Friday 17th November marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of the lesser known dignitary of Paper Valley, Sir John Evans. Much focus is put upon John Dickinson but when his sons showed no interest in the family firm, his nephew John Evans was proffered as an apprentice. The younger John married Dickinson’s daughter Harriet, rather against the older John’s wishes, a union which bore some famous offspring.  John Evans proved exceptionally talented as manager of  paper mills. He later patented his own inventions for making paper.

While that should have been quite enough to occupy him, he still found time for his passions of archaeology and numismatics (coins), setting new standards for academic research and published works on these subjects. He was a benefactor of the British Museum and the Ashmolean, served as Hertfordshire County Sheriff and was President of the Papermakers Association.

A group of thirty attendees assembled at St Lawrence Church, Abbots Langley for a short service, including descendants of the Evans family, trustees, staff and volunteers from Apsley Paper Trail, members of both Hemel Hempstead and Abbots Langley history societies. The service was delivered by historian Michael Stanyon and Church Warden, Carol Higgs. Here are a selection of photographs from the service.