - but he was also a master of many other techniques, and in particular his patented Herkomergravure.

18 February 2010

ROBERT STEPHENSON: THE RAILWAY BUILDING YEARS 
Following the first talk by Dr.Michael Bailey in his series on the life of Robert Stephenson, this second talk describes Stephenson's railway building career between 1833 and 1843. Starting with the building of the first trunk railway between London and Birmingham which came through Watford, the talk will describe his other early railways, the successful outcome of which led to Stephenson becoming the country's leading and most respected engineer with his office in Westminster, where he was consulted by Parliament and business alike.

18 March 2010

THE IRON INDUSTRY OF THE WEALD 
Iron was made in the Weald of Sussex, Kent and Surrey from pre-Roman times until the early 19th century. During the Roman occupation and, later, in the Tudor and early Stuart period the region was the principal source of iron in the kingdom. This talk illustrated talk by Jeremy Hodgkinson, for 24 years Chairman of the Wealden Iron Research Group and author of a recent book on the subject, will describe the raw materials, technology and historical development of the industry.