The Club for Professional Engineers and Scientists in and around Hertfordshire

Copyright 2019 HELC

17 September 2020 at 11:00am

Underground - Overground in Hertfordshire

Professor Tony Hurford

Chalk is the main basement rock, a pure limestone formed in clear, silt-free seas. The porosity and permeability of chalk makes it is an excellent aquifer and, in the past, has provided much of London’s water supply.

Overground, Hertfordshire exhibits many young (geologically speaking!) superficial deposits lying on top of the bedrock, varying from fine silts to gravel and boulders. These are derived from surface processes of river and glacial erosion over the past 500 thousand years.


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 £23 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


19 November 2020

Renewable Energy

Robin Stafford Allen

17 December 2020

Easter Island

Phil Molloy

15 October 2020 at 11:00am  

The Panama Canal

Richard Thomas

We welcome back Richard Thomas who gave a talk on the Manchester Ship Canal last October.

His subject this time is the Panama Canal. Built to provide a short cut for shipping across the 50-mile isthmus at Panama, the project cost more in human lives and money than any other comparable route in the world. Richard will look at five centuries of endeavour that started with Christopher Columbus in 1502, culminating with the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 and the 21st century improvements.

We regret that HELC lunches have been cancelled, at least until the New Year. However in the interim we have organised a series of online talks which will be held on a regular lunch day.  Members will receive a Zoom invitation by email.