The Bovingdon History Group meets regularly at 8 p.m. in the Baptist Church in Bovingdon on the third Thursday in every month other than January, July and August. The church is a well equipped venue with comfortable chairs. It is set back from the High Street, next to ‘The Cutting Garden’ hairdressing salon. We usually have an illustrated talk lasting about an hour on some aspect of local history, followed by free tea and biscuits. We look forward to welcoming new members and occasional visitors to any of the meetings. The annual subscription is £12 and visitors pay £2 per visit. .

All meetings will start at 8.00 pm inBovingdonBaptistChurchunless otherwise stated

Programme 2013/15 

January 17th 2013    Annual dinner 7.30 for 8.00 pm Bovingdon Memorial Hall. Tickets required

February 21st  2013 Children of the labouring poor by Eileen Wallace

March 21st 2013       AGM  + Talking to walls – Latimer in WW2 by Colin Oakes

April 18th  2013       Boxmoor Trust – Past and Present by Phil Pennington

 May 16th   2013       St Albans and surrounding area in the Civil War by Alan Thomson        

June 20th   2013        The Gade and Bulbourne Valleys  by Mike Stanyon 

July 4th   2013             Evening  walk  followed  by supper

August 18th 2013        Summer Outing

September 19th 2013   Housing the deserving poor in Hertfordshire by Kate Thompson

October 17th 2013       De Havilland Aircraft you have never heard of by Robin Webb      

November 21st 2013   Marjorie’s War and the Dodgson connection by Charles Fair  

December 12th 2013   A Tudor Christmas by Catherine Grigg   

Dates for your 2014 diary

January 16th  2014     Annual dinner 7.30 for 8.00 pm Bovingdon Memorial Hall. Tickets required


February  20th 2014   To be announced            

for further information tel: 01442 833136

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  1. David

    I remember many happy times in Bovingdon as I lived there between 1966 and in Green View Close. I recall as a kid, playing in the disused USAF bases behind the Green; going to the airfield to watch the making of films such as The Battle of Britain, Mosquito Squadron (I missed Scouts on a Monday evening just to get the autograph of David McAllum); and watched the filming of The Persuaders with Tony Curtis and Roger Moore. I remember the Concorde flying overhead as I played cricket on the Green and of many friends. Where are they now? Who remembers that special time..and of Mr Hamer the Primary School headmaster..great days..warm Summers and cool Winters!

    David Christie

    • Anna Knight

      I was up at the airfield getting David McCallum’s autograph! I lived in Bovingdon from 1962-1972. I remember Mr Hamer very well and Mrs Leaper the music teacher. I remember the planes flying very low over my house opposite where Dudley House now is. And had a Saturday job at Williams the iron mongers (was DIxons) and seems to be Jarmans in the photos. Have you seen the Remember Bovingdon website?

  2. Jason May

    I was wondering if there are any contacts for the History section. I found in the detail from Bovingdon School Log books that my Grandfather, Reginald Downing, was given a watch for 5 years perfect attendance!

    I was actually trying to search for details of the Police house which must have been in the village around 1911 onwards as I know my Great Grandfather, John Downing was a Police Constable there and his home was provided with his job.

    • sue turner downing

      any information of my great grand parents would be appreciated . I have a photo with john and emma outside their home with my father as a boy.

      • jason may

        You have a photo of John and Emma? We have a living relative who knew them. She is Gladys ,s daughter. Her name is Jean.

        Which Is Your Father?

        John downing Is My Great Grandfather And I Found Quite A bit, Including where Buried!

  3. Jenni Day

    I am currently working on a series for the Crime and Investigation Network called Fred Dinenages Crime Stories and one of the programmes is about the Teacup Poisoner Graham Young. We are looking for anyone who knew him or worked with him at John Hadland Laboratories. Would it be possible to put a notice up your website to see if we could possibly find anyone?

    Any help would be gratefully received,


    • John Parker

      Hi. Yes I worked with Graham Young at John Hadlands in Bovingdon. He sat with me at lunch one day, and when we discussed our interests, I told him I was into inorganic chemistry. You should have seen his face (I think that saved my life) I gave a lot of help and advice when Anglia TV made a documentary about him some years ago.
      Regards John Parker

  4. wendy mckee

    I am trying to find out about an ancestor who was, I believe born in Bovingdon in 1816 called George Read. I can’t seem to find anything about him apart from that fact and that he married an Ann and lived in Puckeridge on 1861 cencus night. His occupation then was a harness maker. can anyone help?

  5. Richard Durrant

    There has been a ‘Durrant’ family living in Bovindon since the mid 1700’s. Michael Durrant lived in Bovingdon until his death a few years ago, but why was his nickname ‘Lamby’? I know that his great Grandfather John Edward Durrant, a blacksmith in Bovingdon had the same nickname according to the Book of Bovingdon. Richard Durrant, Watford.

  6. Dave Stables

    I have two early nineteenth century personalised pocket watches that have been traced to the Catling family, the head of whom was the innkeeper at the Swan Inn at Boxmoor for many years. For two personalised watches from the early part of the nineteenth century belonging to the same family to have survived and stayed together is quite remarkable and the research raises the question, was there a third personalised watch?
    Thanks to research by Chris Reynolds from Troon in Herts, Ive managed to get information on the Catling family who had many connections to Bovingdon. (See web address above).
    Was there a third personalised watch?

  7. Lisa Burke

    After twenty years of searching I finally found a tiny blurb about my ancestor Edward Prettyfoot that stated that he had passed away Oct. 9 1883 at Bovingdon, County of Hertford. I am thrilled to finally find him after he left his home in Mara Township, Ontario, Canada. I am hoping someone can tell me how I could contact someone from the church for more information about his family. The document also mentioned a Moses Burgin, nephew. I would love to hear from anyone who could give me any advice as to how to proceed. Thankyou so much.

    • Jim Burgin

      The parents of Moses Burgin (1831-1915) were James Burgin and Maria Puddephatt

  8. Stuart

    Try the name Puddiphatt, that was around in those days.

  9. John Green

    I wonder if you might be able to help me; I am trying to follow and re-create a bicycle trip made by one of my wife’s ancestors in October, 1910. He and a friend started the ride in Harringay, cycling to Chesham and back (staying overnight in Chesham). He documented his route in rhyme throughout and illustrated it with pen & ink drawings and a few photographs. However, we are having some problems following his route exactly, due to changes in roads and buildings. In particular, he states that he travelled through Boxmoor “then, turning at The Lamb”, continued to Bovingdon. We have tried to identify his route but have been unable to locate the Lamb – are you able to help us to locate what is probably an old Pub? Does it still exist or has it been demolished and, if so, where exactly was it? Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.


    I have lived here in Canada for a number of years but when I was a little girl I used to live in Hemel and I used to babysit with my older sister, a couple of children belonging to an American Airman and his wife (Steve and Linda Butler) Stationed at Bovingdon. Unfortunately, he was killed in an accidental plane crash some time about 1961 and Linda and the children returned to the States. I have always wondered what became of them and have tried repeatedly to find a website or some way to find them and say Hi? Does anyone know of a “old comrades” or “reunion” website (or anything else) where I could track them down. (Goodness it makes me sound like a detective?) If anyone can help I would really appreciate it!

    • Rebecca Perring

      Hello Marianne,
      I am a reporter for the Watford Observer. My colleague Adam Binnie completes the Nostalgia part in our newspaper and deals with inquiries like this.
      I will pass you across his details and if you would like to send him a few more details, I am sure he would be happy to help.
      His name is Adam Binnie and his email is and his contact is 07771956792.
      Good luck! Rebecca Perring

  11. Don Bovingdon

    Just wanted to know a little more about Bovingdon. I am doing genelogy &
    I am trying to get as much info. as I can. My parents names were Walter & Eileen Bovingdon.

  12. don

    have a look at

  13. leigh hewlett

    I love you and miss you E.B. Don’t rest in peace, enjoy it now, dance free from all the crap of mordern life.Xxxx

  14. John Dent

    There is a John Bovingdon I believe buried in Bovingdon churchyard

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