Abbots Langley Local History Society

Winter Programme 2022-2023



Talks are free for ALLHS members; visitors  are welcome for a suggested donation of £2.

Manor House Sports & Social Centre Gallows Hill Lane, Abbots Langley WD5 0DD
Bar and Refreshments

Please read the conditions for attending the hall in order to comply with Abbots Langley Parish Council requirements for use of their facility.

Map and directions


For the time being, we plan to continue simultaneously broadcasting talks by Zoom. This facility is available to ALLHS members who will be invited by email to the Zoom talks.

To become a member, please email for an application form. The membership year runs from 1 June and is currently £10 per year for single membership and £15 per year for family membership.


Talks start at 8pm - Zoom meetings open at 7.45pm (*AGM starts at 7.30pm).

Click on a talk title (or the + sign) for more details of the talk.

Monday 26th September 2022

This could also be titled Nelson’s Navy or Russell Crowe’s Navy. The Royal Navy was a potent weapon in the fight against Napoleon and has been immortalised in works of fiction. With Ioan Gruffudd in the central role, C.S. Forester’s Hornblower stories have been brought to the television screen. In the cinema, Captain Jack Aubrey (played by Russell Crowe) has fought the French around the coast of South America, in Master and Commander.

What exactly was the role of the press gang? Was the sailor’s food really that bad? What ships were available to the Royal Navy?

This presentation looks at the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, examining the officers, seamen, food, weapons and ships that played a major role in thwarting Napoleon’s ambitions, examining the fact behind the fiction.

Paul is a retired Government Scientist who worked on viral vaccines and blood products. He has a life-long interest in the Napoleonic era, writing and lecturing extensively on the subject, with a specialist interest in prisoners of war of the period.

He is Editor-in-Chief of the Napoleon Series website, a major research source for all aspects of the Napoleonic period.

Paul Chamberlain
Monday 31st October 2022

In 2006, two Russian Intelligence agents flew into London from Moscow. Their mission had one objective, to kill Ex KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko. This presentation looks at his life and death and the attempts to assassinate him. We examine the deadly poison, Polonium 210 and the reasons why a vengeful President finally said enough. We draw attention to the conclusions of the public enquiry set up after his death and we ask if his family will ever find proper justice.

Paul Barwick is a retired Police Officer of 34 years’ service with a career background in the national intelligence and security arena. He now owns and run an espionage themed walking tour company in Central London focused on spy tours of the Capital and his visual presentation enterprise has grown from the Covid-19 restrictions on tourism.

Paul Barwick
Monday 28th November 2022

To follow.

Ed Coan
Monday 12th December 2022

To follow.

Mike Ruff
Monday 30th January 2023

How to find that interesting ancestor and to examine the life that they may have lived in dangerous and uncertain times.

Alan Ruston
Monday 27th February 2023

To follow.

Murray Neil
Monday 27th March 2023

In 1817 Small was appointed rector of St Albans Abbey. Late in 1834 he fled to France leaving behind substantial debts out of kilter with his income. This talk explores a surprising story that attracted the attention of the then Prime Minister and an inspiring resolution.

Jon Mein is Newsletter Editor of the St Albans and Hertfordshire Architectural and Archaeological Society.

Jon Mein
Monday 24th April 2023

In this talk Dr John Morewood, President of St Albans and Hertfordshire Architectural and Archaeological Society, looks at the events of 1381 in our area and nationally. The talk will look at the complex relationships between the abbey and the people not only of St Albans but its manors. John will look at the impact of the uprisings nationally and, given what we know of other similar events internationally in the 14th century, ask was it ever likely to succeed and what was its legacy? He will also cover the reasons why the Peasants Leader John Ball was executed in St Albans.

John Morewood
Monday 22nd May 2023*

To follow.

Click here for Summer Programme 2022


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