Park Street and Frogmore Society
The PSFS was formed in January 1995 to promote interest in local history and nature including conservation.
The Society organises six open meetings a year for members and the general public. Each of which includes a presentation from an invited speaker on a topic of historical or nature interest. The Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month in January, March, May, July, September and November, 8.15pm at the Village Hall and cost just £1 to attend for members and £2 for non members.
Members are kept informed by regular Newsletters and Journals.
The society archive includes historical documents, images, maps, and records together with recorded memories of residents past and present. Help can be given to those researching local and family history and we encourage the sharing of memories and items of local interest.
For further information contact:
Jacqui Banfield-Taylor (Archivist and Publication Editor) on 07792 588892.
For membership enquiries please contact:
Bruce Banfield-Taylor (Treasurer & Membership Secretary) 01727 739016.
Or fill in this membership form :
Future Meetings for 2018
Park Street & Frogmore Society Speakers 2018.
Tuesday 20th March.
Farming in the First World War. How the farmers of Hertfordshire responded to the challenges of the First World War by Dr Julie Moore, University of Hertfordshire.
At the start of the First World War, Britain was heavily dependent on imports to keep its population fed; it was estimated that four out of five slices of bread were made with foreign wheat. Keeping the shelves filled with bread, meat, potatoes, etc. became a key part of the war effort as the conflict disrupted the usual trade routes. This was a war unlike any other the nation had faced, and farmers were urged to increase productivity, but this was easier said than done at a time when agricultural labourers were leaving in droves to join up and fight; the introduction of conscription in 1916 brought increased pressure on the labour that remained. This talk will include stories from across Hertfordshire of how the farming community coped with the demands of a wartime economy and how they responded to being told what to do in such areas as employing women, and what to grow on their farms (spoiler alert – not always very enthusiastically)!
Tuesday 15th May.
The History of the Burston Estate and Nursery by the Pearson family.
A History of the Burston Estate and Garden Centre from its inception to present day. A family run business that does not belong to any chain, the talk includes an explanation of how the Garden Centre came to be at the site and how they have expanded over the years. Further details will be available nearer the time.
Tuesday 17th July.
A History of Hertfordshire’s Woods, Commons and Hedgerows by landscape historian Anne Rowe.
Hertfordshire today is one of the more densely wooded counties of England but many of our woods have been destroyed or replanted with plantations of timber trees and only a quarter are ancient coppiced woodland. Huge areas of open common and heathland have disappeared in the last 250 years. They once provided grazing land and supported large numbers of trees which were managed by pollarding. Wood and furze gathered from commons were used for cooking and heating but only 7% of Hertfordshire’s heathland survives today.
Hedgerows not only formed stock-proof boundaries around fields but, like woods and commons, were also carefully managed by our predecessors to provide vital supplies of fuel in the days before the railways brought coal to the county at affordable prices.
Hertfordshire’s widely admired hedges were managed by plashing and the hedgerow trees were regularly pollarded.
In this illustrated talk, landscape historian Anne Rowe will show the surviving evidence of these widespread practices that were so familiar to our ancestors but are now largely forgotten.
Tuesday 18th September.
A History of Allotments by Kate Harwood.
The earliest recorded allotments were in 1770 at Tewkesbury when a local landowner made 25 acres available to the poor. The provision gradually grew with landowners leasing out plots of between 10 to 20 poles.
Owners of factories and mills also leased out land to their workers, part of the Utopian movements of Robert Owen at New Lanark and others. Following the failure to achieve universal (male) franchise in the great Reform Bill of 1832, the Chartists decided to set up landholdings to enable men to vote by fulfilling the property qualifications required. The idea was picked up by John Ruskin with his settlements across the country of St George’s Guild where communities were set up with their own allotments and the Arts & Crafts ethos of going back to pre-industrial ways of working. The disaster of World War I where the poor harvest of 1916 meant the country was nearly starved into defeat was the start of the official provision of allotments, with variants such as VPAs and the ‘Dig For Victory’ Campaign of WWII. Nowadays allotments are under threat from development; it is more profitable to grow houses than cabbages. But a great deal of history is lost when they disappear, as well as a valuable local amenity.
Kate’s talk covers more details of the above and lots more.
Tuesday 20th November.
Archaeology of the St Stephens Area and its Wider Context by Simon West.
District Archaeologist Simon West has worked for St Albans City and District for 20 years and has excellent knowledge of the district’s archaeology. This talk has been especially created for the Park Street & Frogmore Society. Further details will be available nearer the time.