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Rickmansworth library – service update

As you may be aware, Rickmansworth Library experienced a fire in the workroom on Thursday 18 April.

The fire started in the workroom and this is where the most damage has been caused. A temporary power supply has been set up and the clean-up operation is underway. There is a significant amount of work to be carried out before the library can re-open – a large part of the building will have to be rewired and the staff work areas will have to be completely cleared due to the fire damage caused. Luckily, the fire didn’t spread to the public area but there is soot and ash residue in all areas of the building, as a result all the books, furniture, shelving and carpets will need to be cleaned to ensure that the library is safe for staff and customers.

How long will the library be closed?

It is still too early to assess this. We are working with contractors to try to re-establish the service as quickly as possible. As soon as timescales become clearer, we will advertise a re-opening date.

I have books on loan that were due back on or after 18 April – what should I do?

We are extending the loan period for anything that is due back at Rickmansworth on or after 18 April 2024. We will continue to keep this under review but please be assured that there will be no overdue charges to pay on items that fall into this category.

Please note that this loan extension does not apply to items borrowed from other Hertfordshire libraries. You can check the due date of your loans and renew them through the Hertfordshire library app, on our website, or by calling 0300 123 4049

I have reservations to collect from Rickmansworth – what should I do?

A member of library staff will be contacting you to find out if you can collect your item from another Hertfordshire library.

Which other libraries can I use?

You can use any Hertfordshire Library. The closest library to Rickmansworth is Croxley Green Library. Croxley Green also offers Open+ – extended opening hours when staff are not on site – if you would like to register to use this service, please ask staff at Croxley Green to arrange this for you. Library opening hours and locations.

If you would like to keep up-to-date with regular library news, you can sign up for their eNewsletter here.

David Gauke was the guest speaker at the RDRA's 2024 AGM, pictured with RDRA Chairman Ash Pattni.

94th AGM minutes

Pictured: David Gauke (guest speaker at the AGM) with RDRA Chairman Ash Pattni.

Minutes of Annual General Meeting held at the Education Centre Batchworth Lock on Monday 17th June 2024.

Those Present:

Ashok Pattni (Chairman) and 24 members/friends of the Association. 

The President, Peter Crispin, opened the meeting with a few preliminary remarks about none of the political parties contesting the forthcoming general election having made any mention of local government funding in their manifestos.

1. Apologies for absence:

Christina Evans, Anne Littlejohn, Paula Hiscocks and Sheila Harrington.

2. Minutes of AGM held on 19th June 2023

These were approved by the meeting.

3. Hon. Treasurer’s statement of accounts

The accounts were presented by Leslie Chrol-Frolowicz, the Treasurer. Subscription income was down about £200 on the previous year, largely on account of difficulties with PayPal in the Spring of 2023 when three months’ worth of subscriptions were not processed by PayPal with effectively no redress.

There had been a successful wine & cheese with jazz event which made a useful net profit (£165 being donated to good causes locally), also the 100+Club raffle has generated a new source of income. It is hoped to be able to terminate the need for annual subscriptions within the next couple of years. RDRA are grateful to Batchworth Community Council for their generous grant of £500 which has been used to fund promotional material.

Total receipts were up compared with the previous year by nearly £2000, although outgoings were up by some £3000, with the result that available funds at year-end (31st March) show a reduction of about £1400.  This gives a balance at financial year end (31st March) of £6360.

With the decision to discontinue the publication of Independence in future RDRA expects to make substantial savings by communicating on a regular basis primarily using e-newsletters with current information, rather than with information which has since become somewhat out of date.

The accounts were approved by the meeting.

4. To appoint an Honorary Examiner

The Treasurer expressed a big “thank-you” to John Samson who had once again examined the accounts.  RDRA are pleased that he has expressed his willingness to continue as Honorary Examiner.  It was proposed and accepted by the meeting that he be re-elected to that position for the current financial year.

5. Chairman’s Annual Report

After expressing thanks to membership Secretary Anne Littlejohn who unfortunately was absent due to illness, Chairman Ashok Pattni spoke of the committee’s concern that the Association appear relevant to the people of Rickmansworth.  Average age of members was 75+, also people had lived in the town for over 25 years on average.  Membership numbers were less than half the pre-Covid period and there was an urgent need to enrol younger people, particularly on the committee.

The biggest single issue currently facing the Association was the proposal to build 95 flats on a small island site on the canal where there is currently only one dwelling, the deadline for objections being only a couple of weeks ahead.  The  meeting agreed to formal opposition being made to the proposal. Reena Ranger spoke about drainage problems with the town ditch owing to multiple ownership of different sections of this.

6. Election of President

A vote was taken and past Chairman Michael Stimpson was duly elected to this post.

7. Election of Life Vice Presidents

There no nominations for additional names to be added.

8. Election of Officers

The meeting was happy for existing officers to remain in post.

9. Election of the Association Committee

The meeting agreed to the re-election of existing committee members.

10. Any Other Business

There was none.

11. Guest speaker: David Gauke, former MP

The meeting concluded with an informative and entertaining speech and questions answered by Mr Gauke who spoke of his experiences of having served as both an MP and Cabinet minister.


Little Egret screenshot

Little Egret nest being Live Streamed

Earlier this year Friends of Stocker’s Lake (FoSL) had a live stream from a Grey Heron nest at nearby Stocker’s Lake, home to the largest Heronry in Herts. The herons’ nesting season is now over with one young bird having successfully fledged that nest in May, but the camera is now trained instead on a Little Egret nest. Little Egrets breed alongside herons but later in the year. In the current nest the first egg (of four) hatched on June 10th and young birds are currently being fed by parents. All being well these will fledge in the second half of July.

This livestream is produced by Friends of Stocker’s Lake (FoSL). You can view it on either FoSL’s website ( or its YouTube channel ( Here you will also find footage from earlier in the season, including a visit by a very rare Cattle Egret on June 10th.

McDonalds coming to Ricky?

There’s a planning application for a McDonalds where M&Co used to be. The plans show seating for 60 people with kitchens on both floors and delivery bike access at the rear, from Northway.

To support or complain about this application or for more information, please visit the Three Rivers planning website, here.

Annual Report: Independence

RDRA’s latest Annual Report, Independence, should be arriving through your letterboxes soon. We paid a professional company to distribute the new format A5 magazine to all Rickmansworth areas. Because we’re going digital, Independence is much slimmer and only contains the agenda for our upcoming AGM (17th June), the minutes from last year’s AGM and reports from our Chairman and Treasurer.

If you can’t wait to receive your printed copy, you can view it online here:

Independence Spring 2024
Spring 2024

If you’d like to send the RDRA a message, please use the contact us webform.