Blog

5th February 2016

If you have a group of people who might be interested in a talk about the fascinating subject of paper, please get it touch. Peter Burford, our Visitor Centre Manager, does an entertaining and informative presentation covering the history, science and fascinating facts about hydrogen bonded cellulose mat. Call us and book.

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11th June 2015

A special visit and trip down memory lane for two former Nash Mill/ Sappi employees, David Dodd and Fred Isaac; Health and Safety manager and draughtsman respectively. Both toured Frogmore Mill and exchanged stories with our lead archivist, Mike Stanyon and met former Sappi colleague Gary Fuller. David reduced accidents at Nash to zero and Fred drew both site (including the drains)and machines at Nash until retirement.
Fred kindly donated some sheets of John Dickinson watermarked Three Candlesticks paper to show our school visitors.

The Three Candlesticks watermark contains the date 1649, long before Dickinson had his mills along the Gade. Does anyone perhaps know the significance of the date? We would love to find the answer.

28th April 2015

Filmed in July and televised on Friday 24th April at 4.30pm, Frogmore Paper Mill and staff appeared on BBC1’s Flog It. The programme was a wonderful promotion for the mill with opening shots of both No 2 and No 4 Fourdrinier machines and a brief introduction of what was to come later in the programme. The main slot featured Papermaker Gary Fuller and Education Manager Sue Woolnough helping Paul Martin to make a sheet of handmade paper and discussing how the invention of the papermaking machine changed education. The piece ends with a long shot of Paul Martin walking alongside No2, whilst making a passionate speech about how this wonderful machine must not be allowed to sit idle and needs to be restored to life.
A timely message as just such a project will hopefully begin very soon.

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5th December 2014

Visit our Affordable Art show and do your Christmas shopping, or treat yourself. Lots of work, all under £50 and available to take away on the day. The show will change as work is sold and replaced, so will be worth more than one visit. Work includes drawing, printmaking, photography, typography and textiles. Come and choose from our washing lines.
Private View 6.30-8.30 tonight. Runs until 23rd December. 11.00 – 4.00 every day except Saturdays.

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Wednesday 3rd December 2014

Our new drawing tutor Pete Clarke went down a storm! Good to get such excellent feedback because when you are writing the copy to sell a course readers probably assume you are exaggerating. Lovely group, lovely session with a great tutor. Come and join the next as we can accommodate a few more – Wednesday 17th December 10.00-2.30pm. £20 per session. Book in advance.

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Wednesday 26th November 2014

Trustee and workshop leader for the Royal Institution,  David Lane and Sue Woolnough visited the Royal Institution in Albemarle Street yesterday. Together with Rachel Dorris the programme for this year was planned and it will include some new and exciting workshops. Aimed at Year 9 more able students from Dacorum and beyond schools, it seeks to stretch and excite students about careers in the very broad scope of engineering. Sessions commence on Saturday 10th January 2015. If you are interested contact education@thepapertrail.org.uk.

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Monday 24th November 2014

We welcome our new Education Officer, Mia Waldock to Frogmore Paper Mill.  With experience at the Boxmoor Trust and an interest in archaeology, Mia is a good complement to the team. Those of you coming to our Christmas Fair or attending learning sessions will meet her very soon..

Friday 14th November 2014

Yesterday saw the start of our new painting from life course, tutored by Karen Iredale-Lucas. Nine attended the first session which concentrated on black and white/tonal studies. The session was very well received and long may it continue. We hope it will encourage to those present to develop their skills by  attending the untutored life sessions, now moving to Sundays.  Here are some of the results.

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Thursday 13th November 2014

Good news from Tim Watts of TWAPD, who organises and trains industry papermaking professionals! the y will be returning in February with 8 more papermakers to undertake week 4 of the course, take their exam and get hands on with Fourdrinier No 4. We want more and more industry professionals to come to this unique site with the exceptional value of a heritage machine that they can really learn their craft on. For those that don’t know many  in the papermaking trade travel to Gernsbach in Germany for training. The course to be delivered here is a Level 2 accredited, Paper Technology Certificate.

More tomorrow about the successful start of our new life painting course with Karen Iredale-Lucas………. I need to download the pictures!

Wednesday 12th November 2014

A quiet day and a recovery day after delivering schools workshops to year 6 from Little Green School in Croxley yesterday; 45 in the morning and 45 in the afternoon. The pace was rapid but we were able to effectively convey what papermaking is about, instil some science, history, creativity and fun. The groups enjoyed it and we managed to ensure their coaches left on time. Well done and thank you to all the volunteers that as always made it possible.

Tuesday 11th November 2014

At the end of two further days of work on the smaller Fourdrinier, No4, now using the improved dandy roll, progress was made in creating the Faber and Faber watermark in their specially commissioned hemp paper.  The more prominent dandy cover is much more effective. The publishers checked samples (Tues) and other samples have go to the printers for a look-over. It is now looking positive for the job.

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Monday 10th November 2014

We had a visit from our now regular printing apprentices from Leicester College. 20 apprentices and their tutors spent 3 hours here to increase their knowledge of paper. Volunteer Peter Balding guided their tour of the Mill and delivered an in depth session on letterpress. It was good to hear that their number of recruits are increasing and they now have apprentices scattered around the country.

Friday 7th November 2014

A very special papermaking commission has been developing on No4 over the last couple of weeks. A famous publishing company has requested a watermarked hemp paper. A first for Two Rivers on the smaller Fourdrinier machine and not without its difficulties. To produce a watermark a unique dandy roll was created, which after initial trials, was returned with the manufacturer to increase the height of the raised watermarks. After a week of waiting the dandy returned late on Friday. Watch this space for developments… Here’s to a successful week.

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Thursday 6th November 2014

Big event of the day was the delivery of ice cream a samples and their own mini fridge. All work stopped while staff, volunteers and tenants sampled Caramel, Vanilla, Mint, Chocolate and everyone’s favourite Strawberry. All supplied by Lewis of London, a Barnet based, family run business and our nearest ice cream producers (9 miles). See them at  http://www.lewisoflondon.co.uk . Small tubs will shortly be on sale in our cafe.

 

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Wednesday 5th November 2014

On the 30th and 31st October, our Halloween Family Fun returned to Frogmore Paper Mill. Funding care of HAFLS has allowed us to continue with these successful sessions. The families taking  part made witches hats, brooms, bats, spiders and webs to get them in the mood for the celebration. On the second day our favourite wizard Gary Fitz and his friendly pumpkin, care of Rosie Howe, made a surprise visit and chatted to the children.

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Tuesday 4th November 2014

Sluice adjustments to level being made by Keith and Warren. An interesting test – opened one gate of the under mill sluice and the River Gade disappeared! Great news, it works….. we never doubted it.
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Monday 3rd November 2014

Anyone passing along Durrant’s Hill Road or waiting at the lights may have noticed work being undertaken to the River Gade where it approaches Frogmore Paper Mill.

Environment Agency contractors installed a temporary dam (Portadam) to enable the repair of the collapsed bywash sluices. The EA paid for the dam, Frogmore Paper Mill paid for the new sluices which volunteers installed. The work will rebalance the water flows on either side of the Mill, improving flow under the mill and enabling it to clear itself and reduce the amount of water under Durrant’s Hill Road storm drains. This should prevent the flooding of the road.

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Friday 31st October 2014

We had a number of very special guests in for a tour last Friday, amongst which were the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, the Mayor of Decorum and the Chief Executive of Decorum. Our staff thoroughly enjoyed meeting our local representatives and were proud to show them the variety of cultural heritage we have displayed here at the mill. Their genuinely enthusiastic engagement with the mill was fantastic to see and we look forward to their ongoing support in the future!

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Monday 1st September 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge comes to Frogmore Paper Mill………….

Papermaker Gary Fuller nominated Jim Patterson also of Two Rivers Paper, who then nominated three Paper Trail staff. Having completed his soaking at the wet end of No4, Jim selected General Manager Paul Botje, Education Manager Sue Woolnough and estates worker and van driver  Colin Baldwin to have  buckets of ice cold water tipped over them in the name of charity. At the moment at least one of the nominees are hesitating. Watch this space…. film on Facebook  Arts At Frogmore Paper Mill.

Tuesday 28th May 2014

A day of monster making fun at Frogmore, 20 children and their adults created monster costumes from paper and card, starting with their own imaginative drawings and some well known monsters for inspiration, some fantastic results were created as you can see. IMG_0129IMG_0124IMG_0139IMG_0100IMG_0140IMG_0133IMG_0126IMG_0121IMG_0114IMG_0082IMG_0060IMG_0112

 

 

Monday 12th May 2014

To prove that everyone of us ‘mucks in’ when required, here is our General Manager, Paul Botje and Visitor Centre Manager Peter Burford sporting waders to assist with the school boat race today.

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Thursday 3rd April

Last week we received this lovely letter. The gorgeous paper is made by a young visitor at home having been inspired by a school trip to Frogmore Paper Mill. We thought it was worth sharing.
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Monday 24th February 2014

As has correctly been pointed out, the blog was back to front –  now reordered!More importantly today is the start of the first Machineman Development Programme to be held at Frogmore Paper Mill.

 

Monday 17th February 2014

The Hyde School Letters for Frogmore Paper Mill 1 The Hyde School Letters for Frogmore Paper Mill 2 The Hyde School Letters for Frogmore Paper Mill 3 The Hyde School Letters for Frogmore Paper Mill 4 The Hyde School Letters for Frogmore Paper Mill 5 The Hyde School Letters for Frogmore Paper Mill 6 The Hyde School Letters for Frogmore Paper Mill 7

A lovely surprise today – letters from the children of a recent school visit from Hyde School; in fact the same as of the recent blog (30th January). Every so often we receive a bundle of letters and we do sit down and read each one. Here is just a sample of the words and images of how a group of year 4’s see Frogmore Paper Mill.

 

8th February 2014

Why does everyone get so attached to Frogmore Paper Mill?  This subject comes up every so often and we don’t really have an answer, but Frogmore gets under your skin and makes you want to go that extra mile.  Nearly everyone who gets involved here finds it hard to detach. A number of people have left here only to return, including Jim Patterson, former Mill Manager, Barbara Stunell left and returned then left again.  The record for most returns probably goes to Steve Fuller, though I can’t remember how many times he has returned but its above 10 I believe.

Why does it happen? There is certainly a great team of people here, who even though they may have disagreements, work together and help each other and care greatly that the place survives. Maybe that’s it! The charity has in the past survived in adversity and maybe because life here is never straightforward those involved become the ~Mill’s defenders?

Its not easy. The building is old, its very, very cold in winter and the machine house and beater floor are colder than outside, it’s damp, ferns grow on some inside walls and we have leaks and wildlife; you never know what each day will bring. It is possible to be here for years and still discover new stairways. Through it all we still manage to laugh and fight to preserve this piece of working industrial heritage. There is nowhere like it that’s for sure.

Thoughts welcome…….

 

30th January 2014

The year has started off very busy with schools; two schools and 4 visits this week has kept Tom and I out of mischief. All have been very enthusiastic with one child commenting , it was her best school visit ever ! We try hard and everyone pulls together. Some great characters amongst the groups, asking interesting questions and its funny how you learn some of the names! Harry comes to mind as he made himself known from the start and Junior and Raphael and many, many more. And one boy today who kept calling me Lou. Tom had a number calling him ‘ Miss’ today. They often find it very hard to use first names – rather him than me because I can’t stand being called ‘Miss’.

 

13th January 2014

Rather late, but Happy New Year.

This is a rather short request but  does anyone out there have, or know of, a picture of John Gamble please?  This is a small but important gap in our archive record that we would like to fill. Thank you.

 

24th December 2013

Schools Enterprise Day at Frogmore Paper Mill

Our last morning before Christmas and we were talking about Ellie Poo which reminded me of the a recent school papermaking session where one of the boys asked, ‘Could we make Archie Poo paper, he’s a vegetarian?’ We explained his digestion is probably rather different. The questions and answers we receive when delivering to school groups is part of their charm; such questions as, ‘Is it lunchtime?’ (only 10am), ‘Can you make paper out of stone?’, ‘Look at that big bird, is it a Pelican?’ (a heron) and in answer to, ‘Do you know what the Domesday book is?’; ‘A book about doom.’ Or  Q: ‘If you take your minds back to the middle ages, how did they record books and who made them?’ A: ‘Typewriter.’ and ‘Shakespeare.’

We get random bits of information such as, ‘My Granddad had 7 boats. They all sank.’ Not a lot you can say to that.

In education we amused ourselves by adding a Health and Safety aspect to the Enterprise Day and those deemed to have had accidents were bandaged (using our newly updated first aid skills and past date bandages and slings) to make it almost impossible for them to work. Then we have to deal with, ‘This vat smells!’ and the child who sneezed into the vat we were forming a sheet in. On a more pleasant note, Tom has been told by one girl that she loved him, I have been blown kisses and the other day we received many hugs. Makes it all worthwhile. That’s not mentioning the boat race but that can wait for another day.

Happy Christmas from Frogmore Paper Mill.

 

11th December 2013

Tom is busy delivering new leaflets to various locations around Hemel, St Albans and Watford about our new range of courses. We have Family Fun activities including paper crafts and inventions lined up from January, and lots of new adult courses. These include paper arts and crafts, book crafts, bookbinding, letterpress, papermaking, printmaking, drawing mixed media painting techniques, scrapbooking, beginners IT, Using Social Media, DIY Toolkits and lots more. If there is something you particularly want to learn that we might offer so let us know.

Later this week we have our volunteers Christmas party and we hope to see as many of our helpers as possible to say thank for the work that they do and which we would not be able to function without.

 

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Just as well we are on winter opening hours – tonight the staff are out for their annual Christmas meal and some of them might be a little the worse for wear by tomorrow.

 

2nd December 2013

We delivered activities to 164 school children last week – busy, fun and tiring. the children from City of London School and  St Joseph’s Catholic School in Luton had a lovely time. The latter school came over a period of  two days bringing 60 year 2 children each day. They were so beautifully behaved that I would have no hesitation in doing the same number form there again. One of the largest primary schools I have heard of with a 4 form entry – apparently it used to be 6 form entry until the council asked them to reduce in size.

 

December 2013

wooden impulse water turbine in Morocco

Welcome to our new blog all about life at Frogmore Paper Mill and especially papermaking. The font may change but currently I can’t find how to change it – it should be our official Gill Sans MT. We are just tidying up after our successful annual Christmas Fayre, held on a bright chilly day and Jim Patterson of Two Rivers Paper is trying to adjust to the temperature after a week in Morocco. Its the chilly season here for papermaking! Picture – courtesy of Jim – shows a wooden impulse water turbine in Morocco.