History club’s president steps down after 34 years at the top

Hemel Hempstead Local History & Museum Society chairman Mike Stanyon presents a parting gift to Peter Ward.
Hemel Hempstead Local History & Museum Society chairman Mike Stanyon presents a parting gift to Peter Ward.
  • President steps down after 34 consecutive years at helm of history and museum group
  • Peter Ward named the streets that make up the Apsley Lock development
  • The historian specialises in the Dickinson Mills and Nash Mills area
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A long-serving president of a museum and history society has stepped down after 34 consecutive years at the helm.

Members of the Hemel Hempstead Local History and Museum Society have paid tribute to historian 93 year old Peter Ward, who specialised in the town’s paper making heritage and the Nash Mills area.

It was with very mixed feelings that the society recently said goodbye to its president.

Roy Wood, club secretary

It was due to Peter’s expert knowledge of local history that he was asked to name many of the roads and buildings in the Apsley area, including the streets within the Apsley Lock development.

Secretary Roy Wood said: “It was with very mixed feelings that the society recently said goodbye to its president.

“As a local historian, specialising especially in the area of the Dickinson Mills and Nash Mills area in particular. His writing style had a natural and readable quality, put to good use in over 144 articles in the Chambersbury Church Magazine, along with various other articles and booklets on many local history subjects.”

Over the years Peter, who lives in Bennetts End and used to work for the town’s famous paper maker John Dickinson, has been a churchwarden at St Mary’s in Apsley, secretary to the Apsley District Action Group and also secretary to the Dacorum Museum Advisory Committee, which later became the Dacorum Heritage Trust.

He was originally christened Arthur, but a naming mistake while he worked at the paper firm, led to him being called Peter and it has stuck ever since.

He will continue to be a member of the history and museum society and was presented with a framed picture of John Dickinson by club chairman Mike Stanyon during his last evening as president.

A successor for the club’s role of president has not yet been appointed.