BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

27 November 2014

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Beds, Herts & Bucks
Things to do
People & Places
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Neighbouring Sites

  • Berkshire
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Essex
  • London
  • Northampton
  • Oxford
  • Related BBC Sites


    Contact Us

    Paper trail of Apsley's history
    The Grand Union Canal at Apsley.
    The Grand Union Canal at Apsley
    The landscape of Apsley has changed enormously in the past few years after the paper mills owned by John Dickinson were finally shut in 1999.
    Made in Luton

    A Sense of Egg

    The Italian Job

    Living with History

    A Leap of Faith

    Village Life

    Caves of Ice

    Looking for Love

    Pride of Wolverton

    Cleo and John's Place

    Shopping for God

    The Jewel in the Crown
    get in contact

    Most of the sprawling Dickinson's site has been taken up by new housing developments. But a corner of the plot has been saved for a national Paper Museum, to celebrate the links between the industry and the town.

    The Paper Trail is the brainchild of Peter Ingram, who has been involved in the paper and printing trades throughout his working life.

    With the help of Dacorum Borough Council, he's secured two separate sites for what he hopes will become a national visitor attraction.


    Frogmore Mill
    Frogmore Mill

    Visitors will enter the Paper Trail at the gates of the former mill opposite Apsley Station.

    They'll take a narrow-boat ride along the Grand Union Canal and the River Gade to Frogmore Mill, where they can see a working paper machine, producing recycled board and paper.

    Returning, by boat, visitors will be able to enjoy handmade papermaking and paper sculpture at a state of the art building on the old Apsley Mill site.

    Hundreds of paper related artefacts have been accummulated by the Paper Trail and these will be displayed here too.

    Dozens of examples were left behind when the company moved on, and many more have been donated by former employees and other local residents.

    They include one of the first ever paper napkins produced in Europe.

    A Dickinsons fire engine dating from the Second World War has also survived along with a set of uniforms for its firemen.

    The Mill Managers cottage
    The Mill manager's cottage

    John Dickinson helped to bring mechanised paper making to Hemel Hempstead as far back as 1809 and built his pioneering business into a key part of the local economy.

    Although he retired from the trade in 1859 and died ten years later, his company went from strength to strength.

    At its peak, around the time of the Second World war, John Dickinson's employed more than 7000 workers.

    The Paper Trail aims to celebrate this connection to the local community, as well as looking to the future for the paper trade.

    Chief executive Jacky Bennett says: "We hope local people will get involved with something that we hope will be a local, national and international attraction."

    Your comments

    Carol Morgan, Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin USA Thursday, 12-Aug-2004 11:11:13 BST
    Greetings: I am a handmade paper artist visiting England from the US. I was very excited to hear about your project and want to know more about it, if I can do anything to assist you or if I can submitt slides of my artwork for display in your gallery space. I have studied hand papermaking with Timothy Barrett, University of Iowa. I use both Asian and Western fibers, sheet formation methods in the traditional manner. I use external sizing and then apply surface designs formed from walnut dye, inks, fabric dyes, watercolor or acrylics that I make. I am dedicated to the study of papermaking and want to help in preserving the traditions and craft. My advanced degree is a Ph.D. in counseling and organizational development from the University of WI, USA and have consulted with many businesses. As a papermaker, I am primarily self taught regarding sculptural and surface des! ign applications. I am also able to travel and committ time to a project. Please let me know more about your project and if I could submitt slides of my work. Good luck and best wishes for your success. Carol Morgan

    kim Lee, Birmingham Thursday, 05-Aug-2004 15:58:14 BST
    I am an artist working with paper, initially used this material to celebrate my cultural heritage of the Chinese being the first inventor of paper making.I have made attractive sculptures out of paper products from found books,and using the cocept of chinese craft, has collected a small portfolo of the art works based in the theme of 'organic forms'.I seek for a chance to show my works in appropriate place like paper mill.Your response is much appriactiated.God bless. thank you.

    Comment on this story




    The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

    Top | Sense of Place Index | Home
    Also in this section
    Read This
    The Jewel in the Crown

    The Pride of Wolverton

    Apsley's Paper Trail

    Do that Have fun! Have your say Contact Us
    BBC Beds, Herts and Bucks
    1 Hastings Street
    LU1 5XL
    (+44) 1582 637400

    About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy