This afternoon Anne Ware and John Mein from St Albans and Hertfordshire Architectural and Archaeological Society came into Drive Time to talk about their upcoming conference about St Albans role during World War One.
The SAHAAS is one of Radio Verulum's Community Partners, and is a registered charity that was set up in 1845 to promote an interest in local history.
Whilst researching for the conference, the society found out some very interesting and somewhat unusual facts about the city.
Anne explained that in 1914, the city was home to 10 hat manufactures.
These specialised particularly in ladies bonnets and men's straw boaters.
In 1915 they were commissioned to make straw hats for troops in India. They made 10,000 of these in a mere 2 weeks!
The army liked their work so much, that they were asked to make cork helmets. The companies hired a cork helmet expert and made a revolutionary assembly line, the first of its kind.
This production line, run by women, was responsible for making 750,000 helmets during the war.
John went on to explain about the guest speakers and their special subjects for the conference.
Dr John Bourne will be giving the first keynote [presentation focusing on the state of the country leading up to the war.
The second keynote presentation is from German lecturer Dr Daniel Nagel, Assistant Lecturer of the University of Mannheim which is St Albans twinned city in Germany. His lecture will focus on the Home Front during the First World War in Germany.
For all of the information about the society and the conference, go to: