Apsley Paper Trail (APT) is a conservation and education charity with particular relevance to the paper industry and several local communities in Hertfordshire.  Its prime objectives are to conserve the heritage of the paper industry, especially in Hertfordshire’s Gade Valley, and use its facilities for educational purposes.

In fulfilling its conservation objective, the charity has acquired and utilises two historic mill sites, Frogmore Paper Mill, an active paper mill and visitor centre as well as two buildings on the old John Dickinson Apsley Mill site, namely the John Dickinson Enterprise Centre and Cottage that accommodates both young and established businesses. Also maintained on the Apsley site is the John Dickinson First and Second World War Memorial.

In achieving its education objective, the charity provides facilities, resources and programmes to enable six distinct communities to learn about an important part of their heritage and history. It also serves the general public who visit Frogmore Paper Mill as individuals or as an interest group. The six distinct communities are:

  1. Today’s Gade Valley residents, workers, learners and visitors
  2. Schools, especially in and around the Gade Valley
  3. The British paper industry and allied trades
  4. Paper based art and craft practitioners
  5. Descendants of former Gade Valley paper mill workers
  6. Social and industrial historians

APT is also committed to reaching new audiences through outreach and an inspiring and varied event programme that encourages a wider range of people to engage with our important heritage.

John has volunteered at The Paper Trail since 2017. He has been involved since the inception of Apsley Paper Trail Charitable Trust becoming a director of the Charity between 2000 and 2010. Also during that period, he took on the role of General Manager of Frogmore Paper Mill. He was until that time managing director of a small group of companies allied to the printing and paper industry.

Henry has represented Apsley Paper Trail as the Trust’s property advisor since 2006 becoming a Trustee in 2016.He has held senior roles at The Crown Estate Commissioners and British Rail before setting up his own London based property consultancy advising corporate clients including charities and trusts on property development and portfolio management. Additionally Henry is Chairman of Mercy Ships UK, a member of the board of Mercy Ships International and a judge for the National Railway Heritage Awards.

Simon is a director of TVAC, a consultancy specialising in advising organisations on the strategic development and commercial planning of visitor attractions and destinations. Prior to founding TVAC, he was managing director of Grant Leisure, which owned and operated 3 commercially successful visitor attractions in the UK.

Hilary became a Trustee in 2018. She is a Chartered Accountant having qualified with Price Waterhouse in Audit and later specialised in International Corporate Tax. She has spent the last 23 years as Regional Tax Director of two separate multi-national corporations and has recently retired.

Steve has been using Frogmore as a venue for papermaking courses since 2014.

He originally qualified as a chemist and was responsible for global technical services for a leading zirconium chemicals company, and still does consultancy in that field. He obtained his PhD in Papermaking from UMIST in 1982 before becoming Technical/Quality manager for a cigarette paper manufacturer. After running a zirconium chemicals company in China for three years he returned to the UK in 2003 and set up his training company, PaperClassroom. He still enjoys teaching Level 2 and Level 3 papermaking, and in 2018 was awarded the contract to train all the UK’s papermaking apprentices.

Graduating with a BSc in Psychology, Peter started his working life in motor industry marketing and advertising eventually switching from the client side to the agency world. There he started off as an automotive expert and ended up as a partner in a top 100 agency advising clients in such diverse markets as Toys, Aviation, Spirits, Agriculture, Computing, Software and Telecommunications.

Peter became part of the original Apsley Paper Trail management team in 2000 retiring in 2020 having undertaken many roles including IT, Finance, Property development, Facility management, Marketing, Visitor Services and General Manager. With a life-long fascination for history and heritage, Peter now volunteers at the De Havilland Aircraft Museum as well as at Frogmore Paper Mill.

Jacob is an experienced COO in the technology industry, primarily in managed hosting. For the last 14 years, Jacob has run a managed internet infrastructure business called catalyst2. The outstanding quality of Catalyst2’s customer care has been recognised with several awards and an excellent Trust Pilot rating. During part of this time he has also been interim CTO of an ecommerce business and previously ran a web development and design agency. Jacob holds a Business Information Systems, BSc Honours degree from Oxford Brookes University.

Estates / Collections & Exhibitions / Fundraising / Education/Sustainability


Location: Frogmore Paper Mill, Fourdrinier Way, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, Hp3 9RY


Time commitment: Meetings every quarter

Contact Details:

The Apsley Paper Trail Trust (APT) is on a mission to secure a sustainable future for Frogmore Mill, the world’s oldest mechanised paper mill and a cornerstone of the industrial revolution in papermaking. Our commitment to conservation and preservation extends to Grade II listed buildings, historic machinery, and a significant museum collection, ensuring that the legacy of papermaking remains alive for future generations.

We are seeking new trustees to join our team and contribute to shaping the strategic direction, governance and sustainability of the charity. As a trustee, you will play a crucial role in guiding our efforts to transform Frogmore into the UK’s first Eco-Industrial Heritage Attraction—a hub of inspiration and innovation at the intersection of heritage, science, engineering and the arts.

If you have a passion for heritage conservation and sustainability, along with experience in leadership or governance roles, we encourage you to consider joining us. Excellent communication skills, the ability to devote time and energy to the role and a willingness to attend quarterly board meetings are essential.

We currently have vacancies in the following areas:

  • Estates and Health and Safety: Provide expertise on building care and health and safety practices to ensure the preservation of our historic sites.
  • Collections & Exhibitions: Advocate for audience-focused collections and guide the digital journey of our archive, supporting our goal to achieve Arts Council England Accreditation.
  • Fundraising: Generate funds to support museum development and restoration projects through donations and grants.
  • Education: Support our Education Team in delivering programmes focused on early years, further education and climate education.
  • Sustainability: Ensure our sustainability plans align with best practices and regulatory requirements, and contribute to setting and challenging carbon reduction targets.

Trustee meetings occur every three months and are typically held remotely, with at least one meeting per year on-site at Frogmore Paper Mill.

If you’re ready to make a meaningful contribution to our cause and help shape the future of Frogmore Paper Mill, we invite you to contact the Chair of Trustees, John Watson at to find out more.

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