Clubs and Community: Diabetes charity looking for energetic volunteers to support Tesco collection

Big collection volunteers in Tesco
Big collection volunteers in Tesco

The latest news from clubs and community groups in your area.


Jacki putting arrangement in window

Jacki putting arrangement in window

The waterways of Hemel Hempstead have been; quite often; seen somwhere in many still and motion pictures.

Both professional and amateur. The Hemel Hempstead Movie Makers have been no exception in this line of photography upon many occasions. The latest has been recently, when an early evening filming session was put into practice.

The filming commenced near the Fishery Inn and Road area. Just after the barge commenced its evening journey, the canal locks had to be adjusted to allow the water levels conform for the vessel’s evening journey.

Once this operation was completed, the craft made a steady cruise along the water’s of The Grand Union Canal. The members with cameras, took pictures from both the barge, and the towpath. Those on the towpath had good exercise. There was however, a pause for rest, partway. The barge, eventually started to approach the bridge in the Two Waters Road and Way area.

Just before, the barge turned into the River Gade. It was here; that the barge – skilfully driven by a very competent lady named Hilary – made a turn. And so, the barge made its way back. However, it did stop, and the film crew interviewed Hilary with relevant questions; the answers of which can now put in the film. This should make the production more interesting.

By the time we returned to the mooring, near The Fishery area, it was dusk. But hopefully some sunset shots were captured on route.

The members said goodnight to each other, and will next meet at The Carey Baptist Church Hall today for our annual ‘Open film Competition’. The following meeting will be on May 21 at the same venue.

For more information about us, why not visit the official website at


The three last indoor meetings for the 2013-14 season were well attended and enthusiastically received.

In January we heard Jim Matthews of HG Matthews, Bellingdon, give a talk on ‘Local Brick-Making History’, explaining the different types of bricks and outlining the history of his family business.

Our speaker in February took a wider view when Hugh Davies of Bletchley Park spoke on the ‘Ancient Art of Deception’ showing how throughout history attempts had been made to deceive the enemy.

For our March meeting, preceded by the AGM, David Pearce gave a lively talk, in his inimitable style, on Dr John Incent, the founder of Berkhamsted School. There were no new additions to the Committee, but unfortunately Sarah Mears has had to resign for family reasons. The first meeting of the new season takes place on Wednesday September 10 in the Wellcome Great Hall, Berkhamsted Town Hall.

Once again we are joining PROBUS for some summer outings. On July 10 a visit has been arranged to Lichfield Cathedral and the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas. On 11th September there is an outing to Buscot House and Gardens and Kelmscott Manor Oxfordshire. For further details contact Bill Willett on 863760.

The Visitor Room at Berkhamsted Castle opened for the Easter weekend and is open for the summer season, 10am-6pm. The Visitor Room is manned mainly by members of BLHMS. The Castle was closed for several weeks during March and April because of the flooding of the entrance causeway. Three school visits were cancelled during that time.

The Society offers guided tours of the Castle throughout the year to schools and adult groups. These can be combined with tours of the historic town centre if desired.

Berkhamsted’s Heritage Open Days are from September 11-14. These have now been registered online.

Unfortunately we have been unable to gain permission to include tours of the BFI this year but negotiations are continuing. New for this year we are including the Rectory Lane Cemetery, a ‘graveyard shift’ with a new dimension! Regular favourites are also included. For full details see the Society’s website

Members of the Society are preparing an annotated version of the ‘Devil’s Own Time’ for publication and also researching various aspects of Berkhamsted during WWI in preparation for a book on Berkhamsted.


The Box Moor Trust held the first Annual Public Meeting in its new centre on the London Road.

It provided the chance for local people to catch up with recent projects and news in the marvellous setting of the timber framed building.

Trust chairman David Kirk gave an overview of the work of trustees and staff and the funding available for the charity’s work.

Other trustees provided news on the Trust’s grant programme, the management of the livestock and woodlands. The education team explained the range and popularity of the activities with schools, families and volunteers.

After questions there was plenty of opportunities for visitors to see more of the new centre, see displays about the Trust’s ambitious work and meet staff, volunteers and trustees.


The Society’s April meetng was its 42nd Annual General Meeting. This was followed by a talk by Brian Adams, formerly Keeper of Education at the Verulamium Museum, on ‘Industrial Archaeology in Hertfordshire’.

Brian said that there was so much industrial archaeology in Hertfordshire that he could only present a ‘taster’ in a selective presentation.

He noted that the major evidence for industrialisation, and still with us, was the canal network, now more evident as a leisure and community facility, and he spoke of the Earl of Bridgewater and his towering monument at Ashridge.

The canals provided the life lines for the transport of goods in and through the county, and then came the railways in the 19th Century. Much evidence of the latter can still be seen in some of the station buildings, signal boxes, or the ghost evidence of such as the Nicky Line, now a pleasant walk.

Some very evocative lithographs of the period showed the immense amount of work that had been involved in making the railway cuttings, and some of the upcast can still be seen alongside the modern tracks.

Better roads made connections more easy, toll gates were introduced and often in most obscure places the stone or metal indicators of their route can be found, and also marking the point outside London of a toll barrier on goods.

Major industries were represented by windmills and the grinding of corn, and then the breweries - many are still with us and a number of the old mill and brewery buildings are now finding a different use in a modern environment, e.g. as museums or converted into housing.

Paper making was another major industry that went back to the 15th century in the county because of the rivers but really rose to industrial prominence in the 19th century at Apsley with the involvement of the Evans and Dickinson families, and paper still has a prominent part to play in the community with the displays at the Apsley Paper Trail.

The Society continues its excavations at Ashridge during the summer, and its next lecture season begins on Monday September 22. For more details call the secretary on 875597.


Jackie Grew, the manager of the St Francis Hospice shop, Love to Give, in the Marlowes has been putting the finishing touches to the flower arrangement in the window display drawing attention to the Wedding Event currently taking place at the shop.

The flower arrangement, donated by the Hemel Hempstead Stoneycroft Flower Club,was designed and arranged by Lynne Glover a past chairman of the club.

It celebrates the 75th anniversary of the National Association of Flower Arrangers.


The Bovingdon and District Horticultural Society’s annual plant sale will take place from 9.30am to 11.30am on Saturday at the Memorial Hall, Bovingdon.

Entry is free and all plants are grown by Society members.

Among the plants for sale will be geraniums, bedding plants, perennials, annuals and vegetable plants of all kinds.


Diabetes UK is looking for energetic volunteers in Hertfordshire to support a collection weekend at their local Tesco store.

The Big Collection weekend will take place in Tesco stores on June 13, 14 and 15 with the aim of raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for Diabetes UK, as part of the major national charity partnership 
between the two organisations.

The partnership aims to make life better for those with the condition or at high risk of developing it.

Diabetes UK is recruiting 4,800 volunteers throughout the UK and is looking for volunteers in Hertfordshire including Tring, Stevanage, Ware, Hatfield and Cheshunt to support the Big Collection weekend locally.

Volunteers can select morning or afternoon sessions running from 9am until 6pm on June 13 and 14 and 10am until 4pm on June 15.

Sharon Roberts, Diabetes UK eastern regional manager, said: “We are looking for enthusiastic and approachable volunteers in Hertfordshire with a desire to help raise lots of money for a fantastic cause. The weekend takes place at the end of Diabetes Week and it is a great way to inform customers about diabetes while raising money for Diabetes UK.

“We are proud that 9 out of 10 people who volunteered for the Big Collection weekend last year said they would volunteer again, which means they really must have enjoyed it. We look forward to another fun weekend at the next collection in June.”

The money raised will go towards supporting the 3.8 million people with diabetes in the UK and help people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes reduce their risk of the condition.

The Big Collection weekend in October 2013 raised over £380,000 for Diabetes UK.

If people are interested in volunteering for the Big Collection weekend they can contact Gemma Pilgrim on 01376 505247; gemma.pilgrim@ or email

For further information on the Big Collection and to find your nearest store visit


Felden WI The speaker at the April meeting was Vic Botterell who gave a very interesting talk on body language and its use by the police force. The competition was a ‘photo of you when young’ won by Val Cox with a photo of herself aged two in her garden with her pet dog.

Eleven members enjoyed a visit to Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre to see a matinee of Dial M for Murder, an intensely gripping thriller starring Christopher Timothy as the Inspector.

A walk and tea at Ashridge to see the bluebells had to be cancelled because of mist and rain.

Little Gaddesden WI

April was a busy month, what with walks which always seem to end with a pub lunch, a visit to a Charles Rennie Macintosh house at Northampton, a talk by Robin Webb from the Hertfordshire Building Preservation Trust on the last standing windmill at Cromer,

North Herts and of course, the usual meeting of minds that are the Book Club, Cross Stitch Group and Drama Group.

The highlight of the month was, as usual, our Tea Party with Frills, held in a village hall awash with sandwiches, cake, tea pots, cake, happy tea party people and cake.

All our hard work raised funds for St Francis Hospice and waistlines in the Little Gaddesden area.