ALAN CASH - web pages
Welwyn Garden City
Author: Mrs. D. Frankl (compiler and general editor)
Published: 1956 by Ed. J. Burrow & Co. Ltd.
Format: Paperback 8½" by 5½"
with 92 pages
(click image to enlarge)
At the back is a fold-out street plan of the town measuring 14" by 10" (reproduced at the bottom), and a fold-out map of Hertfordshire (7" by 9") showing Welwyn Garden City at its heart (see the 1953/54 handbook for this map.) 28 pages of the handbook are taken up with advertisements for local companies.
The first feature is a short 2-page history of the town
identical to that in the 1953/54 guide except that the population has
been altered from 20,000 to 27,000 and the number of banks from 3 to 5.
Following this is an 8-page chronology entitled Milestones, very
similar to the 1953/54 ones except brought up to date.
Welwyn Garden City Urban District Council
Council Offices: Bridge Road, Welwyn Garden City
Chairman: Councillor Mrs S. G. Walker, J.P.
4 Wigmores South, Howardsgate
Chairman: R. G. Gosling, C.B.E., J.P.
Vice-Chairman: C. Gordon Maynard, J.P.
There is a 2-page professional directory listing accountants, architects, chiropodists, densists, estate agents, opticians, osteopath, solicitors, surveyor, and teachers of music, dancing, etc.
There is a 5-page listing headed Societies and Clubs, and a 4-page listing of Youth Organizations, which give name, address and contact telephone numbers.
There is a 6-page Commercial and Industrial Directory listing of companies in the town.
The above listungs are not reproduced here.
In a section headed Industry and Commerce are
a number of short articles describing companies in Welwyn Garden City,
some illustrated by black-and-white photographs. Some of these are the
same (or very similar) to the articles which appeared in the 1953/54 handbook
(accessible via the link at the top of this page) and I have not included
those ones again below. The ones omitted are: Crown Brand Macaroni Products,
Poultry Services Ltd, The Broadwater Press Ltd, Lincoln Electrics Welding
School, Plastra Components Ltd, Welwyn Metal Products Ltd, E. R. Holloway
Ltd, Barcley Corsets Ltd, B. C. R. Factories Ltd, and Pocklington &
Industry and Commerce in the Garden City
Through its group of companies, the Danish Bacon Company is the largest importer and wholesaler of bacon and one of the biggest distributors in Britain of a wide range of provisions and food products.
In its organisation DBC is associated with 37 Danish bacon factories and over 40 creameries, and owns a number of egg packing stations in this country.
The threat of war influenced the decision to move the accounting and administrative staffs from London to Welwyn Garden City in 1938. New offices at Howardsgate were occupied in 1954.
Mr. Frank Herbert, who has had a long association with the Garden City, is the Company's Chairman.
Homestead Court Hotel, Welwyn Garden City, situated in Homestead Lane, is a large, fully licensed 3 Star A.A. and R.A.C. hotel, owned by the Welwyn Garden and Hatfield Development Corporation.
The restaurant has become well known for its good food and pleasant surroundings, and its Saturday Dinner Dance brings guests from far and near.
The rooms are pleasantly furnished in a modern manner to give the maximum of comfort. Although it is slightly off the main road the hotel is well worth a visit.
The Royal Exchange Assurance is one of the oldest Insurance Offices in the world, having been incorporated by Royal Charter in 1720. Its Head Office was then, as it is now, nearly two and a half centuries later, situated at the Royal Exchange in the City of London. It has branch offices in all the principal towns in the United Kingdom as well as in most countries overseas.
Although the Royal Exchange Assurance has an ancient origin, it is modern and up to date in its outlook and as early as 1935 the decision was made to mechanise, by means of a punched card installation, the accounting and renewal systems. This venture proved most successful and in 1939 this branch of the organisation was removed to premises in Welwyn Garden City. Despite the setbacks occasioned by the last war, a steady expansion has taken place until in 1956 it became necessary to move to new and larger premises which were erected at 99 Bridge Road East. This building has been specially designed for work of this type, particular attention having been given to attractive colour schemes in the contemporary fashion with congenial working conditions together with special features in the machine rooms to minimise noise.
Since the earliest days of the Welwyn
Garden City the Royal Exchange Assurance has been associated with its
progress and has an office for general insurance business at Wigmores
British Lead Mills Limited was formed in 1932, and is now a member of the Firth Cleveland Group of Companies. Due to a progressive selling policy, the company from its inception expanded rapidly.
At the outset the company made only sheet lead and pipe for building purposes, but after a year or so the manufacture of chemical lead sheet and pipe was begun. The range of the company's products was further increased by the addition of antimonial lead sheet and pipe and other alloys for the chemical plating and allied industries. From 1939 to 1945 the company also produced bullet rod, shrapnel balls, and 25-pounder drill cartridges and charges, and many assembly jobs were performed for the armed services.
After the war the company extended its activities further by the incorporation of the refining of lead residues and scrap.
Then came manufacture of solder and other lead alloys. Recently a great deal of work has been done on the provision of shielding walls for radio-active materials and at Welwyn Garden City a technique has been evolved for the production of a brick for building up protective walls which is far in advance of any similar product.
For many years a major nuisance in all walks of life has been condensation. As a result of years of research and testing, British Lead Mills are able now to offer the answer to this problem - Seculate. Seculate is a material which is applied like paint, but unlike any paint, really does prevent condensation. To complement Seculate, B.L.M. market a complete range of industrial and domestic paints under the trade mark 'WELBRAND'. They also sell Surform, the handyman's "must", which is made by their associate company Simmonds Aerocessories Ltd.
Today, therefore, British Lead Mills serve many diverse industries from builders to chemical manufacturers, canteens to carpenters, from the ancient art of plumbing to the atomic energy of the nuclear age. All products are manufactured to British Standard Specifications where applicable, under modern laboratory control, and are delivered promptly by a fleet of specially designed lorries.
[The text of this article is altered from the 1953/54 version hence I have included it. The illustration of the lead rolling mill accompanying the article is the same as before and I have not included it again here.]
The firm was started in 1934 and became a limited company in 1939. At first only the factory at 21 Hyde Way was occupied, but business increased and early in 1938 two more factories, at 7 and 9 Broadwater Road, were leased. After the war, further accommodation was required, and an extension was built on to the Hyde Way factory. It soon became apparent that even more factory space was needed to cope with the ever increasing demand, so last year three new bays were acquired adjoining 21 Hyde Way, with an additional 5,000 square feet of factory premises, enabling the firm to now keep abreast of the demand.
The main products of the factories are Skarsten Scrapers and accessories and, in addition, an electric paint stripper-scraper, a more recent article, which is recognized as being the best tool of its kind on the market.
The latest implement is the Ceilingwall Scraper, fulfilling a long felt need. It is so constructed that it will collect scrapings from ceilings and walls whether they be of whitewash, distemper, or other material.
Some other tools are also manufactured, namely the "Awlscrew" combined screwdriver and bradawl, the repointing scraper for bricklayers and the channelling tool for masons, plumbers, and electricians, together with the Skarsten Masonry Bit, which like the scraping hooks can easily be re-sharpened with a file, and the Skarsten folding pocket file is recommended as it is constructed specially for this purpose.
The firm is proud to mention that Skarsten products have been awarded the Seal of Merit by the Good Housekeeping Institute.
[Text altered from 1953/54 article.]
Herault Studio Ltd. was formed in 1946 to provide a comprehensive publicity service to the industry coming into the new town.
Its first task was the production of two magazines and a silk screen printing service. The next development was the designing and construction of exhibition stands, displays, and in fact every kind of dealer aid.
Today it combines letterpress printing, silk screen printing on metal, card, and paper, and other materials, designing and art work and the manufacture of displays singly or in quantity. It has earned a reputation for quality and exhibition stands have taken its employees all over this country and abroad.
Its managing director, Mr. Gerald Dickson, because of his wide experience as a designer and executive, has been able to bring this company well to the fore in its particular and specialised field.
Service has always been the aim and the achievement of Herault Studio, and this will continue into the bright future assured for this company.
Although quite a small company, Young Wilson Ltd. does, nevertheless, manufacture a wide range of products that find a ready market with a variety of modern industries. The firm is a sub-contractor to the aircraft, guided weapon, electrical, rubber, plastic, and allied, industries, all of which ensure a stable and prosperous future for the company. It can readily be appreciated that these industries demand work of a very precise nature, and in this connection it might be mentioned that the company is particularly interested in experimental undertakings.
Machining in all materials is carried out and the company manufactures prototypes, jigs, fixtures, and tools. A further branch of the firm's work is milling, turning, and grinding, in addition to welded fabrications.
Commensurate with the requirements of the A.I.D. a fully-equipped inspection department is available and this does ensure that the company's high quality workmanship is maintained in every way. As a matter of fact, the firm owns a 100-magnifications optical projector and this gives some indication of the type and class of work that is carried out.
The company is, at present, situated at Mill Green, Hatfield. However, there have, for some time, been plans to move into Welwyn Garden City. Unfortunately these plans have, on two occasions, been thwarted by the credit squeeze.
Since its beginning five years ago, W. H. Barker has been supplying high-class machined parts, under contract, to leading local industries.
The wide variety of work undertaken includes centre-lathe turning, horizontal and vertical milling, drilling, and grinding. Tools and fixtures are also manufactured and only highly skilled labour is employed.
To keep up with its expansion the
concern is looking forward to opening new, larger, premises locally.
More old advertisements from the handbook
Photographs from the handbook
Fold-out street plan from the handbook