This rare 1919 plan, labelled as "the portions of the Panshanger Estate situate adjoining the villages of Stanborough, Lemsfordmills and Digswell Water. Lots 1 to 25. The sale by auction by Messrs Daniel Smith, Oakley & Garrard", was brought along to the 'Where Do You Think We Played?' exhibition and temporarily loaned for scanning.
Our current 'Where Do You Think We Played?' project is coming to an end soon. Sainsbury's in WGC has kindly offered us use of one of its upstairs units in which to display a selection of the material - memories, photos, etc. - gathered during our project. The exhibition will run from 4-10 February. Opening 10am - 4pm Mon - Sat, 10am - 6pm Wed and 12 - 4pm Sunday and we hope that you will find the time to pay us a visit!
Ursula Howard, great-grand-daughter of Welwyn Garden City founder Ebenezer, visited the town on 27th June to give the Garden City Lecture 2016 at the Focolare Centre in Parkway. The audience, many of them residents of the town, were fascinated by such a personal insight into his life, character, and ideals. The lecture was illustrated with unique images, using the family documents and memories with which Ursula had researched her great-grandfather, who she referred to as ‘Ben’ - his family name. Her Aunt Betty remembered visiting Ebenezer on his deathbed in Guessens Road in 1928. Ursula also recounted childhood memories of her father who had lived with his grandfather in Letchworth.
Ebenezer Howard’s first wife Lizzie, who organised the practical side of his life, was a strong character - even influencing his choice of architects for Letchworth. Sadly she died aged 51, before Letchworth took shape. Ebenezer's final years were made more difficult by his second wife Edith's mental health problems. He left Letchworth to live with her in Guessens Road, but was kept isolated from many of his old friends, such as the architect Sir Frederic Osborn. Ursula Howard concluded: "He died in 1928. He left £800, and a lot of debts, but two wonderful garden cities."
In his thanks to the speaker Tony Skottowe, of the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust, which organised the talk, told the audience: “We have had a fascinating evening. Ursula has given us an amazing talk." The following morning Ursula and her husband walked the Town Centre Town Trail - a new experience for her. There were lots of exclamations of "Oh, how beautiful!" as they walked round the town. Some time was spent outside 5 Guessens Road, where EH died - providing lots of mixed memories. The Quaker Meeting House, the Synagogue, Barn Theatre and Daily Mail Model Village also provided plenty to see and talk about.
Just what did Welwyn Garden City residents get up to in their spare time during 1920-1970? Did you join or set up a local club or society? Were you into sports, arts, music, languages, debating, socialising? What did you collect, get active with or play at? These are some of the questions about life in Welwyn Garden City over the years that the Heritage Trust is asking members of the public to help them answer.
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’.”
Waterstones is now selling Trust books! You now have another option of where to get our books as Waterstones in WGC now stocks all three. You can walk into the Howardsgate store and pick up the brand new QEII book, the industrial timeline or 'Garden Cities - The British Example'.
Booking is now open for the Fourth Garden City Lecture will be on Wed 13th May 2015 in the Hawthorne Theatre, WGC. Dr Nick Falk whose URBED co-op were the winners of the Wolfson Economics Prize 2014 for proposals to build new Garden Cities, will be the speaker. The event is a joint promotion with the WGC Society.
The Trust is continuing to receive unusual and interesting items to add to it's archive thanks to the kindness of people wanting to contribute to the current 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project focusing on the early manufacturing companies that operated in Welwyn Garden City between 1920-1960.
The Trust's Garden Cities book can be purchased directly from us (by collection or post). 'Garden Cities - The British Example' is also on sale at WH Smiths in the Howard Centre, WGC; Huttons in Marsden Road, WGC; Gardners Books, Whittle Road, Eastbourne and Davids Bookshop, Letchworth. The Trust is currently researching other possible outlets following the closure of The Bookshop in the Howard Centre on 6th March 2014.