Events 2024 


The NHS: Reform or Privatise?

Park Hall, Leyton Green, Harpenden AL5 2LX

Background Information:

BACKGROUND INFO: Marmot and Wanless Reviews 2020/21

Fiona Bruce knows a thing or two about Skateboarding.

TV presenter of Antiques Roadshow and newscaster Fiona presented a section recently about  Skateboarding from Clissold Park in Hackney.

A local veteran explained how it all began for him and friends back in the 60’s when roller skates were attached to wood boards, graduating on to Go Carts before making individually designed boards as forerunners of those today, Many of these are now ‘vintage boards’ as seen on the programme.

The art of boarding took place originally in industrial sites when closed before the demand for Park sites became the norm.

Skateboarding now isn’t just for the younger generation, there’s quite few oldies still on the scene,...Harpenden take note.

We were all part of Harpenden's Local History Day on 20 April

Over 1,200 were at the Local History Day at the Eric Morecambe Centre; the contributors, exhibitors, marshals, etc. were joined by over 1,100 members of the public, making the event a great day for Harpenden and district.  The venue was rocking!  

Annie Brewster at the close of the Day, for which this was her first public event as High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, said “When you asked me last summer about the idea for this event, I would not have believed what a success it could be, thanks to the legion of volunteers. We have learned so much about our past. We have also witnessed our future with the young children on stage.   Hopefully, this is the first of many such spectacles the Society will create for us.”

Below: The official event opening with High Sheriff Annie Brewster, Town Mayor Fiona Gaskell and Society Chair Roger Butterworth

Cllr Fiona Gaskell, Mayor of Harpenden, says, "The Day was a memorable event. There was a real buzz throughout, with enthusiastic residents enjoying the museum, talks and exhibitions. Many people appeared to stay throughout the day as there was so much to see and do.  Warmest congratulations to the team who worked so hard on the event, and I look forward to seeing and hearing a lot more of the History Society in future."

I heartily thank the High Sheriff, the Mayor and all contributors, including those from other organisations, and the children who entered our competition, plus all marshals and other volunteers, together with the staff of EMC, who shared in the excitement, all of whom made a vital contribution to the overwhelming success of the day.  Not only was the total number, 1,200, pleasingly surprising, but the vitality of those attending throughout the four hours was tremendous.  And thank you to all those who came; your interest and excitement was itself a tremendous for the team.

Owing to limited space the High Sheriff cut the ribbon at the Museum doorway at a private gathering some time prior to the public being in the building.(Below with Chair Roger Butterworth and  School Arts competition organiser Pamela Doran)

Laura Bull, our 500th visitor on the day, (Above) was awarded free membership and was photographed with the Mayor and our Chairman.

The Herbert family including our 1,000th visitor, also receiving free membership, and were photographed with our chairman, Dr Alexander Thomas, one of the speakers, and Kate Barton, EMC manager.

Numerous people visited the new Museum for the first time.(Above) From 27 April the museum will open 11am-3pm every Saturday and as many Tuesdays and Thursdays for which we have volunteers.

Comments received included: “The talks, which were excellent, attracted queues, so the room could have been filed 3 times over!”

(See above Talk by Dr Tony Berk ) “The quality presentation of the maps and old photos was impressive; people lingered so long to take them all in!”  “Children were really getting stuck into being creative at the art table.”  “Wasn’t the Roman soldier wonderful.”  “So good to see the villages represented here, as well as Rothamsted and St Albans.”  “Surprisingly, more people had heard of Frank Salisbury than expected and were showing a real interest.”  “Good to see the children involved and on stage as their reward.” (Below right: Town Mayor Fiona Gaskell awarding prize in the My Harpenden art competition. Below left;People looking at the Growth of  Harpenden exhibition boards)

We put on this event to relaunch the Society, now we have our museum, to educate the public on our local history and to make a contribution to the cultural life of Harpenden. We also aimed to significantly increase membership, which was fulfilled – on Saturday alone our membership increased by 50%. 

If you enjoyed the event, or have simply heard about it in the magnificent press coverage, why not join the Society.  The special offer of membership up to end 2025 (20 months) at same rate as 12 months’ membership will be honoured to 30 April.   Details of joining on our website.

Also, why not participate in our activities and volunteer for the museum rota or other vacant roles in running the Society.

Report from Roger Butterworth. Chairman

Harpenden Rugby Club names local charity, The AT Society as its Charity of the Year.

The AT Society, a small charity based in Harpenden, was delighted to be chosen as the first ever local Charity of the Year for Harpenden Rugby Club for the rugby season 24/25.Harpenden Rugby Club has produced many top professional players at both club and international level. With a history spanning over a century, the club stands as one of England’s premier level 5 amateur clubs, boasting a vibrant community comprising 3 senior men’s sides and a women’s team, minis, juniors (both girls and boys), and a mixed ability group. Additionally, the club hosts various tournaments throughout the year, such as the annual Pubs 7’s event, now in its 54th year.The charity partnership presents an excellent opportunity for fundraising as well as raising awareness around the rare, degenerative condition, Ataxia Telangiectasia (AT), and the people living with this condition whom the charity supports.Founded 35 years ago by the parents of two children with AT, the charity's connection withHarpenden Rugby Club was initiated by Nick Gull, a charity Trustee and club member.

“We are absolutely delighted to have been selected as Harpenden RugbyClub’s Charity of the Year. The partnership will have a huge impact forThe AT Society, enabling us to supportmore families who have a child with the life-limiting, disabling condition, AT. We have already received a great responsef rom members of the club and we can’t wait for the partnership to start ”Susie Norbury, Director of Fundraising & Operations.

Pictured above: Sally Milligan, Fundraising Manager, pictured with Will Hutchins, Club President and Nick Gull at Harpenden Rugby Club.

Flying the flag for local artists

on June 8th & 9th June at Art on the Common.

An amazing range of art with paintings,illustrations. ceramics, wood cuttings, photography from Harpenden based artists and surrounding towns.

This Event is now established as THE place to see and be seen in Herts.

A truly inspiring exhibition of beauty and creativity.

June 6. Harpenden’s tribute to

D-Day 80

Harpenden welcomes thousands to the Summer Carnival on June 8.

Harpenden Town Council welcomed thousands of residents and visitors to the 57th Summer Carnival on Saturday (8th June). The event was an exciting summer celebration in the heart of vibrant Harpenden.

The Carnival, which was free to attend, raised money for charities including the Town Mayor’s chosen charities Youth Talk and the Harpenden Trust's Wellbeing Hub and others selected by the Round Table. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, stallholders, participants and visitors, money raised over the years has supported countless great causes.

Douglas Sleaper, Head of Office at Savills Harpenden, lead sponsor for this year’s event, said: “As always the Carnival was a great celebration of our local community – attracting thousands of visitors who enjoyed an array of music, performances, stalls, activities and entertainment. The weather was kind and there was a wonderful family-friendly atmosphere. Most importantly it also raised a considerable amount of money for lots of local good causes. We were only too happy to be involved and show our support.”

Entertainment at the Music Stage included vintage Rock’n’Roll band James and the Blue Moon, Sam Lewis, Number 7 and Maida Vales while circus artist Richard Filby, comedy juggler Matt Bernard, Cha Char Chimps offering an award winning show for pre-schoolers and Cotter Academy of Irish Dance delighted the pubic at the Performance Zone.

In addition a food court, outdoor bars, soft play, a climbing wall, archery, fairground rides, facepainting, bungee trampolines, inflatables, ferret racing, mini golf, charity stalls and much more made a fun packed day for attendees of all ages.