A project which restored a cemetery and recorded the names of patients and staff at Leavesden Hospital has helped secure two awards for a history group.

The Leavesden Hospital History Association received two top prizes at the Community Archives and Heritage Group’s awards ceremony last week.

The association won the Gathering and Preserving Heritage category for the scale of work and efforts of volunteers involved with the association, in particular the restoration of the hospital’s former cemetery in East Lane and the creation the ‘register of names’ of the graves of patients and staff at the site.

In addition, the association also received the highest scores across all three award categories and was recognised as the Best Community Archives and Heritage Group, 2021.

Watford Observer:

This honour recognises the volunteer work that the Leavesden Hospital History Association, in partnership with Three Rivers District Council’s leisure department, contributed to the gathering, preserving and making their archives available and accessible to the public, academics and local schools.

Some of their archive, which contains more than 400 artefacts dating back to 1870, is on display in the HIVE Heritage Centre, located in Leavesden Country Park, with more being accessible online at their website, www.leavesdenhospital.org. The association also plans to preserve, catalogue and display more next year.

Watford Observer:

Leavesden Hospital History Association founder Martin T Brooks said: “None of us got into this for the recognition, but for the shared interest we have in finding, studying, preserving and promoting our local history and heritage.

“Without all the passionate volunteers we have, along with the support of Three Rivers District Council and the National Heritage Lottery Fund, none of this would have happened. So, all the recognition of these awards is shared with everyone involved”.

The Community Archives and Heritage Group has a membership of more than 716 groups, associations and organisations and is a special interest group within the Archives and Records Association (ARA).

The ARA is the lead professional body for archives, conservation, records management and information governance in the United Kingdom and Ireland.