WADIHS

Watford & District Industrial History Society

LECTURE PROGRAMME FOR 2013 - 2014

19 September 2013

2000 YEARS OF COMMERCE IN BATH AND ITS HINTERLAND 
Bath is a city often dismissed as having little industrial heritage. However, as Stuart Burroughs, curator of the museum of 'Bath at Work' will tell us, the Bath region has a wealth of physical remains of commercial and industrial development from coal, stone and mineral extraction to heavy engineering, printing, and food processing, along with the tourism industry - one of the oldest activities in the area.

17 October 2013

THE RICKMANSWORTH WATERWAYS TRUST AND THE NB ROGER 
Fabian Hiscock is responsible for the RWT's conservation of the historic working narrowboat 'Roger'. Built of wood in 1936 and rebuilt by the Trust from 1997 to 2001, 'Roger' is a fine example of the sort of boat powered by the diesel engine in which millions of tons of goods of all sorts were carried on the canals, between about 1910 and 1970. Fabian will use 'Roger' as an example of wooden boat construction, maintenance and conservation and will also talk about the other heritage education work of the Trust. 

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

21 November 2013

THE MAGIC OF THE MAIL - THE STORY OF THE GPO 
Our film evening with Allan Willmott. A programme of four films: 'Thirty Million Letters', 'After the Arrow', 'The Code-it Story' and 'Men of Letters', made to celebrate 350 years of service. All colour films, and we will surely have a fascinating evening. 

19 December 2013

THE CONCORDE STORY and our SOCIAL EVENING
This evening's presentation is given by Captain Chris Orlebar, a former British Concorde pilot with British Airways. The presentation will be illustrated with PowerPoint slides and will cover the history of the difficulties in achieving supersonic flight, how the designers overcame them, and how the pilots coped with an aircraft which was a little out of the ordinary. 

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.

16 January 2014

THE BUILDING OF ST. PANCRAS STATION 
St. Pancras was a 14-year old Christian boy who was martyred in Rome in AD 304 by the Emperor Diocletian. In Britain he is better known as a railway station. This talk by Nigel Lowey describes how the fantastic mid Victorian raiiway cathedral came to be built and how this long-neglected building has recently undergone a breathtaking transformation. 

20 February 2014

ROBERT STEPHENSON : WIDER HORIZONS 
This is the conclusion of the quartet of talks by Dr. Michael Bailey about Robert Stephenson's life and career. After the 'mania' years of the 1840s Stephenson took on little additional railway work in Great Britain, but completed the construction of the Chester-Holyhead Railway. He became consulting engineer to several overseas railways, including those in Europe, Egypt, Canada and India. As the country's most senior engineer, he was appointed a Royal Commissioner to the 1851 Great Exhibition, and consultant on water provision, sewerage disposal and land drainage. 

20 March 2014

HORSELESS CARRIAGE TO HELICOPTER : A SHORT HISTORY OF WESTLAND AIRCRAFT LTD. AND THE HELICOPTER 
Brothers Ernest and Perceval Petter had a company in Somerset that made freestanding oil engines but in 1915 turned to building aircraft for the Admiralty to aid the war effort. Jeremy Graham will trace the development of this Company to the present day to the merger with long-term partner Agusta SpA. The origin of the modern rotorcraft will be covered together with an insight into the aerodynamic challenges that typify the use of the edgewise rotating wing.