Clubs and Community (Including alien landing at Flamstead Show)

William Molloy's fruit and vegetable alien won a prize in a children's class at the 36th Flamstead Show
William Molloy's fruit and vegetable alien won a prize in a children's class at the 36th Flamstead Show

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

Alien landing at village’s 36th show

The 36th Flamstead Show held in September saw 111 participants entering 365 exhibits.

Among the impressive displays the children, both in families and through groups and clubs, made a fine showing and impressed judges with their colourful and imaginative entries, including a fruit and vegetable alien in a class for eight to 10 year olds, which won first prize for William Molloy.

President of Flamstead Gardens Association Julian Taunton said: “Yet again, we see all of Flamstead’s generations and the fullrange of talents that the village displays on these occasions.

!The show is designed to engageeveryone, from the most nervous beginner to those that give the rest of us challenges to aspire to.

“Although the weather has largely been good, vegetables have struggled, but our judges’ feedback is that Flamstead’s exhibitors have made the very best of a difficult year.”

The Association welcomes suggestions for classes at next year’s Show – there is a suggestions box in the village hall where you can post your ideas.

Organisers would also like to thank judges, entrants who took part as individuals, families or groups, and villagers who came along to support the show, and to the Wish Tree Foundation for supplying tea and cakes.

A ghostly experience for the Felden Women’s Institute

The Members of Felden WI were treated to a spooky and scandalous encounter at their September meeting.

As they all held hands and closed their eyes to call upon Janet Naylor to talk to them about ‘Scandals, Spectres and Strange Goings On’ in Sleepy Hollow Hertfordshire, all was revealed and exposed.

The competition was ‘something naughty’ won by Barbara Higgs with a rude car novelty.

This was then followed on another day by a fundraising Scrabble Tournament, which was hilariously entertaining trying to avoid those naughty words.

Forthcoming events for October include a walk the Dacorum Heritage Trail and finish at The Tea Tree in the Old High Street.

The next meeting will be on Friday October 10 at the Social Centre for the Blind, 6 Alston Road, Boxmoor HP1 1QU, where our talk will be on Brass Rubbing.

Come along and rub too with our members, who will make you very welcome.

Archaeology Society digs in to new season

Berkhamsted & District Archaeological Society’s new season opened with a lecture in September by chairman Peter Clayton, FSA, on Giovanni Belzoni: The Strongman Egyptologist.

He was a subject dear to Peter’s heart as he had been invited to lecture on him as ‘Visiting Professore’ on the occasion of Belzoni’s bicentenary celebrations in Padua in 1978, and he had also been heavily invoilved with several films and TV programmes on Belzoni.

Born in Padua in 1778, a giant over two metres in height, Belzoni had appeared on the London stage billed as ‘The Patagonian Samson’.

Tiring of that kind of life, he was making his way to Istanbul via Malta when he was invited to Egypt to introduce hydraulic works for watering the Khedive’s gardens.

When that failed, at the instigation of the British Consul Henry Salt he began to collect Egyptian antiquities, as many agents of European powers were doing after ancient Egypt had been opened up following the Napoleonic invasion of 1798.

Belzoni’s first task was to retrieve a 7.5-tonne stone statue of Rameses II from the king’s mortuary temple on the west bank at Thebes (modern Luxor) for the British Museum.

It now dominates the centre of the Egyptian Stone Gallery in the Museum.

Around it in the gallery also stand many large sculptures that he also brought back.

His major discovery was the entrance to the great temple of Rameses II at Abu Simbel in Nubia on 1 August 1817.

This was to be followed by finding several royal tombs, all robbed in antiquity, in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes.

Notable was that of Seti I, Rameses’ father, with its superbly carved alabaster sarcophagus, now in the Sir John Soane’s Museum, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London.

He was also the first in modern times to enter the second of the three pyramids at Giza, that of Chephren, son of Kheops builder of the Great Pyramid there.

Howard Carter, the discoverer of the fabulous tomb of Tutankhamun wrote in 1922 that Belzoni’s work, considering the age in which he worked, was remarkably good, and his monument is, in many respects, his major finds now displayed in the British Museum.

The October meeting of the Society will hear Dr Kris Lockyear, FSA, speak on Sensing the Iron Age and Roman Past in Hertfordshire, and his astounding surveying work finding structures at Verulamium not visible on the ground.

Further details are available from the Society’s secretary on 01442 875597.

Join in with green-fingered club at garden centre

Hemel Hempstead gardeners can now enjoy offers from the town’s Hillier Garden Centre, just by presenting their brand new card.

The centre, based on Leighton Buzzard Road, has launched a new members-only gardening club as part of a group wide initiative.

Hillier Gardening Club, which launched officially at the end of September, replaces the old club, but current members will gain 150 free points, just for switching over.

Manager of Hillier Hemel Hempstead Ben Renfrew said: “We are really excited about this new venture for Hillier.

“The company celebrates 150 years in business this year and it goes to show we still like to keep moving with the times.

“Gardeners around Hemel Hempstead will really benefit when they become members.

“There are amazing seasonal monthly offers, money back vouchers, events and talks just for members.

“We’re all so excited about this we can’t wait to welcome customers in and tell them all about it.”

For more information on the club call Hemel Hempstead on 01442 242637, or visit