The Club for Professional Engineers and Scientists in and around Hertfordshire

Copyright 2018 HELC

19 April 2018

Our Dynamic Planet - Volcanos & Earthquakes

Prof Tony Hurford

Earth is a dynamic planet whose surface topography and landform result from the movement of the crustal tectonic plates driven by convection cells within the Earth's mantle and powered by heat from the core.  Plates are newly formed from molten magma at constructive margins, typically found in mid-ocean ridges such as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.  Plates are destroyed when they are bent or subducted beneath another plate as on the west coast of South America.  The two most cataclysmic consequences of plate movement are volcanoes and earthquakes, often found in close association and located around the margins of tectonic plates.  We will examine different types of earthquake and volcanism, their causes and occurrence, and will consider the impact on human activity and weather systems.

17 May 2018

River Kwai Railway - The True Story

Paul Whittle

Built at huge human cost in WW2 by Allied POWs and forced Asian labour, the 250 mile ‘Death Railway’ was immortalised (albeit controversially) by the award winning film ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ in 1957.  

The talk covers the story of the railway’s construction and examines the many differences between actual events and those portrayed in the famous film.


The lunches are held on the third Thursday of each month at 11.30 for 12.30 in the Homestead Court Hotel in Welwyn Garden City.  Dress is normally smart casual with a jacket and tie for the men. Expect to get away by 3pm.  The three course lunch with coffee costs £22 and includes a starter, meat main course, and a sweet and coffee.  An alternative main course “chef’s selection of fish”, may be pre-booked when registering for the lunch.

On arrival for lunch members check in by the hotel reception.  Those who have ordered a variant from the menu will receive an envelope containing a ‘Fish’ and/or ‘Alternative Sweet’ card which they should display on their lunch table to help the waitresses. A cash bar is open for drinks before, and with the meal.

Lunches must be booked no later than the Friday of the week before the lunch.  Details of the lunches, along with the necessary booking forms are included in the Newsletter.  

Any Member who is unable to attend after booking is responsible for the cost unless a cancellation is notified by the Friday previous to the booked lunch.

Some individual members reserve seats for themselves and their guests by placing cards on the tables. Whilst this has disadvantages and is less than ideal, nobody has yet come up with a more acceptable idea!



Title of Talk


21 June 2018

My Time in The Metropolitan Police

Carl Storer

19 July 2018

Titanic - Engineering Triumph to Human Tragedy

Graham Anthony

16 August 2018

A History of Movable Bridges

Stewart Marchant

20 September 2018

Windsor Castle

Leslie Grout

18 October 2018

History of Policing in our Times

Tim Brain