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Newsletter number 1- May 2019

Welcome​​ to our first newsletter, in which we hope to tell you about what has been happening so far and about future plans.

The​​ Radlett Archives Group​​ (RAG) was formed in 2017​​ to acquire and store the comprehensive archive of photographs, documents and artefacts accumulated by the late Philip Eastburn, the well-known and highly-regarded local historian. RAG is the working name of the Radlett and District museum, which is registered with the Charities Commission.

The​​ initial challenges​​ were to​​ find a secure place to store the archives,​​ to​​ establish a plan to catalogue and display them​​ and to form a team to carry out the necessary tasks.

Of what local stone is this wall largely built?

A committee of​​ Trustees,​​ all of whom​​ are volunteers,​​ was formed and this group​​ has been very active​​ in driving the project forward.​​ Achievements to date​​ include:

  • Registration with the Charities Commission

  • Formulation of​​ a constitution

  • Appointment of Officers and allocation of responsibilities

  • Agreement of Aims for​​ RADM – specifically to​​ store its extensive archives and​​ exhibit them

  • Opening of bank accounts, preparation of budgets and arrangement of insurance

  • Extensive research into possible locations in which to store and​​ exhibit our​​ archives

  • Seeking and obtaining​​ substantial grants​​ in order to finance the acquisition of suitable​​ premises

  • Commencement of the​​ cataloguing​​ according to The Collections Trust guidelines​​ and​​ digitisation​​ of our archives – a huge task!

  • Recorded interviews with a​​ number​​ of​​ local residents,​​ capturing their recollections​​ of the local area over the years

  • A well-attended Open Evening at the​​ Library and a number of events, talks, school visits,​​ quizzes, and other fundraising events

  • Displays in the window of the Harpenden Building Society and the Radlett Centre

  • Creation and maintenance of website

John Apthorp​​ very kindly agreed to be our​​ President​​ and the current​​ Trustees​​ and their responsibilities are:

Do you know this location in Radlett?

Stuart Nagler​​ ​​ Chairman

Graham Taylor – Vice Chairman​​ and Archiving​​ and Website

Roger Housechild – Treasurer

Peter Turner​​ ​​ Secretary

Jan Adams​​ – Communications and Publicity

Gill Balen​​ – Interviews

Laura Davis​​ – Fund Raising and Events

Martin Jeens​​ –Premises​​ Maintenance

Diana Lobatto – Fund Raising​​ and Events

Chris Wilkins – Acquisition of Premises and Communications and Publicity


The achievements to date​​ could not have been accomplished without the help of a number of​​ volunteers, to whom we are grateful.


After a period of searching for a “home”, an agreement was reached with Hertfordshire County Council to lease a room on the first floor of the Radlett Library.​​ Whilst being an ideal place for storage,​​ the annual rent is expensive and the room is not big enough​​ for exhibiting purposes.​​ Consequently,​​ we have​​ sought to acquire suitable and affordable​​ premises.​​ Agreement has been reached with the Trustees of the Radlett Village Institute​​ (RVI)​​ to lease an area at the bottom of the​​ Institute’s garden and erect a​​ prefabricated building. The building will be constructed of steel and timber and will be timber-clad​​ and landscaped​​ so as to blend in​​ with​​ its surroundings.​​ At the time of writing, the necessary legal documentation is being prepared and​​ planning permission​​ sought.


Future​​ Plans​​ include:

  • Agreement of the lease with the RVI

  • Receiving formal planning permission​​ for the proposed premises

  • Construction of the building​​ and provision of the necessary services​​ (water, electricity, etc)

  • Grand Opening followed by regular opening hours​​ – probably two mornings a week initially

  • Formation of a rota of volunteers to​​ man the building during opening times

  • Obtaining sponsorship​​ to contribute towards ongoing costs

  • Setting up a membership​​ group (“Friends​​ of the RADM”)​​ 

  • Arranging a programme of exhibitions, talks, school visits, events​​ and fund-raising activities

  • Enhancing and maintaining the website​​ to reflect​​ the activities of the RADM

  • Liaison with other museums and​​ local history groups to consider areas of​​ mutual interest and benefit

  • Searching for an off-site, secure, damp-proof​​ and low-cost storage facility​​ in which to house “overflow”​​ archives material

  • Building our membership and volunteer base

  • Taking a stall at the Radlett Festival on​​ 19 June


Any​​ constructive​​ observations and feedback​​ would be gratefully received. Please contact​​ Chris Wilkins​​ at​​​​ or on 01923 852842.


Finally, Stuart Nagler will lead two​​ more​​ of his “Historic​​ Watling Street” walks starting at 10.00 on Sundays 30 June and​​ 21 July. The cost (a donation to RADM funds)​​ will be £5 per person. Please register your interest​​ with Stuart at​​



Picture Quiz Answers:​​ 

Image 1: Puddingstone, seen in a wall alongside FP A17, Battler’s Green

Image 2: Watford Road, looking towards Aldenham Road, as seen from the entrance to Barn Close