ALAN CASH - web pages

Home page - click here

WGC book index - click here

Welwyn Garden City

Welwyn Garden City. The Official Handbook (1962)

Author: Mrs. D. Frankl (compiler and general editor)

Published: 1962 by Ed. J. Burrow & Co. Ltd.

Format: Paperback 8½" by 5½" with 124 pages


(click images to enlarge)


This handbook was a joint effort between the Welwyn Garden City Urban District Council and the Welwyn Garden City Development Corporation. It is very similar to the 1953/54, 1956 and 1959 ones. The residents directory listings are not present in the 1962 guide.

There are a dozen or so black and white photographs of people and buildings illustrating the text, and a few more in advertisements. These pictures are reproduced below apart from a couple which already appeared in earlier handbooks. There are two maps. One of Hertfordshire 7" by 9" (reproduced in my notes to the 1953/54 handbook which can be reached via my WGC book index page), and a pull-out street plan of Welwyn Garden City 14" by 10" (reproduced at the bottom of this webpage).

There is a two-page potted history of the town, followed by a seven-page chronology of main events in the town's development from 1919 to 1962. The two-page history is the same text appearing in the earlier guides and can be seen in my notes on the 1953/54 guide.

Wigmores South

Credit: W.G.C. Development Corporation

(click image to enlarge)



Credit: W.G.C. Development Corporation

(click image to enlarge)



See 1953/54 handbook for which click here.


See 1956 handbook for which click here.


See 1959 handbook for which click here.



Five shops opened in Hatfield Hyde Centre in Hollybush Lane.

Deaths of David Evans, the sculptor, and Sir Stanley Angwin.

Conversion of Digswell Farm as a social centre.

Digswell Arts Trust inaugurated by Countess Mountbatten of Burma.

Labour Councillors celebrated 21st Anniversary of their majority on the Urban District Council.

Stadium opened by Marquess of Exeter.

Harwood Hill Junior School opened. First headmaster, Mr. A. G. Luck.

Coat of Arms granted to Urban District Council.

Mr. C. Gordon Maynard awarded the C.B.E. in Birthday Honours List.

Sir Harold Fieldhouse, Mrs. K. Hutchin and S. A. W. Johnson-Marshall appointed as Members of the Development Corporation.

Death of Mr. R. L. Reiss, MA., Hon. A.M.T.P.I.

First stage of Smith, Kline & French Laboratories project completed.

Murphy Radio Ltd.'s new factory completed.

New Co-operative Society Department Store opened.

Peartree Boys' and Girls' Clubs opened as a mixed Youth Club.

Dr. Margaret Emslie not re-appointed as Member of Development Corporation.

Joy Jordan broke Women's 880 yards World Record in 2 mins. 6.1 sees.

Development Corporation's new offices opened in Church Road.

Lee Valley Water Company become new Water Authority, taking over from Urban District Council.

First groups of shops in Church Road and Wigmores South opened.

Attimore Hall S.M. School completed. First headmaster, H. Wallis Hosken, M.A.

College of Further Education and Public Library completed and opened by H.R.H. Princess Alexandra.

Five shops in N.W. Area at Shoplands completed.

Petrol filling station in Stanborough Road opened by Stirling Moss, who landed at Stadium in a helicopter.

First shops in Fretherne Road completed, and first of second group in Church Road (including Sainsbury's Ltd.) completed.

All Saints' Church at Hall Grove completed.

First Spring Festival held at College of Further Education.

New Hunters Bridge completed.

Trustee Savings Bank opened.

Avdel Ltd. (formerly Aviation Developments Ltd.) moved into new factory and offices.

Proposed Bowling Alley for Town Centre rejected at Public Local Inquiry.

Death of Henry Morris, Secretary of Digswell Arts Trust.

Robert Birrell broke 120 yards Hurdles British Empire, A.A.A.'s and English Native Records in 14 secs.

Dave Handley and D. Thompson broke 1,000 yards Tandem Sprint record. (Last 220 yards in 10.8 secs.).

Death of G. R. Lowe, former Chairman of U.D.C. and former Member of Development Corporation, and of Col. D. Lorimer.

Rosedale School opened. First headmaster, J. Monnington.

Maran School opened. First headmistress, Mrs. I. Jenkins.





In 1920 when building started
(about) 400
In 1921 the Census population was
In 1927 the estimated population was about
In 1931 the Census population was
(adjusted) 8,712
In 1938 Registrar General's estimate
In 1939 National Registration in September
In 1945 Registrar General's estimate (June)
In 1951 Census population: U.D.C's old boundaries
In 1951 Census population: U.D.C's new boundaries
In 1952 Registrar-General's estimate (June)
In 1953 Registrar-General's estimate (June)
In 1954 Registrar-General's estimate (June)
In 1955 Registrar-General's estimate (June)
In 1956 Registrar-General's estimate (June)
In 1957 Registrar-General's estimate (June)
In 1958 Registrar-General's estimate (June)
In 1959 Registrar-General's estimate (June)
In 1961 the Census population was


1931 Census
occupied 2,290; unoccupied 200
1939 Estimated by U.D.C. at December
occupied 4,176
1945 Estimated by U.D.C. at December
occupied 4,490
1951 Census (May)
occupied 4,952; unoccupied 61
1956 Estimated by U.D.C. at March
occupied 7,906
1959 Estimated by U.D.C. at March
occupied 9,739
1961 Census (April)
occupied 10,367

The Vineyard

Credit: W.G.C. Development Corporation

(click image to enlarge)




Welwyn Garden City Urban District Council

Council Offices: Bridge Road, Welwyn Garden City

Chairman: H. S. J. Jaggers, J.P.

Vice Chairman: H. W. Dorton, J.P.

Handside Ward Hollybush Ward Howlands Ward

J. Chear
H. W. Dorton
G. A. Lord
R. D. Stirk

S. R. Collingwood
J. T. O'Farrell
A. E. Page

H. S. Harper
H. S. J. Jaggers
J. McKnight

Peartree Ward

Sherrards Ward

A. E. Luddington
S. W. Palacio
W. H. Playle

G. Dickson
Mrs M. S. Weston
Mrs S. G. Walker


Clerk: L. J. Slocombe
Engineer and Surveyor: R. V. Scoffham, A.M.I.C.E., A.M.I.Mun.E., A.M.T.P.I., A.R.I.C.S,
Treasurer: H. Willard
Medical Officer of Health: Dr. G. R. Taylor, M.B., B.S. (London), M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., D.P.H.
Senior Public Health Inspector: M. Stockdale, Cert.S.I.B., M.A.P.H.I., M.R.S.H.
Housing Manager: C. N. Mitchell, A.I.Hsg., A.A.L.P.A.
Superintendent Registrar -
Births, Deaths and Marriages:
J. W. Hooper
Registrar - Births, Deaths and Marriages: Miss M. H. V. Hopkinson

General Rate in the £ for 1962/63:
Water Rate: 1/11 in the £ on the net annual value of a dwelling house.

Council Meetings: last Tuesday each month (except August) at 8 p.m.

Bungalows for sale, Kirklands

Credit: W.G.C. Development Corporation

(click image to enlarge)


Adverising Kiosk, Howardsgate

Credit: W.G.C. Development Corporation

(click image to enlarge)

List of Chairmen and Clerks of the Council


1921 to 1927 Chairman: Sir Theodore Chambers, K.B.E.
  Clerk (part-time): F. J. Osborn



W. C. Horn
F. J. How
L. T. M. Gray
W. C. Horn
J. P. Marsden
Jas. Gray
G. S. Lindgren
F. J. How
A. R. Pelly
W. R. Hughes
Mrs. W. S. Hopkyns
H. Clapham Lander
A. W. Richardson
A. B. Coleman
W. H. Playle
F. Hesketh
Mrs. M. E. Nichol
L. O. Bowmer
Mrs. D. Jenner
J. McConalogue
G. R. Lowe
H. Shepherd
D. H. Daines
J. Chear
S . W. Palacio
Mrs. J. Hattie
A. Vickery
B. Carne
A. E. Luddington
Mrs S. G. Walker
S. R. Collingwood
G. Dickson
J. McKnight
W. H. Playle
D. Newton

Note: Dr. H. J. B. Fry was elected Chairman in 1930 but he died before he took up office.


1927 to 1930 F. J. Osborn (Part-time)
1930 to 1952 B. H. Deamer
From 1952 L. J. Slocombe


1931 to 1940 G. S. Lindgren (elected an Alderman in 1940)
1940 to 1943 A. B. Coleman
1943 to 1949 J. Paton
1949 to 1952 H. W. Monroe
1952 to 1955 W. H. Playle
1955 to 1958 J. Chear
1958 to 1961 East: G. S. Lindgren      West: J. Nichol
From 1961 East: T. A. Deacon      West: J. Chear

Private Development - Woodland Rise

Credit: W.G.C. Development Corporation

(click image to enlarge)


Digswell Lake

Credit: Photo Precision Ltd.

(click image to enlarge)




Welwyn Garden City Development Corporation

Church Road

Chairman: C. Gordon Maynard, C.B.E., J.P.

Deputy Chairman: R. A. Humbert, O.B.E., T.D., D.L., J.P., F.R.I.C.S., F.A.I.


Sir Harold Fieldhouse, K.B.E., C.B.
Mrs Kenneth Hutchin, J.P.
W. H. Playle, J.P.
R. C. Simmons, J.P.

General Manager: J. E. McComb, D.F.C.
Chief Engineer: A. G. J. Cornner, M.B.E., M.I.Mun.E., M.R.San.I.
Chief Estates Officer: S. P. Lakin. M.C., A.R.I.C.S., A.M.T.P.I., A.M.I.Mun.E.
Comptroller: H. T. Tigwell
Community Development Officer: C. E. MacCormack
Housing Manager: J. O. Restall, A.A.L.P.A., A.I.Hsg.
Landscape Architect: M. R. Sefton, N.D.H.
Planning Consultant: Louis de Soissons, C.V.O., O.B.E., R.A., F.R.I.B.A.

There follows a section (9 pages) of general information under the following headings:

Useful addresses
Education - Hertfordshire County Council and private schools
Library Services
Halls, Meeting Places, etc
Health Services (including local doctors)
Urban District Council Services
Miscellaneous and other Services

There is a professional directory (2 pages) listing accountants, architects, chiropodists, dentists, estate agents, opticians, quantity surveyors, solicitors, teachers of music, dance and drama, and veterinarian.

There is a seven-page listing of societies and clubs under subheadings Drama, Music, Politics, Sports, and General.

There is a list of youth organisations including scouts, guides, cadets and boys' clubs,

There is an industrial directory listing local firms and trades unions.

There is a commercial directory listing local firms.

The above lists are not reproduced here. The following new photographs were in this section of the handbook:


The High School, Hern's Lane

Credit: W.G.C. Development Corporation

(click image to enlarge)


College of Further Education and Public Library

Louis de Soissons, Peacock, Hodges and Robertson

(click image to enlarge)


Interior of Public Library

Louis de Soissons, Peacock, Hodges and Robertson

(click image to enlarge)


After these various lists is a section which gives a small amount of information (from a short paragraph to half a page) on 42 local firms. Four of these have a photograph to illustrate. This information and photographs are below.


Industry and Commerce

Since the inception of Welwyn Garden City nearly 65 years ago (the official foundation date is 1920) industrial activities have expanded greatly. New projects following new discoveries, have made great strides, and the list of activities is long and varied. Here follow brief comments on some of the firms and tradesmen who help to make, and share, the Garden City's prosperity.

The Alcuin Press was founded in Chipping Campden, in Gloucestershire, in 1925 to produce rare books by hand. By 1935 the business had developed, so that larger premises were needed, and the opportunity was taken to move to a new and growing town within easy reach of London.

WeLwyn Garden City lived up to expectations and the business prospered. In 1947 a second bay was added to the factory and the layout extended to enable a large output to be achieved.

Since 1950 the printing of technical and non-technical periodicals and journals in black and colour, advertising and publicity brochures and stationery has been introduced and a tradition of service and quality established. The company's experience covers the whole field of letterpress printing. A competent staff of skilled tradesmen combine with an enthusiastic management to satisfy the most careful customer, and the sales staff are thoroughly trained and able to advise on any point.

The name "Alcuin" was chosen by the founder of the business for special reasons. Alcuin was born in York in 735 and was educated at the Cathedral school there, subsequently becoming its head. As a scholar and ecclesiastic of the eighth century he is important in European history in that he carried the learning of the British Isles to the court of Charlemagne and so to Western Europe. Alcuin copied numerous manuscripts before printing was invented; and this was in the founder's mind when he chose the name.

It is interesting to note that the tradition of this great man lives on at the Alcuin Press.

For up-to-date hair styles and comfortable surroundings, André can suit all clients.

Dennis Barley & Sons Ltd. are Ford dealers and carry a good stock of reliable used cars, combined with a servicing station.

Bailey and Little Ltd. started a decorating business in 1954, and have established themselves as contractors to schools, hospitals, etc. From their shop premises opened in 1960 the company supplies gardening equipment, domestic hardware and a free advice service on do-it-yourself items.

B.C.R. Factories Ltd. Sandpapers, or more correctly, coated abrasives, are things which ordinary people rarely think have to be manufactured. Nor is it generally realised to what extent and in how many different varieties these products are used in industry.

Most people have used pieces of glasspaper to finish off some home carpentry, or pieces of emery cloth to clean up some metal work, but not many people have used waterproof paper in a flow of water to get the paint-work of a motor car to the right finish for the final coat, or seen a floor surfacing machine produce the same effect on a badly worn wood block floor as a mower on a tennis court.

B. C. R. Factories Ltd.

(click image to enlarge)

These special types of coated abrasives, and the many others used largely on machines for preparing the surfaces of such widely separated products as furniture and felt hats and ships' propellers and shoe leather, need a high technical skill in manufacture and a scientific knowledge and control of the materials used. For instance, it is not easy to measure the thickness of a film of hot wet glue on moving paper, which may be part of a reel containing a two mile length, but this and similar problems have been overcome by B.C.R. Factories in their constant efforts to improve the quality and regularity of their goods. One of their products, made specially for metallurgical laboratories, contains so fine an abrasive that the coated side is smoother than the paper to which it is applied. At the other end of the scale is material coarse enough to trim the roughest welded joint.

Bourne Chemical Industries Limited, manufacturers specialising in the production of red lead and litharge, has, during the last twenty-two years, achieved an ever increasing international reputation.

Their modem factory at Welwyn Garden City supplies lead oxides to industries throughout the world, essential to the manufacture of products, ranging from the luxurious; finest cut crystal glassware and ceramics, to the basic necessities such as accumulators for cars, heavy vehicles and submarines, electronic valves and cathode ray tubes, linoleum, cables and paints for rust prevention.

Such is the constantly increasing demand that this unique and modern plant, now considerably larger than originally planned, is in continuous operation twenty-four hours a day.

The development of scientifically designed plant not only assures a high degree of efficiency and quality in production but guarantees the perfect safety and health of the operatives in what was once regarded as a hazardous occupation.

Sales are conducted from offices in the City of London and there is a very active associated company in Holland with whom the latest developments and technical information are exchanged.

Proof of the success of the Broadbans Engineering Company Limited is the expansion of their premises to take in adjoining buildings early in 1962, and the proposed erection of additions at the end of the year. Specialists in injecting moulds for the Manimold machine, and other special purpose engineering equipment, the firm does sub-contract engineering of prototype work, and short batch production of engineering parts for home or export.

The Broadwater Press Limited was founded in 1927 to provide an adequate service for a growing town. By its concentration on craftsmanship during the 35 years of its life, the Press has become firmly established as one whose work for both home and export markets is known by some of the most famous organisations in England.

The carefully selected staff is backed by a first-class modern plant and machinery.

In the large monotype section and caseroom the typefaces used are carefully chosen to offer a wide range for modern and contemporary display and text setting including those for foreign languages for overseas markets, with typefaces also for work of a more traditional character.

In the machine room there are many fast running automatic presses, both letterpress and offset litho of the latest design, offering a comprehensive service from small to large sheet-work in black and fine register colour printing.

The fully mechanized bindery section and warehouse completes the service, and the same care and attention is given as in all other departments.

In 1936 Catomance Limited took possession of a single factory bay in Bridge Road East with the object of developing a new chemical process for the waterproofing of textiles. It is now recognised as a leading company in the manufacture of chemicals for the preservation of textiles and has developed a range of over sixty specialised compounds sold in world markets. The company has expanded into other buildings in Bridge Road East and Broadwater Road.

Cotrim's (Welwyn) Limited. Part of a county-wide business is discharged at 32 Brownfields, Welwyn Garden City, by Cotrims (Welwyn) Ltd., who also have an established branch in Plantagenet Road, New Barnet, Herts., and are proud members of the Association of Master Upholsterers.

Tht craftsmen employed by the company apply a skill and technique which makes all upholstery work undertaken, whether in the form of repair work or manufacture, a highly commendable example of quality and a very definite credit to the ancient craft of upholstery.

Having moved from Mill Green Camp to the present new factory, the company have been able to expand their departments for making loose covers and curtains, and for carpet planning. Thus with a coachtrimming workshop at New Barnet they now offer the most comprehensive range of service obtainable in the county.

Curd Components Limited supply a wide range of Aircraft standard parts, produced to the drawings of the Society of British Aircraft Constructors and to British Standard Specification, and are incorporated wherever possible on every British aircraft, thus considerable interchange ability is ensured and constructors and operators can obtain at reasonable cost, parts which are common to many aircraft. This simplifies servicing and the periodic overhauls demanded under Air Navigation Regulations. Such parts are often used in light aircraft, airliners, military aircraft and missiles alike.

Curd Components Limited was founded in St. Albans in 1950, moved to Bayswater in 1953 and to Welwyn Garden City in 1958. During this period the company has esiablished a reputation for the supply of aircraft parts all over the world. Exports represent 25 per cent of the company's turnover. Comprehensive stocks, of an ever increasing range of parts, are maintained to provide a prompt service. Special attention is given to customers requiring small quantities for prototype and experimental projects.

The future prospects of the firm of Davenport (London) Limited, are excellent. Work in developing and testing new scientific instruments is continually in progress, and steady sales are maintained to most countries throughout the world.

Dawnays Limited was established in 1870, and produces structural steelwork of all descriptions for markets at home, and various countries in the Middle East, Caribbean, South America and Australasia.

Elliston's (Welwyn) Ltd. are wholesale distributors of all types of electrical equipment and engineers' sundries to contractors, retailers and industrial users. It is the only concern of its kind operating in the Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield area. Three thousand different items of electrical equipment, tools and engineers' sundries are stocked. Daily deliveries are made to all parts of Hertfordshire and a night and week-end emergency service operates to deal with breakdowns.

Dickinson and Adams (Luton) Limited has recently celebrated its golden jubilee, and is fortunate in having the two partners still in active control. There are five depots in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire which deal in Morris, Rover, Standard and Triumph cars.

Eylure Limited was founded in 1947 to manufacture fix-on eyelashes, finger nails, and eye cosmetics. Originally for Hollywood film studios and TV artists, they are now becoming popular with many women. The company is widening the range of products, which it exports to America and twelve other countries.

Fine Fare Limited is a leader in the Supermarket field. Following a £30 million development programme, new stores in various parts of the country are being opened at the rate of two or three per week. A comprehensive range of foodstuffs, fresh, frozen and tinned, and all domestic cleaning requirements (many of them at reduced prices) are on sale.

When Forge Craft Ltd. was founded in 1935 its prime functions in industry were the fabrication of ornamental wrought iron work and tube manipulation. In 1939 the company's craftsmen devoted themselves to the production of glycol, fuel, cabin and heating tubes for the aircraft industry. Immediately the war ended this progressive organisation used its experience and knowledge in the cable, electronic and building industries. The latest activity of this go-ahead company is the production of the "Aquadri" water collector. Waterlogged sports pitches may be cleared quickly and effectively by motorised or manually driven machines by a most ingenious method. Wembley Stadium, many of the leading football clubs, and the Greyhound Racing Association use these machines and have expressed their approval.

An aerial view of the Forge Craft factory

(click image to enlarge)

Guessens Hotel was taken into its present ownership in 1952, and after changes in style and policy, the resulting first class rating is well deserved. Among the amenities offered are special diets (on request) and more than one foreign language is spoken. Twenty per cent of the visitors are foreigners calling on the local factories.

Guessens Hotel

Photo from a Guessens Hotel advertisement in the handbook

(click image to enlarge)

The Headway Construction Company Ltd. has been known in Hertfordshire and the South-East of England since 1921 under its former name of Welwyn Builders Ltd.; the Company has been actively concerned in the building of Welwyn Garden City since the early days of the town.

The activities of the Company extend to all parts of the United Kingdom. The reputation that has been earned for a consistently high standard of workmanship, familiarity with every new development in construction, and speed in execution, is now associated with the name Headway Construction Company Ltd., throughout the country.

Herault Studio Ltd., founded in 1946, is a company specialising in displays in all materials, exhibition stands and screen printing. First-class designers and modern plant ensure constant high quality of production, which is adapted to modern techniques and world-wide requirements. Especial knowledge in the use of plastics for brilliant sign and decorative effects and the more technical work on metal and plastics to fine limits is at the disposal of interested clients.

Reg Hunt was born at Hatfield Hyde in 1913, and has seen Welwyn grow from a small village to the large and beautiful Garden City as it is known today. He left school at the age of 14 and started work immediately. At 21, he got a Heavy Goods Driving Licence and obtained a position as a heavy goods lorry driver. In 1958 he bought his first coach, and is now the proud owner of five modern vehicles, the firm being called "Reg's Coaches".

R. F. Jones has a record of nearly forty years as plasterers and composition floor layers. Any type of plaster floor in any kind of building can be undertaken. Contract work is welcomed.

Johns and Kelynack Ltd. is the result of the combination of three chemists of vision nearly thirty years ago, when Mr. D. W. Johns foresaw the benefits of opening a pharmacy away from the town, and the premises at Cole Green Lane were opened, for the distribution of all pharmaceutical supplies.

Knorr Anglo Swiss Ltd. commenced activities in Great Britain in 1957. These packet soups originally came from Switzerland, but after establishing themselves in English kitchens it became an economic proposition to open a factory, and all soups and cubes are now manufactured at Welwyn Garden City.

The Lemsford Engineering and Sheet Metal Products Company can supply all sheet metal fabrications, press work, spray painting and light assemblies. As sub-contractors to H.M. Ministries, London County Council and Post Office, work is naturally of a very high standard.

Specialists in the manufacture of direct current welding equipment, arc welding electrodes and arc welding accessories, Lincoln Electric Company Ltd., was originally established in 1935 in a small factory in Broadwater Road, Welwyn Garden City. Developing rapidly, the company took over an adjoining factory in 1937 and in 1949 additional premises were occupied. In 1955 the Lincoln Electric Company Limited became part of the well-known Guest Keen and Nettlefold Group, and with the continued expansion of the company's business it was decided to build a large new factory.

An aerial view of the Lincoln Electric Co. Ltd.

(click image to enlarge)

Occupying a site on the new industrial area to the North East of Welwyn Garden City and complete with its own railway siding, this factory, which itself is largely of welded construction, covers an area of over 180,000 sq. ft. and was opened in May, 1957. The greatly increased manufacturing facilities provided by the new premises have resulted in production being more than doubled and Lincoln Electric Company Limited welding equipment can now be seen in the majority of engineering workshops in the United Kingdom. A high proportion of the output is also sent abroad to many parts of the world, and agents for the company's products can be found in more than fifty countries.

J. Lingham-French & Son Ltd. (Park Studios, Hatfield), is now based in Hatfield after leaving Ilford in Essex. Freelancing and teaching photography are an indication of the standard of work which will be supplied. General commercial and industrial photography in colour and black and white - ciné work and stills. On the retail side, a working partnership with Mrs. Lingham-French should be productive of great goodwill between local industry and commerce, and the private customer.

The Norton Grinding Wheel Company Limited was established in 1930 and has continued to progress over the years. The firm manufactures abrasives, grinding wheels, heavy duty refractories and refractory cements, ceramic spray coatings and oilstones, for home and export. These products are used in the manufacture of almost any industrial and domestic item. The Welwyn Garden City plant is one of 26 factories operating in twelve countries which makes the organisation the world leader in the manufacture of abrasives and abrasive products.

Norton Abrasives

Photo from a Norton Abrasives advertisement in the handbook

(click image to enlarge)

Peartree Welding and Engineering Company Limited has already been trading under the name of T. J. Ryan. The firm has been nominated by County authorities to supply constructional metal work for new schools, and also makes precision moulds for many local industries. It is hoped that in the near future machinery will be installed to handle sheet metal work, milling, grinding and machine assembly.

Polypenco Limited was established in 1957, and engaged in industrial plastic extrusions and machined components and polytetrafluoroethylene. The manufacture of massive nylon castings, etc., are for the home and export market. There are associated companies in various parts of the world. Continual expansion due to up-to-date research methods is anticipated in all branches of the firm's activities.

The firm of William Rhodes Limited was founded in 1840 by the grandfather of the present chairman. It was one of the earliest firms to produce spring interior mattresses and divans, whose enormous popularity resulted in a new plant being in Nottingham in 1925, and yet another at Welwyn Garden City in 1957. These products are exported to many parts of the world, and have set a high standard of manufacture and cleanliness.

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 iss 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 second world war, a steady expansion had taken place until in 1956 the move to new and larger premises erected at 99 Bridge Road East became necessary. This building is specially designed and particular attention has been given to attractive colour schemes in the contemporary fashion, and to congenial working conditions which include special features in the machine rooms to minimise noise.

The new group mechanisation Dept.
of the Royal Exchange Assurance
at 99 Bridge Road East

(click image to enlarge)

Since the earliest days of the Welwyn Garden City the Royal Exchange Assurance has been associated with progress and has an office for general insurance business at 22/23 Stonehills House, Stonehills.

The Skarsten Manufacturing Company Limited was established in 1934, and the home and export trade is still expanding. Added to the large range of hand-scrapers and accessories, the awlscrew (combined screwdriver and bradawl) and plastic letter plates are becoming increasingly popular. 80% of the goods manufactured are sent for export.

Skarston Manufacturing Co. Ltd.

Old Skarsten advertisement from the handbook

(click image to enlarge)

The company of Smith, Kline and French Laboratories Limited was established in Philadelphia, U.S.A., in 1841 to manufacture Ethical Pharmaceutical Products.

Activities began in the United Kingdom in 1927, through British agents, and in 1956 an existing group of Pharmaceutical Companies was purchased and formed a basis for the present firm, with control over subsidiary companies in Australia, South Africa and India.

The Company moved from Camberwell to Welwyn Garden City in September 1959. The firm is well known for its many services to the medical profession, and also has a farm used for research on feed additives for animal health control.

T.A.I.P. (Engineers) Limited was originally established in London, but moved to the Garden City in 1954.

In 1957 the company became a self-controlled 100% subsidiary of Toledo Woodhead (Springs) Ltd. (Darlington and Sheffield) one of the Commonwealth's foremost manufacturers and developers of vehicle springs.

It can now be fairly said that T.A.I.P. has secured a place of respect in the tooling industry. The administration offices are now at Brownfields where tool design work, planning, estimating, accounts and management are housed under one roof.

Recent tooling programmes carried out, either to customers' drawings or completely designed and manufactured, include components such as refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, paraffin heaters, furniture accessories, etc. Customers are situated throughout the British Isles.

A complete tooling service is provided for process planning, design and manufacture of jigs, fixtures, press tools, gauges, plastic and die-casting moulds, and special purpose machinery.

An interesting addition to the plant is the installation of Herbert 2D capstan lathes which are electronically controlled.

The company operates an apprentice training scheme, and many ex-apprentices form a valuable part of the present staff.

T.A.I.P. are members of the Gauge and Tool Makers' Association and are approved by the Ministry of Aviation.

Welwyn Bakeries Limited was formed in 1950 on the site of an older bakery establishment. With new plant and techniques due to expansion of trade, the firm produces bread and confectionery in great variety. A fleet of vans of modern and scientific construction covers a thirty mile radius.

As members of the Gerrard Industries Group, Welwyn Engineering Company Limited manufacture at their factory in Bridge Road East a complete range of tensional steel strapping machines for securing any type, size, shape or weight of pack, with either flat, round or oval steel strapping.

Available through the sales organisation of associate companies, the equipment offered ranges from machines for 19½ gauge round wire to larger models for 2in. flat steel strapping. These machines are fine examples of precision engineering and are either hand operated, pneumatic, semi-automatic or fully automatic. With the wide range of sizes of flat or round steel strapping, the machines provide a very favourable means of reducing packaging and materials handling costs.

The Gerrard Industries Group comprises Gerrard Industries Limited, Seal-less Strapping Limited, Boabands Limited, Gerrard Safe Seal (Overseas) Limited. Seal-less Strapping (Overseas) Limited, and Welwyn Engineering Co. Limited.

The Welwyn Motor Company Limited (Silver Line Motors), has extensive premises incorporating showrooms, offices and servicing and repair bays. Equipped to cater for every aspect of the motor trade, the firm is an agent for Vauxhall and Bedford vehicles.

Welwyn Photographers Limited provides a service for industrial and commercial undertakings, as well as ordinary studio work. During construction of the Welwyn/Hatfield Hospital the company was appointed as official photographers.

Welwyn Service Depot Limited has the oldest Garage business in Welwyn Garden City, with a motor car showroom, and spare paris department.

D. C. Wenk & Sons Limited carry on the old-established family business which now includes seven shops, selling radio, electrical goods, sports equipment, cycles, toys and prams.

Digswell Road

Credit: W.G.C. Development Corporation

(click image to enlarge)


The Coronation Fountain, Parkway

Credit: W.G.C. Development Corporation

(click image to enlarge)




Fold-out street plan from the handbook

Welwyn Garden City Street Plan

(click image to enlarge)


Index to streets

(click image to enlarge)