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Chipperfield Within Living Memory

2nd of June 2004

A Further Link With Callipers Hall. Part 4.
By yet another of those strange coincidences that seem to crop up more and more frequently, I recently came across some further information about Callipers Hall. When I attended the March meeting of Hemel Hempstead History Society, a fellow member asked me whether I had ever heard of the existence of a boarding school in Chipperfield. Well we all know about Callipers Hall School now, don’t we! The query arose from researches being made in connection with an exhibition Dacorum Heritage Trust is currently preparing to celebrate the bicentenary of the foundation of John Dickinson’s Paper Company in 1804.
In 1850, John Dickinson made his son- in-law, John Evans, a partner, with responsibility for the running of five mills and all the machinery therein. John and Harriet Evans had three sons, Arthur (1851-1941), Lewis (1853- 1930) and Philip Norman (1854-1893). The book Time and Chance by Joan Evans, reveals that all three boys went to school at Callipers Hall and that the headmaster Mr. Johns wrote at intervals to complain about their unruliness. In fact, Lewis was finally expelled.
It is Arthur Evans, the eldest son, who is perhaps of the greatest interest to us. In her other book, The Endless Web, Joan Evans describes him as a brilliant and rather erratic boy, who flatly refused to enter the mills at Apsley. After Callipers Hall, he went to school at Harrow and then on to Oxford and made a great name for himself in the archeological world, as the discoverer and interpreter of the civilisation of Minoan Crete. He began digging at Knossos in 1899 and excavated a magnificent, labyrinthine palace, said to be that of the legendary King Minos. As I stood beside Arthur Evans’ statue in Knossos, Crete in 1981, I marvelled at the excavated ruins and thought about the fact that it was money from Dickinsons in Apsley, Hemel Hempstead which had funded the project. Now in 2004, I muse further about Chipperfield’s link with this great man.
On page 1 of this issue there are full details of the exhibition at Frogmore Mill, Apsley, which will be open to the public on the last weekend of each month from now until September.
Mary Nobbs

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