The Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust is celebrating - our third bid for lottery money has been approved! The Trust’s new project ‘Play’ is all about the leisure activities of the town’s residents during the period 1920-1980. “Ebenezer Howard described a garden city as a place where people can Live, Work and Play” explained the project manager Tony Skottowe. “The Trust has already done a ‘Live’ project on housing and another on ‘Work’, which led to our book ‘Where Do You Think We Worked? - a timeline of WGC industries’.”
Above: Bill Evans winning the 1 mile race at Murphy Radio sports day in 1951.
‘Play’ will investigate how residents have spent their leisure time. There are no restrictions on what constitutes a club/society - sport, music, theatre, art, debating, archaeology, social clubs, work clubs, church clubs, scouts/guides, etc. would all be of interest. Information on clubs that are no longer active would be especially welcome. The Trust will be asking local clubs and societies to dust off their archives, records of meetings, fixture lists, photos and programmes of events; it will record memories of club members and officers. ‘We will need help to gather information and collect oral histories,’ said Tony, ‘so we really need as many people as possible. We can help with advice on researching material and, if need be, train volunteers on recording techniques so please get in touch to express your interest.’
Above: The Beautiful One - a production by the Barn Theatre.
Above: Two members of the WGC Boys Brigade in uniform.
When completed the Trust will have an invaluable record of the development of a new community from scratch. It is hoped that the data gathered over the three projects can be made available to help plan new settlements in the UK and ensure the lessons revealed are applied to ensure the best possible outcomes for their residents.