Mayors and Chairmen

This is a full list of all of the Mayors who have presided over the Dacorum area. This included Mayors of the Borough of Hemel Hempstead from 1898 to 1974, the change over to Chairman of the Dacorum District Council from 1974 to 1984, and finally a return to the title of Mayor, as the Mayor of the Borough of Dacorum from 1984 until now.

Currently, we have on display, objects and information relating to some of the Mayors, which can be found in the upper corridor of the Hemel Hempstead Civic Centre, if you are interested.

Apart from this display, we have only a little information about some of the other individuals on this list, and would be grateful for the opportunity to fill in the gaps. Therefore, if you know of any useful information about any of the Mayors shown below please get in contact with us here.

1898 – 1900 – Sir Astley P. Paston Cooper, Baronet

In 1898 a charter was granted by Queen Victoria which made Hemel Hempstead a municipal borough. This allowed the town to elect the posts for a mayor, a bailiff and an alderman and Paston Cooper was the successful candidate. More information can be found about him here.

1900 – 1901 – Henry Balderson

We have, in our collection, an image of Balderson reading the proclamation of Edward VII as King, at Market Square in Hemel Hempstead, in January 1901.

1901 – 1902 – Adam J. Chennells

Chennells owned a grocers shop in Hemel Hempstead, we have stoneware jars from this shop in our collection.

1902 – 1904 – William Randall

1904 – 1905 – Maitland Thompson

1905 – 1907 – William J. Orchard

1907 – 1909 – John R. Drake

1909 – 1910 – Robert A. Hodgson

1910 – 1911 – Charles J. Austin

1911 – 1913 – Edward A. Mitchell-Innes KC

Mitchell-Innes family home was ‘Churchhill’ in Boxmoor, which is now the site of the Dacorum Sports Centre.

1913 – 1914 – Alfred Orchard

1914 – 1920 – Gustavus A. Talbot

Lived in Marchmont House in Piccotts End, Hemel Hempstead.

1920 – 1921 – Walter Runham

1921 – 1923 – Arthur F. Pemsel

We have an image of Arthur F. Pemsel driving the first motor bus to serve Hemel Hempstead in February 1901 in our collection. The service was run by his company, Pemsel and Wilson Ltd. and the bus took passengers from the Posting House to Boxmoor Station.

1923 – 1925 – Henry F. Hebert

Before becoming Mayor, Hebert was involved with the Apsley Football Team, who were winners of the Herts Senior Cup in 1907 and 1908.

1925 – 1927 – Henry Anderson

During Anderson’s time as Mayor, the Prince of Wales visited Hemel Hempstead to lay the foundation stone of the new wing of West Herts Hospital.

1927 – 1928 – Fredrick S. Brereton

Brereton, born in Hemel Hempstead, was highly decorated in several wars and used these experiences to inspire a series of adventure books for boys. For more information about him please see this article on our website here.

1928 – 1929 – Maurice Alston

1929 – 1931 – Fredrick Stratford

1931 – 1933 – Henry Fletcher

1933 – 1936 – Arthur H. Jarman

1936 – 1937 – J. A. Marston

We have a book in our collection celebrating the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, which was gifted to the children of Boxmoor by Marston and the Hemel Hempstead Corporation.

1937 – 1942 – Henry Fletcher

1942 – 1945 – Horace Dive

1945 – 1949 – Alfred L Selden

Actor and radio star, Wilfred Pickles was invited to Hemel Hempstead by Selden to make a recording of his show ‘Have a go’ on October 12th 1948. We have an inscribed medallion in our collection which was struck to mark the occasion.

1949 – 1951 – J. P. White

1951 – 1953 – Herbert Christopher

Christopher met and welcomed Queen Elizabeth II to Hemel Hempstead during her visit in 1952, when she laid the foundation stone for St. Barnabas Church. For more information we have an article about this event here.

1953 – 1954 – William G. S. Crook

1954 – 1955 – Arthur W. Mayo

1955 – 1956 – William G. S. Crook

1956 – 1958 – Gilbert D Hitchcock, CBE

1958 – 1959 – Wyndham Thomas

1959 – 1960 – James F. Reynolds

1960 – 1961 – Gwendolyn D. Marshall

Marshall was Mayor during the Hemel Hempstead’s development as a ‘New Town’. Additionally, Marshall gave the speech during the opening ceremony of the Odeon Cinema in the Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead in August 1960. We have a draft copy of the typed speech in our collection and you can see where small amendments have been made in ink

1961 – 1962 – Olive Taylor

1962 – 1963 – James A. Graham

1963 – 1964 – Frank G. Edwards

1964 – 1965 – Robert L. Clark

1965 – 1966 – Alastair C. Melhuish

Melhuish officially opened the Pavillion building in Hemel Hempstead in 1966.

1966 – 1967 – Bertram Barrett

1967 – 1968 – Fredrick R. Mullin

1968 – 1969 – Maud A. Hannam-Clark

1969 – 1970 – John Doyle

1970 – 1971 – William M. Isbister

1971 – 1972 – Peter G. Wood

1972 – 1973 – John E. Wood

1973 – 1974 – John Hooper

Hooper was part of a procession through Hemel Hempstead streets which marked the end of the Borough of Hemel Hempstead in March 1974.

 On 31st March 1974 the Borough of Hemel Hempstead, as such ceased to exist. The last Mayor and Bailiff being Councillor John Hooper, JP. The Dacorum District succeeded with the election of a Chairman of the Dacorum District Council.

 1974 – 1976 – Jack Johnson

1976 – 1978 – Cyril Fowler

1978 – 1979 – Mary King

1979 – 1980 – Phyllis Courtnage

1980 – 1981 – Archie Toms

1981 – 1982 – Derek Townsend

1982 – 1983 – Ann Marie Barling

1983 – 1984 – Ann D. Janes

On 31st July 1984, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II approved the grant of a Charter conferring on the Dacorum District the status of a Borough.

Subsquently, the Charter of Queen Elizabeth II, dated 21st September 1984, was received and, at a Council Meeting on 10th October 1984, the District Council became the Dacorum Borough Council and the Chairman became Mayor of the Borough.

1984 – 1985 – Charles M. Barling

1985 – 1986 – Julian Taunton

1986 – 1987 – Peter Benton

1987 – 1988 – John Nichols

Nichols was later involved with The Dacorum Heritage Trust and became its first Chairman.

1988 – 1989 – Hazel Bassadone

1989 – 1990 – Betty Lees

1990 – 1991 – Kenneth Coleman

1991 – 1992 – Frank Seely

1992 – 1993 – John Buteux

The Mayor and Dacorum District Council were represented by Derek Townsend (himself Chairman in 1981 and Mayor 2001) during a visit to Hempstead, New York. This was to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Hempstead village and several items were presented to Townsend during the celebrations, including a bronze medallion which bears the Hempstead village seal.

1993 – 1994 – Catherine Appleby

1994 – 1995 – Janette Dunbavand

1995 – 1996 – Les Taber

1996 – 1997 – Mick Young

1997 – 1998 – Dick Dennison

1998 – 1999 – Maureen Flint

1999 – 2000 – Richard Jameson

2000 – 2001 – Herbert Chapman

2001 – 2002 – Derek Townsend

2002 – 2003 – Catherine Appleby

2003 – 2004 – Carol Green

2004 – 2005 – David Smedley

2005 – 2006 – Jane Hogg

2006 – 2007 – Catherine Appleby

2007 – 2008 – Brian Ayling

2008 – 2009 – Carol Green

2010 – 2011 – Roger M. Taylor

2011 – 2012 – Gillian Chapman

2012 – 2013 – Herbert Chapman

2013 – 2014 – Penny Hearn

2014 – 2015 – Allan Lawson

2015 – 2016 – Gbola Adeleke 

2016 – 2017 – Robert Mclean

2017 – 2018 – David Collins

By the Dacorum Heritage Trust.

The Dacorum Heritage Trust Ltd.

The Museum Store, Clarence Road, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 3YL

Telephone/Fax 01442 879525   Email info@dacorumheritage.org.uk

Registered in England No. 2851313 | Registered Charity No. 1026161 | Accredited Museum No. 1594 | Status: Fully accredited museum.