The Club for Professional Engineers and Scientists in and around Hertfordshire

Copyright 2017 HELC

21 December 2017

Travellers Rails

Clint and Jude Bull

Clint Bell has been a railway enthusiast from a very young age and has long enjoyed seeing and travelling on trains at any opportunity. Over the last 30 years he and his wife, Jude,  have travelled the world and always try to include some interesting railway trips wherever they go, from Scotland to Sudan. The talk will be illustrated with a selection of photos from their rail travels covering steam, diesel and electric trains of all sorts. They are very widely travelled, so we are in for a treat!

18 January 2018

The Beagle has Landed

Philip Molloy

Beagle 2 was a bold but ill-fated British Probe mission to Mars. Prof Colin Pillinger (Open University) persuaded ESA (European Space Agency) to fly the Probe on an ESA Mars Express satellite. The Probe would land on Mars to investigate surface and sub-surface chemicals. ESA constraints made the design and testing of the Probe very difficult. Mars Express was launched in June 2003 and went into orbit around Mars in Dec 2003. Beagle 2 was released on 19 December – intended to land on Mars on Christmas day…..

The talk retells the incredible engineering of Beagle 2 and the shear disappointment of its failure. The recent discovery of the Probe shows how near it came to success.  


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 pre-booked fish are asked to collect a ‘Fish’ card which they should display on their lunch table to assist 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


15 February 2018

Bugging the Nazis

Dr Helen Fry

15 March 2018

Z Day in the Life of a Thames Tug

Roger Thomas

19 April 2018

Our Dynamic Planet - Volcanos & Earthquakes

Prof Tony Hurford

17 May 2018

River Kwai Railway - The True Story

Paul Whittle

21 June 2018

My Time in The Metropolitan Police

Carl Storer