18 Bull Plain
Hidden Hertford Walks
Les Middlewood is a long-standing Hertford resident and a retired construction project manager who worked mainly on Hertfordshire Local Government projects. Now a Hertford Museum Volunteer, he is an author of the recent Museum publication "One For the Road - A History of Hertford Pubs" and is Chairman of the South Hertfordshire Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). His walks concentrate on Hertford's rich brewing and pub heritage, bringing it all into a modern context.
The Museum offers guided tours around the historic market town of Hertford. The walks take place selected Sundays throughout the year, starting at 11am and lasting approximately between an hour and an hour and a half.
Each talk is a different topic and our expert volunteers like to create more interest by changing them often. All the walks are researched by historians and local experts who deliver the talks on a voluntary basis.
We ask for a minimum donation of £2 at the time of booking to encourage commitment towards attendance on the day. All money raised from the walks goes towards the running of the Museum.
Gill Cordingley has lived in Hertford for over 40 years and loves its layout, its old buildings and its social history. Her favourite former inhabitants include 'Thomas Green (1719-91)', a musician and author who was thoroughly disliked and 'John the Tiler' (arrested in 1344 for "breaking houses in the Castle of Hertford and stripping off and carrying away the lead therefrom"). Her favourite place is the yard with its stable buildings at the White Hart pub where trading and auctions took place in the inn yards. It resonates with reminders of old Hertford and its importance as a noisy and, doubtless, smelly centre for trade transactions and socialising!
Edgar Lake was born at Lombard House in Bull Plain and spent much of his childhood popping in to Hertford Museum to converse with the then Curator H.C. Andrews. Edgar’s love of the town is evident in his engaging guided walks and as a lifelong resident and local historian, his walks are packed full of little known information. Edgar is a Member of the Hertford & Ware Local History Society.
A teacher by profession, Jean arrived at Hertford in 1983 and began reading "things generally known" about this marvellously contained county town, in the country but amazingly within 35 minutes of the City. She then progressed to research at Hertford Museum and the County Archives: local newspapers, manuscript notes, conveyances, diaries, street directories, and the Corporation Records were some of her sources. She aims, both on her walks and her talks, to provide the enthusiast with not only sound local history, but with a few of the curiosities and trivia of "things not generally known”. Jean is the author of several local history publications.
Peter Ruffles is a retired teacher and a Local Council member. Loving and breathing Hertford all his life, he shows people details they may have missed and shares stories. Peter picked up his knowledge of the town bit by bit. Born free to roam, he and his childhood pals did so endlessly, enjoying streets, rivers and countryside ... gravel pits and rail lines especially.
With a bit of reading, and much chat in pubs, at churches and in the newsagents where he was employed for 25 years, Hertford has remained for three score years and ten, his universe hub, and the harvest ground of his well informed memories.
Philip Sheail is a retired town planner who has lived in Hertford for over 40 years. Since retiring he has become very involved in the local history scene in Hertford and in the county as a whole. He is a member of the Hertford & Ware Local History Society; a volunteer at Hertford Museum and Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies; and has done a great deal of research into Hertford and its community in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. More recently, he has become co-editor of 'Herts Past & Present', the journal of the Herts Association for Local History.
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