If you are interested in the Gade Valley area, maybe as a resident or as a former paper mill worker, or even as someone interested in local history, this is a programme for you. We have invited a number of extremely knowledgeable historians to speak on their areas of expertise. If you thought Hemel Hempstead had no history, or you knew everything about the local paper industry, we guarantee you are wrong!

We have much to reveal about the extraordinary inventiveness of John Dickinson, the grand family of Lewis Evans and doing your dusting with a goose feather.

Your ticket will cover the guest speaker and food. Each event will have its own food accompaniment as shown below. We will also be serving free tea and coffee.

Gade Valley Revolution – Michael Stanyon    (fish and chips)

The enormous contribution the local area made to the world. Learn about what happened locally.

Georgian Housekeeping – Adam Smith     (finger buffet)

Adam has kindly agreed to present one of his entertaining talks which will give insight into Georgian life. Susanna Whatman, (1752-1814) was the wife of a successful papermaker in Kent who wanted to ensure her servants looked after house correctly and wrote a book of instructions for them. We will look at some of her practical suggestions such as dusting books with a goose’s wing.

Revolutionary Decade: 1800-1810 – Michael Stanyon      (fish and chips)

When many of the foundations for modern industry were developed through papermaking.

The Amazing Evans Family – Michael Stanyon    (fish and chips)  

For this presentation Mike looks at the four people who led the worlds of archaeology, culture and industry, who lived at Nash Mills. Sir John Evans, Sir Arthur Evans, Lewis Evans and Dame Joan Evans.

The Impact of Paper – Derek Pullen    (fish and chips)

For this presentation, Derek is looking at the enormous impact the invention of paper has had over two thousand years. Paper has impacted upon culture across the world since its development in China, usually recognised as AD105.

Researching ‘The Paper Mill Girl’ – Glenda Young   (fish and chips)  Friday 10th November 2023

Glenda Young has kindly offered to join our talks programme, with a presentation about writing her paper mill based story and how she researched it. The Apsley Paper Trail archive was one of her sources of information and if you have read the book, you will see we get a mention. Do come and meet Glenda, she is lovely! Copies of ‘The Paper Mill Girl’ will be available with all proceeds to our fundraiser for post- fire recovery.  Glenda will happily sign copies for you on the night.

Note: we do not have a drinks licence for this site, so no alcohol will be available.

Our Speakers

Derek Pullen

Derek Pullen is a regular speaker on paper and other topics. A former Kodak employee, Derek is a former Apsley Paper Trail trustee and one of our regular tour guides, familiar to visitors to Frogmore Paper Mill. Derek delivers talks on our behalf to groups and societies within driving distance.

Adam Smith

Adam Smith is a lecturer specialising in architectural history and the history of the English country house and estate.

Michael Stanyon

A talk by the authority on paper mills in The Gade Valley, the creator of the Apsley Paper Trail Archive and brilliant speaker, Michael Stanyon. since handing over the reins of the archive to our Collections Officer, Mike spends his time researching, speaking and writng works about the heritage of the area. He is an associate of The British Association of Paper Historians and has contributed to many publications, as well as authoring his own books. If anyone knows the history of the Gade Valley, Mike does!

Glenda Young

Bestselling author of many historical sagas and the ‘Cosy Crime Mysteries, Glenda is also runs the Coronation Street Blog. She is a proud member of the Crime Writers’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. Her novel, ‘The Paper Mill Girl’ is based around the life of seventeen-year-old Ruth Hardy works long hours at Grange Paper Works with her younger sister, Bea, and spends her free time caring for their ailing parents. Set in the north of England, Glenda visited Frogmore to get the feel of a working mill and undertook research within our archive.