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Welwyn Garden City

Welwyn Garden City. The Official Handbook 1964/65

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

Published: 1964 by Ed. J. Burrow & Co. Ltd.

Format: Paperback 8½" by 5½" with 128 pages


(click images to enlarge)


This handbook was a joint effort between the Urban District Council and the Development Corporation. The handbook is very similar in style and content to the earlier ones for the years 1953/54, 1956, 1959, and 1962.

There are 14 black and white photographs of people and buildings illustrating the text. Most of these pictures are half-page in size and of good photographic quality. The subjects of the photographs are: Digswell Road, Shoplands, Fountain, Wigmores South, Sir Ebenezer Howard, The Vineyard, Woodland Rise, Digswell Lake, Bungalows at Kirklands, Advertising Kiosk Howardsgate, Bronze by Kathleen Scott, High School, F. E. College, Interior of library. The photographs are all repeats from earlier handbooks are already reproduced in other web pages which can be accessed via the link to my WGC book index at the top of this page.

There are two maps. One of Hertfordshire 7" by 9" (see 1953/54 handbook), and a pull-out one of Welwyn Garden City 14" by 10" (reproduced at the bottom of this page).

There is a two-page potted history of the town by R.L. Reiss which is the same as that which appeared in earlier handbooks (see the 1953/54 handbook for the text). There is also an 8-page chronology, entitled Milestones, of events in the town's development covering the years 1919 to 1964. This handbook (1964/65) is the latest one I have which contains the Milestones chronology. The next handbook I have (1970) was completely revamped. For this reason, I am reproducing the complete Milestones text (1919 to 1964) from the 1964/65 handbook even though this duplicates what is in my notes for the earlier handbooks. A few extra entries have been added along the way so the text given below is the most complete account.





Purchase by Mr. Ebenezer Howard of the first 1,688 acres.

A pioneer company was formed and the survey of the land was commenced.


Welwyn Garden City Limited formed and additional 689 acres purchased.

First Town Plan adopted.

Workmen's camp constructed on the Campus and hutted offices provided for the Company where the Council Offices now stand.

Railway provides a "Halt" at the junction of the Luton Branch (opposite the "Cherry Tree").

In May the first brick was laid and in December the first new house was occupied in Handside Lane.


In October a new civil parish was created to cover the Company's estate and was brought under the Welwyn Rural District Council. A parish meeting was held and the following were elected as the first parish councillors: (Sir) Ebenezer Howard (33 votes); Sir Theodore Chambers (29); H. E. Stevens (26); Mrs. Drover (25); W. C. Horn (24); A. J. Squire (24). Sir Theodore Chambers was elected Chairman and Mr. W. C. Horn (who had been farming the land before the acquisition) was elected Vice-Chairman. Mr. F. J. Osborn was appointed Clerk. Sir Theodore Chambers was elected unopposed to represent the parish on the Welwyn Rural District Council.

Census population, 767.

"Cherry Tree" restaurant opened in temporary building and the Company provides a meeting hut near its offices used for both Church of England and Free Church services and for general social purposes.

In October the first portion of the temporary building of Welwyn Stores was opened at the corner of Bridge Road and Guessens Road. Electricity connected in the town.

The first issue of Welwyn Garden City News (now incorporated in the Welwyn Times) was published. First editor: Mr. Ernest Selley. Mr. C. B. Purdom produced The Showing Up of Blanco Posnet by Bernard Shaw in the Barn at Brickwall. By the end of the year the Theatre Society had been formed and produced Candida.

By this time other societies had been formed, including the Music Society, the Arts Club, the Book Club, the Football, hHockey, Cricket, and Tennis Clubs, and the Educational Association.

The Educational Association organized the first temporary school in the Meeting Hut on Bridge Road. (This was the forerunner of Handside School.)

First baby (Evelyn Setters) born in the new town.


The Rural District Council commenced the first council houses in Elm Gardens and Applecroft Road.

The Daily Mail erects on Meadow Green and its immediate surroundings a "model village". Opened by Field Marshal Lord Haig.

The Lawrence Hall was opened and the temporary school was transferred to it. The first factory building (later taken over by Messrs. Dawnay) was commenced.

The health association was formed and the Horticultural Society was founded.

First resident doctors arrive - Dr. H. J. B. Fry and Mrs. Fry (Dr. G. Miall Smith).

Mr. F. J. Osborn wrote and produced the Labour Players (later the Folk Players) in The Blowing up of Bolsho Poshnut, satirising the Garden City's internal politics. The County Council builds first portion of Handside School and appoints the first local education sub-committee.


The membership of the parish council was increased to twelve; and Welwyn Garden City was allocated three additional seats on the Rural District Council.

The first portion of Handside School (400 places) opened. First Headmaster, Mr. R. Pinsent.

The Backhouse Room opened.

The first portion of St. Francis' Hall was opened and the Company built extensions to the Stores, a portion being used temporarily as a meeting hall.

First services of the Congregational Church held in January in the Club Room, Hatfield Hyde. In April the Hatfield Hyde Free Church was constituted.

The first nine holes of the golf course were brought into play and a golf club formed.

Flora Robson (who produced and acted frequently during the next few years in the town) produced the Barnstormers (later the Thalians) in The Luck of the Navy.


Cinema performances started in the annexe to the Stores.

Parish council takes a plebiscite on the question of whether the name of the town should be changed. Seventeen voted for "Welwyn South", two for "Welwyn Wood" and one each for "Handside", "Penn Welwyn", and "Welwyn Town". A further thirty-five names had been suggested by other residents but none of them received any votes. As 118 voted for retaining "Welwyn Garden City" this remains the name of the town.


Building starts in the Peartree District.

Burial ground opened by the parish council. New Congregational Church Hall opened in Woodhall Lane by Sir Ebenezer Howard.

The bridge over the Luton branch opened and the main line station begun.

The Guild of Help formed.

The building of the Shredded Wheat Factory started.

A special parish meeting apply for the creation of an Urban District Council.


The Roman Catholic Church of St. Bonaventure was opened by Cardinal Bourne.

The railway station was opened by the Rt. Hon. Neville Chamberlain, M.P., then Minister of Health. In the course of his speech he said that those responsible for Welwyn Garden City had convinced him of the rightness of their proposals but "you have still to convince the country". (The "convincing" was completed in 1946.)

First performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in The Dell. Producer, Mrs. E. J. August.

Extension to Handside School opened by the Duchess of Atholl, M.P., then Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education.


The following were elected members of the first Urban District Council (in order of number of votes): W. C. Horn (Ind.), Dr. H. J. B. Fry (Lab.), E. J. August (Ind.), W. R. Hughes (Lab.), H. E. Stevens (Ind.), L. T. M. Gray (Ind.), Sir Theodore Chambers (Ind.), J. P. Marsden (Ind.), F. J. How (Ind.), F. H. Masters (Ind.), H. B. Hoddinott (Ind.), A. L. Elliston (Ind.), J. H. House (Ind.) Mrs. Glaizyer (Ind.), James Gray (Ind.). There were thirteen unsuccessful candidates of whom seven were Labour and six Independent. Mr. Horn was elected Chairman. By a majority of eleven to four the council decided to have joint officers with the company as a measure of efficiency and economy. Mr. F. J. Osborn was accordingly appointed Clerk, Capt. W. E. James, Engineer, and Mr. C. W. Care, Accountant.

Woodhall Lane Church Hall renamed Welwyn Garden City Congregational Church.

Sir Ebenezer Howard was knighted for his services to town planning and was also elected an Honourable Member of the Leningrad Architects' Society. The Theatre Society won the Howard de Walden Cup (British Drama League) in competition with amateur dramatic societies throughout Great Britain. The play, Mr. Sampson, was produced by Mr. C. B. Purdom and the cast consisted of Mr. Ernest Selley, Mrs. Elsie Colson, and Mrs. Joyce Raby. The cast (with Mrs. Lilian Hinton instead of Mrs. Raby) later went to New York to compete with the winning amateur dramatic society in the United States for the Belasco Cup, which they won.

The Civic Fund (later the Community Trust) inaugurated.


In May Sir Ebenezer Howard died, aged seventy-eight.

Mr. H. Willard appointed first full-time principal officer of the Council to deal with accounts, rating, and valuation.

The Welwyn Theatre (cinema with stage for drama performances) on Parkway opened.

Welwyn Times initiated, incorporating the Welwyn Garden City News and the Pilot (a local paper owned and edited by Mr. J. W. Sault).

Welwyn Garden City Football Club won Herts. Charity Shield.


First small cottage hospital started in Elm Gardens.

The Health Association awarded William Hardy Shield by the National Baby Week Council for all areas in England with a population of less than 15,000. (They won it again in 1931 and 1934.)

Peartree School opened. First headmistress, Miss L. A. Sing.

Chamber of Commerce formed.

Memorial to Sir Ebenezer Howard unveiled by the Earl of Lytton with the late Marquess of Salisbury as Chairman.

Murphy Radio commence operating in small workshop.

Drama Festival started by F. J. Osborn and Flora Robson.

"Home Helps" scheme inaugurated by the Health Association (the first in Hertfordshire).

Mr. (later Sir) Tidbury-Beer elected to the Urban District Council with the slogan "Beer is Best".


Free Church (Presbyterian) in Parkway opened.

St Michael and All Angels in Ludwick Way opened.

First shop opened in Howardsgate.


Central Post Office opened in Howardsgate

Census population, 8,585.

First section of the permanent building for Welwyn Stores in Parkway opened.

Norton Factory starts production.


Opening of the Barn Theatre.

The Council acquires the sewage and water undertakings from the Company.

Ludwick School opened. First headmistress, Miss I. Sing.

Lea Valley Bathing Pool opened.

The Council acquires from the Company land at Hatfield Hyde for playing fields, later named King George V Playing Fields.


I was a Spy filmed at Welwyn Garden City.


Parkway School opened. Miss A. Coe first headmistress.

Council of Christian Congregations formed.

Town band inaugurated.


Bishop of St. Albans consecrates St. Francis Church.

The Thalians won the Howard de Walden Cup in competition with amateur dramatic societies throughout Great Britain, and the Folk Players won the Welwyn Drama Cup.

The Music Society took part in Command Performance at the Albert Hall. The Rt. Hon. George Lansbury, M.P., dedicates the Wallhead Memorial Seat in Parkway.

Peartree Boys' Club founded.


Eastern entrance to station opened.

The Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley Wood, M.P., Minister of Health, lays the foundation stone of new Council Offices.

Co-operative Stores in Howardsgate opened.

Town band wins trophy at the Crystal Palace.


New Council Offices opened.

The Mayor of Baghdad visited Welwyn Garden City.

Dinah Sheridan wins the All England Beauty Competition.

Residential club for boys opened in Peartree.


At the U.D.C. elections Labour secured majority for the first time.

Community Centre opened.

Licence granted for Peartree Public House.

New permanent building for the Congregational Church in Woodhall Lane opened and dedicated alongside the Hall.


British Legion Branch wins Jellicoe Cup. (It also won it and the Haig Cup in 1940.)

New Stores building opened by Lord Harmsworth. Two-thirds of old Stores demolished but remaining third left standing for wartime needs.

Grammar School opened. Headmaster, Mr. J. Nichol.

Mr. C. H. G. Small appointed headmaster of Handside School.

Christ Church (Baptist) built.

Outbreak of war. Council appoints emergency committee. About 2,600 evacuees arrive; emergency maternity homes organized for evacuated expectant mothers.

Civil defence organized and W.V.S. formed.

House building cut down.


So many events occurred during the war that only a brief summary is possible. In 1940 bombs destroyed houses in Handside Lane, Guessens Road, Mandeville Rise and Coneydale and a factory. In addition to evacuees, many transferred war-workers had to be accommodated in the town and the population went up to nearly 21,000 at December, 1940. A number of young men lost their lives and a number were decorated for gallantry. Among the organizations formed, in addition to those mentioned under 1939, were the Home Guard, the Air Training Corps, Army Cadets, and Sea Cadets. Two day nurseries off Church Road and Woodhall Lane and the British Restaurant were opened. Sir Francis Fremantle, M.P., died, and Mr. John Grimston was elected. In 1945 most of the transferred workers and evacuees left. At June, 1945, population was 17,300. In 1945 Capt. W. E. James, who had served as engineer to the Council since its formation, resigned, and Mr. R. V. Scoffham was appointed in his place. At the General Election of 1945 Mr. C. Dumpleton (Labour) was elected Member of Parliament. The following local residents were also elected to Parliament: Mrs. M. E. Nichol, Mrs. F. Paton, Messrs. W. G. Cove, Asterley Jones, George Lindgren, and J. Paton. Mr. Lindgren was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of National Insurance.


The first post-war council housing schemes were completed.

John Hartley wins the 100 yards and the quarter-mile at the County Athletic Championships.

Reunion of the early pioneers still living in the town, at which presentation was made to Sir Theodore Chambers.

Crown Prince of Sweden (now King Gustav) visits the town.

The Urban District Council and the Company submitted proposals to the Minister for the town to develop to a population of 50,000. This was opposed by the Welwyn Rural District Council.


In February the Minister invited representatives of the Company and the Council to meet him when he announced (a) that he had decided to limit the population to 36,500 and not to allow development north of the Mimram Valley, and (b) that he proposed to designate Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield as New Towns.

Eastern Electricity Board takes over the electricity supply from the Company.

In November the Minister of Town and Country Planning speaks at a meeting in the town explaining the reasons for designating it a New Town.

The Cricket Club arranges festival week to celebrate its 25th Anniversary.

L. Bateman tops Herts County Cricket batting averages (also in 1950 when D. Carnill was second).


In January the Minister makes the Provisional Order designating Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield New Towns and issues explanatory statement.

The Company issues statement why it opposes the proposal.

Enquiry into the proposed Designation Order took place at which it was announced on behalf of the Minister that the Development Corporation, when appointed, would acquire such property from the Company as it wished to dispose of. The Minister subsequently confirmed the Designation Order. Mr. R. L. Reiss, who was the only director of the company other than Sir Theodore Chambers who had served continuously since 1920, resigned from the Board in order to accept the invitation from the Minister to act as vice-chairman of the Development Corporation.

The following were appointed members of the Welwyn Garden City Development Corporation: Mr. R. G. Gosling (Chairman), Mr. R. L. Reiss (Vice-Chairman), Mrs. L'Estrange Malone (L.C.C.), Messrs. Elton Longmore, G. R. Lowe, J. H. MacDonnell (L.C.C.), H. L R. Matthews, C. G. Maynard (H.C.C.), W. H. Playle.

The Corporation appoints Mr. J. E. McComb, D.F.C., General Manager; Mr. Louis de Soissons, Town Planner; Mr. H. T. Tigwell, Comptroller; Mr. J. Skinner, Engineer; and Mr. W. A. Clarke, Legal Officer. (It subsequently appointed other principal officers, see page 30.)

Offices for the Youth Hostels Association built by the Corporation, which took over offices in Midland Bank Chambers.

Mr. J. R. Yglesias wins the County Squash Racquets Championship (also in 1949 and 1950, and captains the County team).

Mr. R. L. Reiss awarded the Howard Medal for distinguished service to town planning.


The Development Corporation acquires property from the Company for £2,800,000; publishes its Master Plan and commences building flats and houses.

The Welwyn Garden City Company goes into voluntary liquidation and the shareholders approve the directors' proposal to make substantial gifts to Sherrardswood School, Peartree Boys' Club, and the British Legion.

The second edition of The Building of Satellite Towns by Mr. C. B. Purdom published, containing detailed account of the development of Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City.

Mrs. M. Glenister's "Nimbus" wins the Derby.


Members of Development Corporation re-appointed with exception of Mr. J. H. MacDonnell.

The Hon. John Grimston elected M.P. for the division and the following local residents were re-elected: Messrs. George Lindgren, J. Paton, and W. G. Cove. Mr. George Lindgren was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Town and Country Planning.

Completion by the Corporation of the first section of Homestead Court.

Templewood School opened. Mr. A. E. R. Otter first headmaster.

New Methodist Church built.

Bequest by the Hon. Alice Glyn for erection of dwellings for elderly women announced. Community Trust appointed Trustees.

Mr. W. H. Playle, J.P., elected Chairman of the local Bench.


Census population of the old urban district area 18,296 and of the corporation's designated area, 18,786. In October the area of the urban district was extended to cover the whole of the designated area. Development Corporation completes Homestead Court Restaurant and one-room flats; acquires the old Methodist Chapel in Peartree Lane as headquarters for Peartree Girls' Club and also the unemployed hut in Bridge Road East as headquarters for the twenty to thirty-five Club and other organizations; publishes its proposals for the development of the Campus and puts model on view; commences the development of the Ludwick neighbourhood.

Blackthorn Primary School opened. Mr. A. G. Luck first headmaster.

Retirement of Mrs. D. Bonney after twenty-five years as head of the Welwyn Garden City Library.

Local celebration of Festival of Britain. Miss Janet Robertson, Festival Queen.

Peartree Boys' Club and Girls' Club performed A Midsummer Night's Dream in the Dell. Producer, Mr. H. A. G. Baker.

Messrs. Ardath Cigarette Manufacturers acquire the old film studios in Broadwater Road.

Air Training Corps headquarters built.

The Hon. John Grimston re-elected M.P. for the division. Messrs. G. Lindgren, J. Paton, and W. G. Cove also re-elected.


Development Corporation completes first houses in Ludwick neighbourhood and makes Ludwick House available as a social centre.

Family Club formed. The Minister of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Harold Macmillan) visits the town.

Members of the Development Corporation re-appointed with the exception of Mr. Elton Longmore who had retired. Mrs. Malone died in 1951 and her place was not filled. Mr. C. G. Maynard appointed vice-chairman in place of Mr. R. L. Reiss who asked to be relieved of this post, although remaining a member.

New Factory for I.C.I. completed.

Presentation to Mr. B. H. Deamer on his retirement after twenty-two years' service as Clerk to the Council.

Denys Carnill captain of the British Olympic Hockey Team which won a medal at Helsinki.

Twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the local Boys' Brigade.


Members of Development Corporation re-appointed for a further two years.

Corporation completes its thousandth house in the Garden City and Hatfield.

The Council erects fountain at the junction of Parkway and Howardsgate to celebrate the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and also extends King George V Playing Fields, where it constructs a children's yachting pond.

"Dawn", by the local sculptor, David Evans, erected in Parkway.

Roman Catholic Primary School opened in Woodhall Lane. First headmaster, Mr. V. J. Nevard.

Howard School (Secondary Modern), Oaken Grove, opened. First headmaster, Mr. C. H. G. Small. Pupils from the Handside School move there.

Handside School renamed Applecroft School and used as a junior primary school to which juniors from Parkway move with their headmaster, Mr. A. Worthy. Parkway School becomes an infant school. First headmistress, Miss V. Spain.

Sir Stanley Angwin (one of the earliest residents) awarded the Faraday Medal.

Mr. Louis de Soissons (who has completed thirty-three years as Town Planner) elected a Royal Academician.

First triplets born in the town. Mother, Mrs. Joan Douglass.

Mimram Valley Sewerage scheme commenced.

Council completes all-electric pumping system at the waterworks.

First ten bungalows for elderly women, constructed under the bequest of the Hon. Alice Glyn, completed and occupied.


New block of twelve shops and offices in Stonehills opened.

"The Hyde" made available by the Development Corporation for social activities in Hatfield Hyde area.

New Hall, with church bay, adjacent to Ludwick House, opened by the Hon. David Bowes-Lyon for use of the Ludwick Family Club.

Resignation of Brigadier H. L. R. Matthews from membership of the Development Corporation. Mr. R. A. Humbert and Mr. R. C. Simmons appointed as members later in the year.

Ludwick neighbourhood centre in Hall Grove, consisting of seven shops and a public house (the Ludwick Arms), completed.

Approval received from the Minister of Housing and Local Government to the increase of the ultimate population from 36,500 to 50,000 without increasing the designated area.

Closing of builders' hostel at Mill Green Camp.


First stage of new factory for Murphy Radio completed.

A garage and petrol filling station completed in Ludwick Centre and another in Fretherne Road.

Minister of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Duncan Sandys) visits town.

Lord Balniel elected M.P. for the new division of Hertford (which includes Welwyn Garden City) in General Election.

Mr. R. G. Gosling awarded the C.B.E. in Birthday Honours List.

The new Health Centre built by the County Council in Gooseacre opened by Miss Pat Hornsby-Smith, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health.

Thumbswood Infant School opened. First headmistress, Miss M. W. Brook.

Scheme of 127 houses for sale in Moorlands area completed and sold by Development Corporation. Further similar scheme of eighty-nine houses started in same area.

Church for Pentecostal Assembly built.

Mimram Sewer completed.

Mr. R. L. Reiss resigned from the Development Corporation through ill-health.

Mr. G. R. Lowe not re-appointed at the end of the year. Dr. Margaret Emslie appointed a member.


Synagogue for the Jewish Community completed.

Mr. Louis de Soissons awarded C.V.O. in New Year Honours List.

Sixteen shops and a bank completed in Woodhall Centre.

Sir Frederick J. Osborn knighted in Birthday Honours List for his services to town planning.

Heronswood Secondary Modern School opened. First headmaster, R. Bainbridge, B.Sc.

New Grammar School (named High School) pupils temporarily housed in Heronswood School. First headmaster, Mr. C. L. V. Gilbey, M.A.

Rollswood Infant School opened. First headmistress, Mrs. F. R. Alcock.

Howlands Junior School opened. First headmistress, Mrs. F. M. Cann.

First artists moved into former Digswell Conference House, to start Digswell Arts Centre.

Digswell Lake Society formed.

Groups of the Duke of Edinburgh's Study Conference twice visited town to meet leaders of industry, commerce, religion and all aspects of local life.


Creswick Junior School opened. First headmaster, Mr. A. Grafton.

New Methodist Church completed.

The Minister of Housing and Local Government, Mr. Henry Brooke, opened the 5,000th house to be built by the Development Corporation in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield, and toured the town.

Death of Sir Theodore Chambers, the Chairman of Welwyn Garden City Limited from 1920-1949.

Five shops with offices over opened in Stonehills.


Occupation of the first houses in the north west area built by the Development Corporation.

Lincoln Electric Company's new factory completed.

National Provincial Bank completed in Stonehills.

Marley Hall (Evangelical Church) completed.

Death of Mr. R. G. Gosling, first Chairman of the Development Corporation.

Appointment of Mr. C. Gordon Maynard, formerly Deputy Chairman, as Chairman, and Mr. R. A. Humbert, formerly a Board Member, as Deputy Chairman of the Development Corporation.

High School, Hern's Lane, opened. Pupils and staff transferred to it from Heronswood School premises.

Hollybush Public House opened.

Building started of new general hospital.


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.).

Our Lady Queen of Apostles' Roman Catholic Church in Woodhall Lane completed.

Resignation of S. A. W. Johnson-Marshall as member of Development Corporation.


Rosedale School opened. First headmaster, J. Mornington.

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

Deaths of G. R. Lowe, former Chairman of U.D.C. and former member of Development Corporation, Col. D. Lorimer, and Louis de Soissons, C.V.O., O.B.E., R.A., F.R.I.B.A., M.T.P.I., Planning Consultant to Development Corporation.

Construction of Knightsfield Bridge completed.

Hedgehog Public House opened.

Subscribers Trunk Dialling introduced with opening of new telephone exchange.

Formation of Welwyn Gosling Stadium Athletic and Sports Association.

Extensions to St. John;s Church, Digswell, completed.

Viaduct Health Centre opened.


Hyde Valley House, residential old people's home, opened.

Death of W. H. Playle, former Chairman and member of U.D.C. and member of Development Corporation.

Visit of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II to perform official opening of and to name Queen Elizabeth II Hospital.

Homerswood School opened. First headmaster, D. F. Tilby.

Burnside School opened. First headmaster, F. Carter.

W. F. Hodson and J. McKnight appointed as members of Development Corporation.

Rowans School opened. First headmaster, P. N. Chamberlin.




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
In 1962 Registrar-General's estimate (June)
In 1963 Registrar-General's estimate (June)


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
1964 Estimated (March)
occupied 11,500



Welwyn Garden City Urban District Council

Council Offices: The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Tel. 24411

Chairman: A. E. Page, J.P.

Vice Chairman: J. T. O'Farrell

Haldens Ward Handside Ward Hollybush Ward

Mrs. B. Goddard

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

S. Collingwood
J. T. O'Farrell
A. E. Page
Howlands Ward Peartree Ward Sherrards Ward

H. S. Harper
J. Jaggers
J. McKnight

A. E. Luddington
S. Palacio
C. A. Stone

W. McGeorge
Mrs. M. S. Weston
B. A. Wilson


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. (Lon.), 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.

General Rate in the £ for 1964/65:
8s. 6d..

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

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
H. S. G. Jaggers
H. W. Dorton

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
1961 to 1964 East: T. A. Deacon      West: J. Chear
From 1964 East: T. A. Deacon      West: Mrs. B. Goddard



Welwyn Garden City Development Corporation

Development Corporation Offices: Church Road, Welwyn Garden City. Tel. 28181

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.
W. F. Hodson
Mrs Kenneth Hutchin, J.P.
J. McKnight
R. C. Simmons, J.P.

General Manager: Brigadier G. B. S. Hindley, C.B.E..
Deputy General Manager and Comptroller: H. T. Tigwell
Chief Engineer: R. M. James, A.R.I.C.S., M.Inst.H.E.
Chief Estates Officer: S. P. Lakin. M.C., A.R.I.C.S., A.M.T.P.I., A.M.I.Mun.E.
Administrative and 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: Messrs. Louis de Soissons, Peacock, Hodges, Robertson & Fraser



The Armorial Bearings of
Welwyn Garden City
Urban District Council

Granted by Letters Patent dated 15th December 1958.

Arms: Vert two pairs of Dividers in fesse inverted and extended the interior points contiguous argent between three Ears of Wheat stalked leaved and slipped or on a Chief of the last as many bees volant proper.
Crest: On a Wreath of the Colours in front of a Willow Tree a Hart lodged proper Murally gorged or.
The shield is green in keeping with the name Garden City. The dividers allude to the planning of the town and together form a letter W for the initial of Welwyn. The wheatears refer to the original farmland on which the town was developed and also recall one of Welwyn's original local industries. The bees are symbolic of a community living and working together as a social unit and have especial reference here to "garden workers". They appear on a gold background for prosperity.

Above the shield is the closed helm proper to civic arms with its crest-wreath and decorative mantling in the basic colours of the shield, green and white.
Upon the wreath is the crest, which is a simple heraldic interpretation of the name "Welwyn (Herts)". The willow tree recalls the meaning of the name Welwyn and the lodged hart and its mural crown are from the Hertfordshire County Council arms.

The Arms were designed by Mr. H. Ellis Tomlinson, M.A., of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancs.

For an alternative description of the Arms look in the 1970 handbook here.
For a colour image of the Arms look in the 1959 handbook here.


Next in the handbook is a section (9 pages) of general information under the following headings:

Useful addresses
Library Services
Health Services (including local doctors)
Urban District Council Services
Halls, Meeting Places, Licensed Premises, etc

There is a professional directory (2 pages) listing accountants, architects, chiropodists, dentists, estate agents, opticians, pharmacists, 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 listings are not reproduced here.

After these various lists there is a section entitled Industry and Commerce which gives a small amount of information (from a short paragraph to half a page) on 61 local firms.


Industry and Commerce

Since the inception of Welwyn Garden City nearly 65 years ago (the official foundation date in 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 hooks by hand.

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; this perpetuation of craftsmanship was in the founder's mind when he chose the name.

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 booklets 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. The Sales staff are thoroughly trained and able to advise on any point.

Currently plans are being made at Alcuin Press for the introduction of the most modern techniques in printing production aimed at maintaining the tradition of quality and service allied to economy.

Founded as Aviation Developments Ltd., at Kings Cross in 1936, Avdel Limited, manufacturers of industrial fasteners, later moved to Woodfield Road, Welwyn Garden City. During 1940-45 further premises were acquired and in addition at St. Albans; and in 1955 a factory covering 20,000 square feet was built at Swallowfields, Welwyn Garden City, adjoining the Woodfield Road Factory. In 1960 entirely new premises were built at Black Fan Road, in excess of 100,000 square feet of manufacturing area including the administrative offices.

Avdel Products are distributed throughout the world. A number of concessionaires have been appointed to handle the sale of the Company's products in all principal countries, and naturally a large English sales force is employed; Avdel customers may be assured of a high standard of technical liaison.

At Antone of Mayfair it is possible to have hairstyles created by Mayfair's top hairdressers, whilst relaxing in luxurious surroundings. Hair preparations and costume jewellery, specially imported from France and Italy, are also retailed at the premises.

Barcley Foundations was established in Welwyn Garden City in June 1927, being the fourth organization to realize the many advantages of having its headquarters situated in these attractive surroundings. In 1939 the present factory and offices were erected, finished in peach and black vitrolite. Since that time a further factory has been built at Hitchin to cater for expansion of business and specialised manufacture.

The company produce individually designed and ready-to-wear foundations, which are made available to the public in all parts of the country, through the services of trained corsetieres. Each garment in the superb individually designed range is created specially to meet the requirements of the wearer.

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.

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' propellors 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 over come 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.

A. M. Boon Ltd. (Boon Gallery) was started solely as a means of supply for local art classes (literally from a suitcase). On acquiring premises, the great interest in creative work quickly became apparent, spreading to a demand from local drawing offices and handcraft workers, for such items as pictures, books on art, and all that relates to colour and good design for the home.

There is careful expert guidance offered in all spheres, which has proved its value, by the acknowledged appreciation of customers, and those who visit the gallery.

Mr. and Mrs. Booth, founders of Booth's China Store, opened their first shop in Luton in 1946.

In 1962 the company moved to much larger premises in Luton, at the same time opening the premises at Welwyn Garden City. Now well established in Welwyn, the company has a good name for helpful and courteous service, acting as an agent for Royal Doulton, Poole, Denby, Minton, Johnson Bros., Midwinter and Webb Corbett etc.

Proof of the success of the Broadbans Engineering Company Limited lies in the fact that the company has increased the size of its premises fourfold since 1958. Specialists in injection compression and transfer moulds for the plastics industry the company also manufactures all types of press tools, and includes design specialists in each field of moulds and press tools.

The Broadwater Press Limited was founded in 1927 to provide an adequate service for a growing new town. After 37 years it is now a large, well-established company, well known for its high standards, its craftsmen, and its efficiency - and one whose printing is known by some of the most famous organizations, in England, who serve both home and export markets.

The many typefaces used in its large Monotype Section and caseroom have been selected with care and offer a wide range for modern, contemporary display, and text setting, including those for foreign languages for overseas markets, with typefaces also for work of a more traditional character. Many fast running automatic presses, both letterpress and offset litho of the latest design are installed throughout the machine room, and these give a comprehensive service with a range from small to large sheet work in black and fine register colour printing. The warehouse and bindery section is fully mechanized and completes the fine printing the company produces.

Peter C. Brown Welwyn Photographers Ltd. Since incorporation in 1960 the company has specialised in supplying high quality photographs in colour and black and white to commercial and industrial firms as well as offering an unrivalled service in Wedding photography. The Company's activities are not only restricted to this area, having travelled to many places irs England and Wales photographing Atomic power stations and other similar installations.

Brunts Coaches Ltd. is one of the largest privately owned public transport organizations in Hertfordshire. Up to 30 public service vehicles are operated on excursion and express services. The company is active in all fields from school swimming transport to extended continental tours.

In 1936 Catomance Limited was in possession of a single factory bay at Bridge Road East, with the object of developing a new chemical process for the waterproofing of textiles. It is now recognised on a world-wide basis as a leading company in the manufacture of chemicals, in the preservation of textiles, timber and many other materials and has developed a range of over sixty specialised compounds, sold in world markets. The company has expanded into buildings in Bridge Road East and Broadwater Road, and maintains extensive laboratories working in the textile biological, timber and paper fields.

S. and J. Chapman Engineering Ltd. manufactures all sheet metal components and tubular structures; prototypes and production runs, arc and acetylene welding are also undertaken. Formed in 1955, the company has taken great pride in manufacturing large numbers of cabinets, chassis and panels to close limits for the electronic industry.

Contract Gully Cleansing Ltd. executes a very important service for industry, covering the disposal of factory dry waste by the means of 8 cubic yard containers sited at each factory and exchanged by means of a pick-a-back vehicle; the disposal of liquid factory waste is carried out by means of suction tankers. Both of these methods are clean and efficient and do not disrupt the normal business of the factories.

Suction tankers are also used to cleanse well over 1¼ million road gullies (also cesspools etc.) every year for municipal authorities, including a number of County Councils, over an area bounded by Norfolk and Essex in the East and Gloucestershire and Shropshire in the West.

The company originally started in a small yard in Edmonton, North London. After the last war it was necessary to move to larger premises and at the same time keep in mind the need for a central position for gully cleansing operations and also an expanding industrial area for the factory waste. Welwyn Garden City has filled the bill on all counts, and the business of the company has steadily increased ever since the move in 1958.

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 whenever possible on every British aircraft, thus considerable interchangeability 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.

The company 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 established 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.

Dawnays Limited was established in 1870; steel-framed buildings, power stations and constructional steel for all purposes are produced for the Middle Eastern and Caribbean Countries and the home market. With the installation of the most up-to-date plant and use of the new high yield steels the company is in the fore-front of the structural trade, fully equipped to play a full part in meeting the increasing demands upon the constructional industries.

Established since 1945 Denman Products Ltd. manufacture hair brushes, multi-row combs and carry out injection moulding. Of special note are the high quality nylon pin, rubber cushions hair brushes with wood or plastic handles.

Devices Ltd. was established in 1939 since when, as development Engineers, they have steadily gained international prominence in the application of photo-electronics to the Food Industry. Expansion plans in 1959 included a move to new premises and the development of a wide range of transistorised single and multi-channel recording instruments for Medical and Industrial Research. The company employs an active design team and undertakes its own tooling, manufacture and marketing, largely for export. An apprentice scheme is in operation giving rare opportunities for training in high quality mechanical and electronic engineering.

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.

H. J. Edwards (Tailors) Ltd. was established in 1936 as a men's wear shop. Since that date the premises have been extended and altered several times, and the staff has increased considerably. Besides men's wear, school uniforms are also retailed.

Ellistons (Welwyn) Ltd. stocks and distributes a wide variety of electrical equipment (both industrial and domestic) for electrical contractors, and industrial users and retailers. Upwards of 5,000 different items are in stock and these include electric motors, switchgear, conduit, cable, accessories and domestic appliances. As an additional service for industrial users the company also distributes power tools, screws, dexion, hand tools, distilled water and other products used by the engineering industry. Daily van deliveries are made to all parts of Hertfordshire.

The company commenced trading in 1958 in premises rented from the Welwyn Garden City Development Corporation and in 1963 moved to the present address where new warehouses and offices have been designed and built. The company is a member of the electrical wholesalers federation.

Eylure Limited. Since the company's inception in 1947 the present founding directors have established an organization whose reputation is second to none in the specialized field of eye make-up. False eyelashes, false fingernails, cosmetic brushes and pencils, eyeshadows eyeliners, cosmetic sponges and mascara are the main products manufactured by the company.

Two years ago the export market accounted for 25 per cent of the sales of Eylure Limited; today it is equal to the home market and the future indicates a strengthening of both markets with emphasis on the export side.

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.

Foto Fina Ltd. is a firm of photographic retailers, also specialising in passport and wedding photographs.

Charles Franklin Ltd. has been established for well over a hundred years and has pioneered fuel distribution right from the inception of the railway system. It is one of the most progressive fuel distributor companies with many aids for mechanical and centralized distribution, also giving a wide range of services to the consumer, besides fuel requirements. In addition to advice on appliances or servicing when required, the company now operates a heating design service. For members of the public free of charge.

Graham and Comrie Ltd. deal in new and used cars and operate a modern service department with factory-trained staff. Formed after World War II the company has expanded throughout the years to meet the needs of a growing new town.

Graphic Litho Limited is a more recent addition to the service industry of Welwyn Garden City. Founded by David Warren at the beginning of 1960 it developed with considerable success a lively policy of producing publicity literature and superior stationery by combining a modern and original approach to graphic and creative design with a high standard of lithographic press work. This reached national acknowledgment recently when a high percentage of work was selected for display at the London Design Centre. By having its own studio, camera processing and platemaking departments it enables the company to offer an unrivalled and expert service for both the simple and complex work. There is also a Xerox camera installation for the cheap production of technical manuals and small-run circulars, and a complete artwork and platemaking service for industrial companies with their own internal printing service. The company has recently expanded into larger premises with the installation of the famous Roland press and a darkroom colour camera. Further plans are now well advanced for combining its subsidiary company, Graphic Lithoplates in Hydeway and the press room and bindery at Woodfield Road into one large factory.

The Headway Construction Co. 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 Co. Ltd. throughout the country.

Herault Studios has modern factories fully equipped to design and construct exhibition stands and displays. All display typesetting is done on the premises. The screen printing section has automatic machines for the production of posters, show- cards, point of sale aids and a variety of processes serving the technical demands of the electronic industries. Herault's work goes all over the world, wherever British Products need to be displayed. It was the first British Company since the war to enter Red China to produce and erect the British Exhibition in Peking in 1963. Herault's reputation for high quality is being recognized by some of the most important British industrial concerns.

D. W. Hinson retails pre-packed fuel, smokeless fuel and paraffin. The business has expanded considerably in the last seven years and there are now four delivery vans operating in Welwyn Garden City and area.

Johns and Kelynack Ltd. was formed in 1939 by Mr. D. W. Johns at Cole Green Lane for the distribution of all pharmaceutical supplies. The company has recently been bought by Mr. J. Kirby, M.P.S., who has managed the business since 1961. Plans for the future include modernization, to keep pace with new merchandising policies and to give a wider scope to the professional aspects of the business, which have always been the main concern of the company.

Kestron Limited is a firm of process engravers, producing the following: rough and finished artwork, line and halftone blocks in black and white and colour; litho negatives and plates, photographic bromides and typesetting for display; stereos and electros and wrap round plates for offset plastic printing.

A. H. Lambert. This florists, and greengrocers, establishment has two branches in Welwyn, one in Hollybush Lane, and one in Fretherne Road.

The Lemsford Engineering & Sheet Metal Products Co. can supply all sheet metal fabrications, pressings, spray painting and stone enamelling. Of particular interest are the instrument chassis of all descriptions and instrument panels and cabinets etc.

One of the leading manufacturers in the U.K. of arc welding equipment, electrodes and arc welding accessories, Lincoln Electric Company Limited, 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 & Nettlefold Group, and in 1957 moved to a large new factory in the North East Industrial Area of Welwyn Garden City. From this factory, which is itself largely of welded construction, Lincoln Electric Co. Ltd. welding equipment is supplied to every type of engineering industry throughout the United Kingdom and to many countries overseas. The recently completed National Methane gas grid pipeline system was welded almost exclusively with Lincoln equipment and electrodes.

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 - cine work and stills. On the retail side, a working partnership with Mrs. Lingham French should be productive of great good will between local industry and commerce; and the private customer.

The Make-Up Room, now established four years, has earned a reputation in Welwyn for personality hair styling and is always in the forefront with the latest styles.

Marguerite, Ladies' Hairdressers, is a husband and wife partnership established in 1946. The couple have been residents in Welwyn for 32 years and do their utmost to please all clients.

Markem (U.K.) Limited is a subsidiary of the Markem Machine Company, Keene, New Hampshire, and is one of a number of Markem companies set up around the world to give Sales and Service.

The "Markem" range consists of over 80 basic marking and stamping machines used extensively in the electronics, pharmaceutical, plastics, shoe, textile, and apparel industries. Rubber printing plates and other printing elements are manufactured in the plant at Welwyn Garden City; all machines are manufactured in the U.S.A. and brought in by air.

Thirty-seven years ago the premises of the first Welwyn Garden City depot of George Munt Ltd. consisted of an army hut with an improvised shop front. Conditions have changed greatly since that time, and the present premises at Stonehills have recently been given a new look. This allows for a generous display of goods in the window, and more space in the shop itself, where the tremendous range of bicycles, toy mopeds and prams seems almost too good to be true. "Go mobile go Munt's" is a phrase hard to resist when the customer sees the wonderful range of goods on hand. The branch at Welwyn Garden City is one of several in the area.

The work carried out by Norton Abrasives Ltd. plays a most important part in modern life. Abrasives and abrasive products including grinding wheels, coated abrasives and pressure sensitive tapes, heavy duty refractories and refractory cements, Rokide ceramic spray coatings and India oilstones are the main manufactures of the firm. Grinding, the most universal most basic of all production processes, plays an essential part in the manufacture of motor cars, aircraft engines, locomotives and marine engines as well as in the production of smaller but equally important items such as bearings, cutlery, china and glassware and spectacle lenses. In fact it would be difficult to think of a single manufactured article either industrial or domestic in which abrasives have not been used.

The Welwyn Garden City factory of Norton Abrasives Ltd. is one of many Norton Plants operating in 12 countries, making the Norton organization the largest manufacturer of abrasives and abrasive products in the world. The company was founded in Welwyn in 1930 and its growth is comparable to that of the city. When the Garden City was formed in about 1920 there were 400 inhabitants - and now, in 1964, there are over 38,500. Norton Abrasives employed 83 people in 1931 but now numbers are 1,000.

The Peartree Welding & Engineering Co. manufactures all types of machine frames, bases, conveyors and carries out experimental work. The firm has been nominated by County authorities to carry out constructional metal work for new schools.

Thomas A. Pitcher began his hairdressing business five years ago as a mobile gentlemen's hairdresser, having the only fully equipped mobile hairdressers in the country. This part of the business he still continues himself whilst having recently opened HI-STYLE (The Five Star Salon) - thus called because of the five excellent services offered to the customer: free nursery for children in full care of an attendant while mothers have their hair done; free car transport to and from the Salon; old-age-pensioners reduced prices, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; special lunch-time service, and lastly light meals, coffee or tea.

A. T. Price is a firm of fruiterers, greengrocers and florists, specializing in supplies to Hotels etc. carried out under personal supervision.

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 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.

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 31A Howardsgate.

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 the full range of cars is always on display. A large stock of used cars is also carried, covering a wide range of makes and models; and a car hire service is also operated.

At one end of the building is a spare parts store and accessories shop, able to provide the motorist with anything from a safety belt to a St. Christopher's.

The Skarsten Manufacturing Co. Ltd. has recently added to its large range of scrapers, the Utility Scraper, specially designed as an all-round tool, fitted with the No. 62 (smooth) and serrated hook. Hooks are fitted at each end of a reversible plate to facilitate scraping, and a rigid polythene handle is complete with a recess for spare scraping hooks.

The firm was established in 1934 and since this date premises have had to be expanded considerably; two years ago three new hays were acquired, adjoining 21 Hyde Way, with an additional 5,000 square feet of factory premises, enabling the firm to keep abreast of demand. Exports are now 80 per cent of the entire production and sales are on the increase. A new scraper dispenser is being introduced to the retail trade which will have a metal display and a smaller range of tools than the earlier dispenser. A recent visit to Australia, New Zealand and the Far East by the Managing Director proved a great success, and an extensive modernisation programme has been carried out to increase production.

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.

Swallowfield Garage Ltd. supplies the usual garage sundries and carries out engine, panel and paint repairs. The company is an agent for 'Simca' Cars, supplying all car accessories.

Established in 1924 752 Taxis is the oldest taxi firm in Welwyn Garden City.

Tolwood Engineering Limited have recently taken over an additional factory bay adjacent to the existing works and are now offering an improved service to industry as a self-contained unit with greatly increased capacity.

This company was originally established in London and moved to the Garden City in 1954 and until recently has been known as T.A.I.P. (Engineers) Ltd. In 1957 the company became a self-controlled 100 per cent subsidiary of Toledo Woodhead Ltd. (Darlington and Sheffield), one of the Commonwealth's foremost manufacturers and developers of vehicle springs.

The manufacture of high-class tooling for industry is the main output of the company and a complete service is offered including component process planning and tool design of jigs, fixtures, press-tools gauges and special purpose machinery. The company also supplies Piercenut tooling to Tolwood Multifasteners, another subsidiary company responsible for the well known Tolwood Piercenut. Tooling programmes are carried out either to customers' own drawings or completely designed and manufactured, and in some instances include final production of the finished component. Customers range throughout the domestic appliance field, the aircraft industry and motor vehicle trade, and in other directions; and this versatility has enabled the company to establish itself with respect in the tooling industry.

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

Tolwood Engineering Limited is a member of the Gauge and Tool Makers Association and is approved by the Ministry of Aviation and the Air Registration Board.

B. Tripp has premises at Hollybush Lane where confectionery, tobacco, stationery and newspapers are retailed, besides the operation of a sub post office.

Welex Electrical Ltd. has expanded considerably since its inception four years ago. As electrical contractors the firm carries out work for the Herts. County Council, the Welwyn Garden City Urban District Council and the Development Corporation.

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 "Sunblest" bread and rolls in great variety. A fleet of vans of modern and scientific construction covers a thirty mile radius.

Welwyn Department Store Ltd. retails consumer goods of all descriptions. Formed in 1929, the firm moved to completely new premises in Bridge Road in 1939 and is in fact the largest store in Herts.

The interior of the store has recently been redecorated throughout, and the company has every confidence that its business will continue to expand with the growth of Welwyn Garden City.

Welwyn Engineering Company Limited is part of the Gerrard Industries Group which is now associated with the United Steel Companies Limited and Acme Steel Company of Chicago.

Manufacturers of tensional steel strapping systems, Welwyn Engineering produce a fully comprehensive range of equipment for securing any size, shape or weight of pack, unitised or palletised load with high tensile steel strapping or with round, oval and flat high tensile galvanised steel wire. Their products - manual or pneumatic tools and semi-automatic, fully-automatic or completely automated machines - are fine examples of precision engineering and are manufactured to exacting specifications at their factory in Swallowfields.

Their second factory in Bridge Road East is devoted to research, design and development projects. This is a very important department of the Group's activities where existing techniques are constantly being improved and new techniques developed. These activities are fully in harmony with the growing trend towards the wider adoption by industry at large of mechanised techniques and automation in packaging processes.

The Head Office of the Gerrard Industries Group is located in London S.E.1, where sales and after-sales service of the equipment produced by Welwyn Engineering Company are controlled - covering the British Isles and many export markets throughout the world.

Welwyn Fisheries (Stonehills) Ltd. Prior to transferring his interest to the retail trade and forming the above company, Mr. Smith, the Managing Director, had his own wholesale business at Billingsgate for 30 years.

Fresh fish, poultry and game are supplied to canteens, hotels and restaurants, etc.

Welwyn Service Depot Limited has the oldest garage business in Welwyn Garden city, with a motor car showroom, and spare parts department.

Charles and Stanley (Bookmakers) Ltd. The two directors (and sole share-holders) Charles Kevans and Stan Augsburger are both old-established bookmakers operating in Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and Stevenage. They joined together to form the p4resent company in 1962, although each retains his own private business.

F. C. Whitehouse Ltd. is a firm of bookmakers founded by Mr. F. C. Whitehouse in 1948 on his demobilisation from the Royal Air Force with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. The business was formed into a company in 1959.




Old advertisements from the handbook

As explained at the top, the black and white photographs illustrating the handbook have all appeared in earlier handbooks and are reproduced on others of my web pages accessible via the WGC book list link at the top. Below are a few of the advertisements which might have nostalgic interest to someone.

Fine Fare old advertisement

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Lincoln Electric old advertisement

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The Cherry Tree old advertisement

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Roche Products Limited, London & Welwyn Garden City

Advertising photo from the handbook

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Fold-out street plan from the handbook

Welwyn Garden City Street Plan

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Index to streets

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