Hemel Hempstead is a historic town developed as a new town, in Hertfordshire, England. Located 24 miles northwest of London, it is part of the Greater London Urban Area; the population according to the 2001 Census was 81,143, at the 2011 census was 94,932. Developed after the Second World War as a new town, it has existed as a settlement since the 8th century and was granted its town charter by King Henry VIII in 1539, it is part of the district of the Hemel Hempstead constituency. The settlement was called by the name Henamsted or Hean-Hempsted in Anglo-Saxon times and in William the Conqueror's time by the name of Hemel-Amstede; the name is referred to in the Domesday Book as "Hamelamestede", but in centuries it became Hamelhamsted, Hemlamstede. In Old English, "-stead" or "-stede" meant a place, such as the site of a building or pasture, as in clearing in the woods, this suffix is used in the names of other English places such as Hamstead and Berkhamsted, it is theoretically possible for a previous name to have become corrupted to something similar to Hempstead, that "Hemel" originated as a way of specifying Hemel Hempstead as opposed to nearby Berkhamsted.
Hemel is reflected in the German "Himmel" and Dutch "Hemel", both of which mean'heaven' or'sky', so it could be that Hemel Hempstead was in a less-forested area open to the sky, while Berkhamsted was in a forest of birch trees. Another opinion is that Hemel came from "Haemele", the name of the district in the 8th century and is most either the name of the landowner or meant "broken country"; the town is now known to residents as "Hemel" and is colloquialised to "'emel". However, before the Second World War locals called it "Hempstead". Emigrants from Hemel Hempstead, led by one John Carman, migrated to the American colonies in the early 17th century and founded the town of Hempstead, New York in 1644; the first recorded mention of the town is the grant of land at Hamaele by Offa, King of Essex, to the Saxon Bishop of London in AD 705. Hemel Hempstead on its present site is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as a vill, with about 100 inhabitants; the parish church of St Mary's was built in 1140, is recognised as one of the finest Norman parish churches in the county.
The church features an unusual 200-foot-tall spire, added in the 12th century, one of Europe's tallest. After the Norman conquest, Count of Mortain, the elder half-brother of William the Conqueror, was granted lands associated with Berkhamsted Castle which included Hemel Hempstead; the estates passed through several hands over the next few centuries including Thomas Becket in 1162. Hemel Hempstead was in the Domesday hundred of Danais which by 1200 had been combined with the hundred of Tring to form the hundred of Dacorum, which maintained its court into the 19th century. In 1290 King John's grandson, the Earl of Cornwall, gave the manor to the religious order of the Bonhommes when he endowed the monastery at Ashridge; the town remained part of the monastery's estates until the Reformation and break-up of Ashridge in 1539. In that same year, the town was granted a royal charter by Henry VIII to become a bailiwick with the right to hold a Thursday market and a fair on Corpus Christi Day; the first bailiff of Hemel Hempstead was William Stephyns.
Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn are reputed to have stayed in the town at this time. In 1953 a collection of unusually fine medieval wall paintings dating between 1470 and 1500 were discovered in a cottage in Piccotts End, a village on the outskirts of Hemel Hempstead; this same building had been converted into the first cottage hospital providing free medical services by Sir Astley Cooper in 1827. In 1581, a group of local people acquired lands – now referred to as Boxmoor – from the Earl of Leicester to prevent their enclosure; these were transferred to trustees in 1594. These have been used for public grazing and they are administered by the Box Moor Trust. Remains of Roman villa farming settlements have been found at Boxmoor and Gadebridge which span the entire period of Roman Britain. A well preserved Roman burial mound is located in Highfield. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Hemel Hempstead was an agricultural market town. Wealthy landowners built a few large country houses in the locality, including The Bury, built in 1790, Gadebridge House, erected by the noted surgeon and anatomist Sir Astley Cooper in 1811.
As the Industrial Revolution gained momentum, commercial travel between the Midlands and London increased greatly. Hemel Hempstead was located on a direct route between these areas of industry and commerce and this made it a natural waypoint for trade and travel between the two; the Sparrows Herne Turnpike Road was opened in 1762. It attracted a lot of traffic that resulted in its surface wearing out and it became notorious for its ruts and potholes.. In 1793 construction began on the Grand Junction Canal, a major project to provide a freight waterway between the Midlands and the Port of London. In 1798, the canal from the Thames reached Two Waters, just south of Hemel Hempstead, opened in 1805. Hemel's position on the commercial transport network was established further in 1837 when the route of the new London and Birmingham Railway reached the town; the line's construction had been delayed for several years by vigorous lobbying by a number of powerful local landowners, including Sir Astley Cooper of Gadebridge House, who were all keen to protect their estates from invasion by the "iron horse".
Their campaign was successful and the main line was routed along the River Bulbourne instead of the River Gade, skirting around the edge of Hemel Hempstead. As a r
Hertfordshire is one of the home counties in the south east of England. It is bordered by Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, Buckinghamshire to the west. For government statistical purposes, it is placed in the East of England region. In 2013, the county had a population of 1,140,700 in an area of 634 square miles; the four towns that have between 50,000 and 100,000 residents are Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans. Hertford, once the main market town for the medieval agricultural county, derives its name from a hart and a ford, used as the components of the county's coat of arms and flag. Elevations are high for the region in the west; these reach over 800 feet in the western projection around Tring, in the Chilterns. The county's borders are the watersheds of the Colne and Lea. Hertfordshire's undeveloped land is agricultural and much is protected by green belt; the county's landmarks span many centuries, ranging from the Six Hills in the new town of Stevenage built by local inhabitants during the Roman period, to Leavesden Film Studios.
The volume of intact medieval and Tudor buildings surpasses London, in places in well-preserved conservation areas in St Albans which includes some remains of Verulamium, the town where in the 3rd century an early recorded British martyrdom took place. Saint Alban, a Romano-British soldier, took the place of a Christian priest and was beheaded on Holywell Hill, his martyr's cross of a yellow saltire on a blue field is reflected in the flag and coat of arms of Hertfordshire. Hertfordshire is well-served with railways, providing good access to London; the largest sector of the economy of the county is in services. Hertfordshire was the area assigned to a fortress constructed at Hertford under the rule of Edward the Elder in 913. Hertford is derived from meaning deer crossing; the name Hertfordshire is first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1011. Deer feature in many county emblems. There is evidence of humans living in Hertfordshire from the Mesolithic period, it was first farmed during the Neolithic period and permanent habitation appeared at the beginning of the Bronze Age.
This was followed by tribes settling in the area during the Iron Age. Following the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43, the aboriginal Catuvellauni submitted and adapted to the Roman life. Saint Alban, a Romano-British soldier, took the place of a Christian priest and was beheaded on Holywell Hill, his martyr's cross of a yellow saltire on a blue field is reflected in the flag and coat of arms of Hertfordshire as the yellow field to the stag or Hart representing the county. He is the Patron Saint of Hertfordshire. With the departure of the Roman Legions in the early 5th century, the now unprotected territory was invaded and colonised by the Anglo-Saxons. By the 6th century the majority of the modern county was part of the East Saxon kingdom; this short lived kingdom collapsed in the 9th century, ceding the territory of Hertfordshire to the control of the West Anglians of Mercia. The region became an English shire in the 10th century, on the merger of the West Saxon and Mercian kingdoms. A century William of Normandy received the surrender of the surviving senior English Lords and Clergy at Berkhamsted, resulting in a new Anglicised title of William the Conqueror before embarking on an uncontested entry into London and his coronation at Westminster.
Hertfordshire was used for some of the new Norman castles at Bishop's Stortford, at King's Langley, a staging post between London and the royal residence of Berkhamsted. The Domesday Book recorded the county as having nine hundreds. Tring and Danais became one—Dacorum—from Danis Corum or Danish rule harking back to a Viking not Saxon past; the other seven were Braughing, Cashio, Hertford and Odsey. The first shooting-down of a zeppelin over Great Britain during WW1 happened in Cuffley; as London grew, Hertfordshire became conveniently close to the English capital. However, the greatest boost to Hertfordshire came during the Industrial Revolution, after which the population rose dramatically. In 1903, Letchworth became the world's first garden city and Stevenage became the first town to redevelop under the New Towns Act 1946. From the 1920s until the late 1980s, the town of Borehamwood was home to one of the major British film studio complexes, including the MGM-British Studios. Many well-known films were made here including the first three Star Wars movies.
The studios used the name of Elstree. American director Stanley Kubrick not only used to shoot in those studios but lived in the area until his death. Big Brother UK and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? have been filmed there. EastEnders is filmed at Elstree. Hertfordshire has seen development at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden. On 17 October 2000, the Hatfield rail crash killed four people with over 70 injured; the crash exposed the shortcomings of Railtrack, which saw speed restrictions and major track replacement. On 10 May 2002, the second of the Potters Bar rail accidents occurred killing seven people.
Galliford Try plc is a British construction company registered in Uxbridge, London. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange, is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index; the company was created in 2000 through a merger of Try Group plc, founded by WS Try in 1908 in London, Galliford plc, founded by Thomas Galliford in 1916. Try was founded by W S Try, a carpenter, in 1908. Try operated as a general contractor until the beginning of the 1970s. Despite acquisitions, housing remained on a small scale, peaking at around two hundred units a year in the beginning of the 1990s. Galliford became a public company in 1965, having been developed as a civil engineering business, it entered the private housing market in 1973 with the acquisition of Crabb Curtis. The housing contribution was late extended through Stamford Homes and, in 1998, the acquisition of Midas Homes, by which time the group was building around five hundred houses a year. Between 2005 and 2015 the company was led by chief executive Greg Fitzgerald.
The company expanded its construction business acquiring Morrison Construction from AWG plc in March 2006 and Miller Construction from Miller Homes in July 2014. It entered the housebuilding business acquiring Gerald Wood Homes in 2001, Chartdale in January 2006, Kendall Cross in November 2007, Linden Homes in February 2008, Rosemullion Homes in December 2009 and Shepherd Homes in May 2015. All the individual house building divisions were re branded as Linden Homes in 2011. In February 2018, following the January collapse of Carillion, Galliford Try said it would need to raise £150m to pay for cost overruns on the project. CEO Peter Truscott said the company's construction division would no longer undertake fixed price major projects of this kind. On 27 March 2018, the company confirmed it had raised £158m in a rights issue; the company is organised as follows: Linden Homes Galliford Try Partnerships Construction Major projects include: the Centre Court roof at Wimbledon, completed in 2009 the restoration of the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel, completed in 2011 the Museum of Liverpool, completed in 2011 Halley VI Research Station, completed in 2013 Hotel Football overlooking the football ground Old Trafford, completed in 2014 Queensferry Crossing, completed in 2017 Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, completed in 2019 Official site
Abbots Langley is a large village and civil parish in the English county of Hertfordshire. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Economically the village is linked to Watford and was part of the Watford Rural District. Since 1974 it has been included in the Three Rivers district; this village has had a long history of successful human habitation. The first traces of human habitation in the area were recorded by renowned archaeologist Sir John Evans; the village sits on a saucer of clay covered by a layer of gravel, as a result water supply has never been a problem. In 1045 the Saxon thegn Ethelwine'the Black' granted the upper part of Langlai to St Albans Abbey as Langlai Abbatis the remainder being the king's Langlai. By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 the village was inhabited by 19 families; the area was split into four manors, Abbots Langley, Langleybury and Hyde. In 1539, Henry seized Abbots Langley and sold it to his military engineer Sir Richard Lee; the Manor of Abbots Langley was bequeathed by Francis Combe in his will of 1641 jointly to Sidney Sussex College and Trinity College, Oxford.
The manors of Langleybury and Chambersbury passed through the Ibgrave and Child families, in 1711 were conveyed to Sir Robert Raymond Solicitor General Attorney General and Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench. On the death of his son without issue in 1756 the manors passed to the Filmer family; the Manor of Hyde passed to Edward Strong in 1714, through his daughter to Sir John Strange, who left the manor to be shared between his children and their descendents and to the possession of F. M. Nares & Co which sold the estate to the British Land Company in 1858. On Tibbs Hill Road there is a well-preserved example of a Prince Albert's Model Cottage; the original design and construction was for the Great Exhibition of 1851, to demonstrate model housing for the poor. Subsequently, the design was replicated in several other locations, including Abbots Langley. Kitters Green developed as a separate hamlet by Manor House; the land between Kitters Green and Abbots Langley was bought from the estate of Sarah Smith by the British Land Company in 1866.
It laid out plots for development along Adrian, Breakspear and Popes roads. The development of these plots led to the merger of the two settlements and the loss of Kitters Green's separate identity. To the west of Manor House Park is a legendary sledging hill called Blackhill; this leads to a wooded area called the Dell. The recent Katherine Place development has brought in some high class retailers to the centre and was sold for £2.93 million in December 2005. To the south of the village are Leavesden Film Studios, on the former RAF and Rolls-Royce airfield, where scenes from movies including GoldenEye, Sleepy Hollow and the Harry Potter series have been filmed. Bedmond, a village, administratively part of Abbots Langley, is the birthplace of Nicholas Breakspear, the only Englishman to be Pope, believed to have been born at Breakspear Farm c. 1100. The site where his home stood is marked by a plaque; the village of Abbots Langley contains several roads named after its famous inhabitant, at one time included activities of the Brakspear Brewery.
The church includes a window with the inscription To the Glory of God in memory of George Turnbull C. E. born 1809 died 1889. The civil engineer Turnbull was said by the Indian government to be the First railway engineer of India: in his retirement to Rosehill, a house in Abbots Langley, he was instrumental in establishing a drainage and sewerage scheme for the village, including writing a June 1880 report; the window was donated by his wife Fanny. Abbots Langley Cricket Club is the local community club honouring the parish with trophies and spectacular games of Cricket over the past years. A number of teams play locally: Abbots Langley FC, the local side who play in the West Herts Saturday League using the facilities at the nearby Leavesden Country Park. Ecocall F. C. in the Olympian Sunday Football League Evergreen in the Herts Senior County League. Evergreen in the Watford Sunday Football League Evergreen Youth in the West Herts Youth League and Watford Friendly League Everett Rovers in the Arlon Printers West Herts Saturday League Abbots Youth in the West Herts Youth League and Watford Friendly League Bedmond FC in the Herts Senior County League, Watford Friendly League and Mid Herts Rural Minors League Langleybury Cricket Club in the Arlon Printers West Herts Saturday League Langleybury Cricket Club in the Watford Sunday Football League Manuel Almunia, former professional footballer.
Nick Blinko and singer/songwriter/guitarist of Rudimentary Peni. Pope Adrian IV, born in Abbots Langley as Nicholas Breakspear. James Cecil, 1st Marquess of Salisbury lived at Cecil Lodge 1760s–80. Violet Cressy-Marcks and journalist, lived at Hazelwood 1930–70. David Crighton, educated at Abbots Langley primary school. Joan Evans, historian of mediaeval art. John Evans and geologist, married and buried, St Lawrence Church, Abbots Langley. Elizabeth Greenhill, mother of 37 single births and one set of twins. Thomas Greenhill, surgeon to Henry Howard, 7th Duke of Norfolk and 39th and last child of Elizabeth Greenhill. Michael Gregsten (
Grand Junction Canal
The Grand Junction Canal is a canal in England from Braunston in Northamptonshire to the River Thames at Brentford, with a number of branches. The mainline was built between 1793 and 1805, to improve the route from the Midlands to London, by-passing the upper reaches of the River Thames near Oxford, thus shortening the journey. In 1927 the canal was bought by the Regent's Canal Company and, since 1 January 1929, has formed the southern half of the Grand Union Main Line from London to Birmingham; the canal is now much used by leisure traffic. Isambard Kingdom Brunel's last major undertaking was the compact Three Bridges, London, on the canal. Work began in 1856, was completed in 1859; the three bridges are an overlapping arrangement allowing the routes of the Grand Junction Canal, Great Western and Brentford Railway, Windmill Lane to cross. By 1790, an extensive network of canals was in place, or under construction, in the Midlands. However, the only route to London was via the Oxford Canal to the River Thames at Oxford, down the river to the capital.
The river the upper reaches, was in a poor condition for navigation compared with the modern canals. The river suffered from shallow sections and shortage of water leading to delays at locks, there were frequent conflicts with mill owners over water supplies. In 1791–1792, two surveys of a route from Brentford on the Thames to Braunston on the Oxford Canal were carried out, first by James Barnes and by William Jessop. There were other proposals for an alternative direct route to London, two bills were put to Parliament, but it was the Bill for the Grand Junction Canal, passed on 30 April 1793; the Act of Parliament authorised the company to raise up to £600,000 to fund construction of the main line from where the eastern branch of the River Brent enters the Thames adjoining Syon Park in the parish of Brentford, to the Oxford Canal at Braunston. It authorised branches to Daventry, the River Nene at Northampton, to the turnpike road at Old Stratford, to Watford: those to Daventry and Watford were not built.
William Jessop was appointed to take charge of construction which started immediately from both ends. On 3 June 1793 an engineer, James Barnes, was appointed at the rate of two guineas per day plus half a guinea expenses. At the north end, there were problems with the construction of Blisworth Tunnel: quicksand was encountered, errors made in alignment which meant that the tunnel had a pronounced wiggle. With the opening of Braunston Tunnel, the line was open from the Oxford Canal through to Weedon Bec in June 1796. However, Blisworth Tunnel continued to cause problems, collapsing in January 1796; the canal was opened from Braunston to Blisworth in 1797. The canal from the Thames reached Two Waters near Hemel Hempstead in 1798, Bulbourne at the north end of the Tring summit in 1799, Stoke Bruerne at the south end of Blisworth Tunnel the following year. Thus, with the exception of Blisworth Tunnel, the main line was open in 1800. To allow goods to cross the gap, a road was built in 1800 over the top of Blisworth hill and upon the recommendation of committee member Joseph Wilkes, Benjamin Outram was contracted to build a tramway over the hill.
James Barnes proposed. Robert Whitworth and John Rennie were called in for advice, supported this proposal. However, construction on the new line did not start until June 1802, was not completed until March 1805. Nine locks were used in a temporary arrangement to lower and raise the canal for the crossing of the River Great Ouse at Wolverton at the river's water level. In 1799, William Jessop designed a three-arch masonry aqueduct and embankment to cross the river and replace the locks; this collapsed in 1808, a wooden trough was used as a temporary replacement. It was decided to build an iron aqueduct, with Benjamin Bevan as engineer; the foundation stone for the replacement aqueduct was laid on 9 September 1809, it was opened on 22 January 1811. The Grand Junction Canal had reduced the distance to London from the Midlands by 60 miles —via Oxford and the River Thames—and made the journey reliable; as a result, it thrived: in 1810 it carried 343,560 tons of goods through London, with equal amounts into and out of the capital.
The Grand Junction's original act in 1793 authorised branches to Daventry, the River Nene at Northampton, to the turnpike road at Old Stratford, to Watford in Hertfordshire: those to Daventry and Watford were not built. The branch to Old Stratford was amended; the branch to Northampton was delayed as the plans of the Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Union Canal to reach Northampton and thus join with the Grand Junction came to nothing. The link to Northampton was made by a tramroad transferred from Blisworth Tunnel, with the 5-mile canal from Gayton being opened in 1815; the link to Leicester was achieved by the opening of the Grand Union Canal, which took a more direct route from Foxton in Leicestershire to the Grand Junction at Norton Junction. The 1794 act authorised three further branches, to Aylesbury and Wendover; the 6.5-mile navigable feeder from Wendover to the summit level at Tring was opened in 1799, while the 10.5-mile Buckingham branch, an extension of the original proposal for a link to the main road at Old Stratford, was opened in 1801: both fell into disuse, though the Wendover Arm is undergoing active restoration, part of it is again navigable.
The Aylesbury arm was envisaged to become a through route to the Thame
Apsley was a 19th-century mill village in the county of Hertfordshire, England. It is a historic industrial site situated in a valley of the Chiltern Hills, it is positioned below the confluence of the Gade and Bulbourne. In an area of little surface water this was an obvious site for the location of water mills serving local agriculture. Today it is a suburb of the larger town of Hemel Hempstead. Recent rapid building around the canal area has seen a large influx of London commuters from the software and business communities. At the 2011 Census the village was included in the Dacorum Ward of Corner Hall; the name Apsley means aspen wood. It was the construction of the trunk canal between London and the Midlands through the valley in 1798 that began its industrial rise at the start of the 19th century; the canal gave an easy way of transporting the manufactured products to and from the mills. John Dickinson, the inventor of a new method of continuous papermaking, purchased an existing mill in the area in 1809.
There is record of paper making taking place nearby at this time. His business expanded throughout the Victorian age coming to occupy large parts of the flat land in the valley bottom. Streets of mill workers' terraced houses grew up adjacent to the mills. Housing for managers was built on the old Manor Farm, higher up the hill towards Felden, in the grounds of the Manor Estate, today known as Shendish Manor. Production peaked during the Second World War; the site was however not ideal for large scale papermaking in the 20th century and became a warehouse and distribution centre for products made elsewhere. The last John Dickinson warehouse closed in 1999. Frogmore Paper Mill is a working paper mill and visitor centre located in some of the original mill buildings. Paper continued to be made until 2006 a short distance away at Nash Mills by the global Sappi group at a former John Dickinson mill; this too continued as a distribution centre for some time. In 2011, the Sappi site was redeveloped for canal-side housing, preserving some of the historic structures at the site.
In the 1950s the adjacent town of Hemel Hempstead was designated a New Town as part of the provision of new residential areas surrounding London and Apsley became a part of the development giving its name to the new school of Apsley Grammar School at Bennetts End. Today, Apsley is still a busy commercial centre; the Victorian shops that grew up when it was a mill town now house newsagents, public houses, a range of small businesses. The former mill sites are taken up with retail parks and offices. Housing developments combining the canal-side location with the ease of access to Apsley railway station have been successful, Apsley Marina is a thriving location for boaters; the local parish church is St Mary's, in London Road. There is a Methodist church. An important local issue since the summer of 2003 is the proposal to build on land surrounding the Manor Estate in Apsley, designated as green belt land. A new housing estate, called the Aspen Estate, has since been built on the hills above the Manor Estate.
13th century – Ralf de Chenduit was granted land in the area. The local manor is still called Shendish Manor today. 1803 – First record of paper making in the area at nearby Frogmore. 1809 – John Dickinson, the inventor of a continuous mechanised papermaking process, purchased a corn mill in the valley and started making paper. 1811 – The Grand Junction Canal to be called the Grand Union Canal, opened to through traffic. The original route of part of the canal was higher up the side of the valley passing north of the George and the Three Tuns pubs on Belswains Lane, it put Apsley on the principal trade route from London to the north. 1836 – John Dickinson built his country house in nearby Nash Mills and called it Abbot's Hill. It is now a private school. 1838 – The London and Birmingham Railway passed through the valley adjacent to the site but no station was built. Canals continued to be the primary commercial means of transport for Apsley's mills. 1853 – Charles Longman, heir to the publisher Longman's and partner to John Dickinson, bought the Shendish estate and built an impressive manor house.
1871 – The Church at Apsley End was opened for public worship. 1938 – Apsley railway station was built with backing from John Dickinson Ltd as a way to bring more people to work at the mills. 1939–1945 – John Dickinson's was at its peak, employed more than 7,000 workers. It made munitions as well as paper products. 1999 – The last paper mills owned by John Dickinson were shut. 2003 – A national paper museum was built to celebrate the links between the industry and the town. 2006 - Apsley Marina was established. 2011 – Local Football Club Apsley Athletic FC was formed. Apsley House, which has no connection with Apsley in Hertfordshire but takes its name from its first owner Baron Apsley, the 2nd Earl Bathurst, his title refers to Sussex where the Bathurst family had connections. The present holder of the Earldom Bathurst is Allen Christopher Bertram Bathurst, 9th Earl Bathurst, whose son and heir uses the secondary title of Lord Apsley. A Hertfordshire Valley by Scott Hastie photographs by David Spain, Alpine Press Ltd, Kings Langley, 1996, ISBN 0-9528631-0-3 Apsley Official Website of The Paper Trail project Information on The National Paper Museum Pro
John Dickinson Stationery
John Dickinson Stationery Limited was a leading English stationery company founded in west Hertfordshire, merged to form Dickinson Robinson Group. In the 19th century, the company pioneered a number of innovations in paper-making; the company was founded in Apsley, Hertfordshire in 1804 by John Dickinson, who invented a continuous mechanized paper-making process. Dickinson patented his ideas in 1809 and in the same year he gained financial backing from George Longman, whose family controlled the Longman publishing firm, he established Nash Mill in 1811 and Croxley in Hertfordshire. The river and canal at Apsley and Nash Mills provided power for the mills and transport for materials and product; the mill-house at Nash Mill, called Nash House, became the family home for Dickinson and his new wife Ann whose father Harry Grover supported this business development through his Grover's Bank. In a few years Nash Mills was renowned for its production of tough thin paper for Samuel Bagster's "Pocket Reference Bible".
A major fire in 1813 was a setback, being covered by insurance, enabled redevelopment towards large scale production. During the 19th century, Sir John Evans and his son Lewis Evans both managed the company. John Dickinson & Co. Ltd had their Engineering Department at Nash Mills until 1888, when it was transferred to Apsley Mill. By the end of the nineteenth century, Nash Mill, small and had a reputation for independence, experienced a drop in profitability. Continuous minor changes were implemented until, in 1926 it underwent improvements with expansion and refurbishment; the Lion Brand was adopted as the company logo in 1910. Companies were formed in South Africa, New Zealand and elsewhere; the Basildon Bond brand of stationery was created by Millington and Sons in 1911. The brand is named after Basildon Park, where some of Millington's directors were staying and liked the alliteration of "Basildon" and "bond"; the Millington & Sons company was acquired by John Dickinson in 1918, who took over the Basildon Bond brand.
The name "Basildon Bond" was used by comedian Russ Abbot for one of his characters. John Dickinson patented a method of paper-making in June 1807, that rendered his rivals' techniques obsolete. In 1850, the company started mechanical envelope manufacturing, with gummed envelopes for the first time; the production of fine rag paper on electrically driven machines was a successful innovation at Nash Mill. The company pioneered the production of window envelopes in 1929; the company produced various paper and cardboard products for the war effort, branched out into engineering, producing items such as fuel tanks for long range fighter aircraft, 20 mm cannon shells, aircraft fuel pumps and spark plugs. The company made the foil strips codenamed Window used by the RAF to blind enemy radar. Dickinson Robinson Group Ltd was formed out of E. S. & A. Robinson Packaging of Bristol and John Dickinson & Co Ltd. in 1966, creating one of the world's largest stationery and packaging companies. In 1989, the asset-stripper Roland Franklin acquired DRG with a leveraged buyout worth £900 million.
In 1990, the paper mills in the group, Nash Mills, Keynsham Paper Mill and Fife Paper Mills, were sold to Sappi of South Africa. These mills were all subsequently closed down by Sappi as were all other acquisitions they made in the UK. In 1999, what had been the Stationery Division of the Group was bought by Spicers Ltd and moved from Apsley to the village of Sawston, south of Cambridge. In 2005, John Dickinson Stationery was purchased by the French stationery manufacturer Hamelin Group. Rebranded as Hamelin Brands, the company moved to Suffolk. Just north of the former Apsley Mill site in Hemel Hempstead is Frogmore Paper Mill, the world's oldest mechanised paper mill, it was here that Bryan Donkin first demonstrated the paper machine he developed for the Fourdrinier brothers. Now operated by a conservation and education charitable trust, Frogmore Mill is open to the public and incorporates a visitor centre, museum exhibition hall and art gallery as well as continuing to make paper on machine and by hand.
Black n' Red is a brand of books and pads of paper, produced by John Dickinson Stationery Limited, with a striking black and red design. The front and back covers of such books are black, with the text "Black n' Red" written in red font in the bottom right corner of the cover; the spine or bind is red. John Dickinson & Co, Book Department produced a range of notebooks and pads but under their brand of "Challenge" - "Black n' Red was the market leader but produced and registered brand for the Spicers Stationery Co. Official website Hamelin Paper Trail - official museum site Black n' Red website Black n' Red website Nederland