Watford & District Industrial History Society



COVID-19. Note: due to the uncertainties of what may be permitted, meetings may take place at Queens School (8pm), via Zoom internet, or be postponed. As much warning as possible will be provided on the website scrolling banner and by email to registered members.


"A Computer called Leo"

Arthur Cunningham.  How a legendary British catering firm Joe Lyons, went from teacakes to computers, becoming a technological pioneer. Meeting via Zoom.


"The Construction of the HS2 Chiltern Tunnel"

David McCann.  At just over 19kms long it stretches from Maple cross to Gt. Missenden. Including five vent shafts, it is a major civil engineering project of national importance.

OCTOBER 15 7.30pm "I K Brunel and the GWR":  The Graham Neale Memorial lecture.

Colin Gent.  All of Brunel's extraordinary expertise, skill and energy were fully employed in planning, designing and overcoming the many civil engineering challenges of this outstanding achievement.

The meeting will be preceded by the AGM, hence the earlier start time of 7.30pm.
NOVEMBER 19 Film Evening

Frank Banfield presents a selection from his wide collection of historic films on many aspects of industry and transport.


"An Underground Guide to 1950’s London"

Nick Dobson. A Tube Time-Train back to London of the 1950's to discover a decade during which wartime austerity gave way to growing optimism. This fully illustrated talk will reveal a city quite different from today's London but also one more vibrant and colourful than we might think or remember.

Meeting followed by traditional Christmas nibbles and jollification

JANUARY 21 2021

"Lord Ebury’s Railway"

Chris Hillier. Although the railway was only a short-lived enterprise, the story of this line that ran from Rickmansworth to Watford is fascinating and full of local interest.


"On a Wing and a Prayer- The British Imperial Airship Scheme 1924-30"

Rudi Newman. Rudi returns to talk about an iconic form of inter-war aviation, the airship. Although it ended with the 1937 Hindenburg Disaster, he will talk about the British programme based in Bedfordshire that intended to connect the farthest reaches of the Empire with a fleet of luxurious craft – the R100 and R101


"A History of Hydraulic Fluid Power"

Steve Skinner. A light-hearted ramble through the history of hydraulic fluid power from its birth at the end of the 18th century up to the modern day. The talk includes numerous animated illustrations, including such topics as the raising of the Britannia Bridge, the launch of Brunel's Great Eastern, the first hydraulic excavator and the virtual reality ship which could accommodate 700 passengers.