Stevenage and Codicote historians to be saluted with award from Hertfordshire Association for Local History

Historian John Amess with his latest paper, about Trafalgar hero Captain Robert Redmill and his link

Historian John Amess with his latest paper, about Trafalgar hero Captain Robert Redmill and his links with Stevenage. - Credit: Archant

Two North Herts historians are set to be saluted with countywide awards in recognition of their work in the field.

John Amess of Stevenage and Colin Barker of Codicote are to receive the awards from the Hertfordshire Association for Local History in Hemel Hempstead today.

John is something of an authority on Stevenage history and has been a member of the Stevenage Society for Local History since 1972, serving as a committee member for more than 40 years.

“I’m delighted, really,” said John, who is 83.

“I’d been warned that they’d put my name forward, so I had an inkling – but I was nevertheless surprised when I found out.”

John has published nine papers on Stevenage history since 1987. The latest, published late last year, was 10 years in the making and identified the home in Stevenage of Trafalgar hero Captain Robert Redmill.

A HALH spokesman said: “Those interested in the history of Britain’s first new town owe a great deal to the work of John Amess, who, with his wife and family, was among the first to move out from London in 1958.

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“He has organised events at which locals recorded their memories of life in Stevenage, and has regularly served at the Bath House on Heritage Open Weekends.

“He was also closely involved in the planning and building of a permanent memorial to The Avenue, a historic Stevenage pathway.”

John is still looking ahead to the future.

He said: “I have three or four other projects on the go at the moment, all local.”

Colin has been a leading member of the Codicote Local History Society since its formation in 1980 and has served in many different capacities, including committee member, membership secretary and technician.

He said the highlight of this time has been seeing the Codicote Museum in the High Street open last year after four years’ hard work.

“We got a lot of grants for it, and I headed the team of about 12 volunteers, including my wife Margaret, that renovated it,” he said.

“It had been a run-down old corrugated iron building.”

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