Abbots Langley Local History Society

Winter Programme 2020-2021

Online Talks


We have arranged a series of Online Zoom Meetings to replace our traditional Monday evening talks at the Manor House Sports and Social Club.

Meetings open at 7.45pm ready for the talk to start at 8pm.

Talks are free but you need to register in advance for each talk.

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


Monday 28 September 2020

It was the first week of October 1918. The Great War was drawing to a victorious end for the Allies, yet the town of Watford was seeing its first case of a mysterious new illness. Over the next few weeks there would be many more cases in the town of the disease which swiftly became known as Spanish flu, claiming 228,000 lives in the United Kingdom and 50 million lives worldwide.

This presentation gives a case study of Spanish flu in Watford, in 1918 an industrial town of 45,000 residents: when it arrived, how many people were affected, what measures were undertaken in a world before antibiotics and a National Health Service, and what the aftermath was. The presentation also attempts to draw parallels with our own current experience: what are the differences and what are the similarities.

Helen George
Monday 26 October 2020

Jan Taylor has lived in the Abbots Langley area since 1981. She started attending St Lawrence Church at that time and has since become very involved with all that goes on there.

St Lawrence Church is a beautiful ancient church, and, since Saxon times has been the focal point of Abbots Langley village life. It has a rich history, much of which can be found by looking at the many monuments inside the church, and the gravestones in the large church yard.

Jan’s talk covers the development of the church building from its Saxon heritage to the modern day; the fire of 1969 and how this affected the layout of the interior; some of the monuments and the two medieval wall paintings; the bells; and some of the people who have attended the church over hundreds of years.

Jan Taylor Register now
Monday 30 November 2020

Leavesden Country Park is an area rich in heritage and steeped in a fascinating history. Located in Abbots Langley, this green space has been home to the Asylum for Idiots and Imbeciles, Leavesden Aerodrome and the Warner Bros. Film Studios. Now, it’s a much loved local park and tourist destination – scooping the 2019 Small Visitor Attraction award, in the Hertfordshire Tourism Awards.

Made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, one of the prominent features is the Heritage Sculpture Trail, which will be the focus for this talk. Elaine will explain how the trail came to be in the park, from the early days of funding bids and concepts, through to installation and it now being a well-visited attraction and talking point.

Learn more about the Minds, Machines and Movies theme, how the trail is being enjoyed and promoted, and also what is planned for the future!

Elaine Johnson (Arts Development Officer, Three Rivers District Council)

Elaine Johnson
Monday 14 December 2020 Christmas Meeting  
Monday 25 January 2021 Passing Through – Grand Union Canal 1791-1841 Fabian Hiscock
Monday 22 February 2021 The Abbots Langley Work House Richard Simons
Monday 29 March 2021 Aviation in Hertfordshire Chris Scivyer
Monday 26 April 2021 Discovering the Hidden Secrets of Cambridge (Old & New) Murray Jacobs


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