“Ebenezer Howard: Who do we think he was and how did he do it?” is the title of the latest Garden City Lecture. This year we are delighted that it will be given by Ursula Howard, great granddaughter of Sir Ebenezer Howard, at the Focolare Centre, Parkway, WGC AL8 6JG on Monday 27 June 2016 at 7:30pm.
Booking is now open for the Fourth Garden City Lecture will be on Wed 13th May 2015 at 7.30pm in the Hawthorne Theatre, WGC. Dr Nick Falk whose URBED co-op were the winners of the Wolfson Economics Prize 2014 for proposals to build new Garden Cities, will be the speaker. The event is a joint promotion with the WGC Society.
This rare 1919 plan, labelled as "the portions of the Panshanger Estate situate adjoining the villages of Stanborough, Lemsfordmills and Digswell Water. Lots 1 to 25. The sale by auction by Messrs Daniel Smith, Oakley & Garrard", was brought along to the 'Where Do You Think We Played?' exhibition and temporarily loaned for scanning.
Agnieszka Supiya is a Quantity Surveying student at London South Bank University conducting research for her MSc dissertation regarding comparisons between garden cities and other towns in Hertfordshire. If you are a resident of WGC she would be very grateful for your assistance in obtaining some information about the town. She has kindly agreed to send the Trust a copy of her findings for our archive - so please do help if you can.
Or should that read 'Isn't that... ?' We all thoroughly enjoyed the programme but just in case there are some amongst you who missed the BBC1 'Who Do You Think You are?' episode broadcast in July featuring Una Stubbs we thought we'd remind you that it is still available to view on the BBC iPlayer.
Our current 'Where Do You Think We Played?' project is coming to an end soon. Sainsbury's in WGC has kindly offered us use of one of its upstairs units in which to display a selection of the material - memories, photos, etc. - gathered during our project. The exhibition will run from 4-10 February. Opening 10am - 4pm Mon - Sat, 10am - 6pm Wed and 12 - 4pm Sunday and we hope that you will find the time to pay us a visit!
Ursula Howard, great-grand-daughter of Welwyn Garden City founder Ebenezer, visited the town on 27th June to give the Garden City Lecture 2016 at the Focolare Centre in Parkway. The audience, many of them residents of the town, were fascinated by such a personal insight into his life, character, and ideals. The lecture was illustrated with unique images, using the family documents and memories with which Ursula had researched her great-grandfather, who she referred to as ‘Ben’ - his family name. Her Aunt Betty remembered visiting Ebenezer on his deathbed in Guessens Road in 1928. Ursula also recounted childhood memories of her father who had lived with his grandfather in Letchworth.
Ebenezer Howard’s first wife Lizzie, who organised the practical side of his life, was a strong character - even influencing his choice of architects for Letchworth. Sadly she died aged 51, before Letchworth took shape. Ebenezer's final years were made more difficult by his second wife Edith's mental health problems. He left Letchworth to live with her in Guessens Road, but was kept isolated from many of his old friends, such as the architect Sir Frederic Osborn. Ursula Howard concluded: "He died in 1928. He left £800, and a lot of debts, but two wonderful garden cities."
In his thanks to the speaker Tony Skottowe, of the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust, which organised the talk, told the audience: “We have had a fascinating evening. Ursula has given us an amazing talk." The following morning Ursula and her husband walked the Town Centre Town Trail - a new experience for her. There were lots of exclamations of "Oh, how beautiful!" as they walked round the town. Some time was spent outside 5 Guessens Road, where EH died - providing lots of mixed memories. The Quaker Meeting House, the Synagogue, Barn Theatre and Daily Mail Model Village also provided plenty to see and talk about.
After some time spent developing the final aims & objectives of the proposed Trust for embodying in its Memorandum and Articles of Association, application forms were filed with the Charity Commissioners and Companies House this week to set up ‘ The Welwyn Garden Heritage Trust ‘. A small signing ceremony took place on Monday 2nd October as the trustees gathered together to formally complete the process that began last May.
Just what did Welwyn Garden City residents get up to in their spare time during 1920-1970? Did you join or set up a local club or society? Were you into sports, arts, music, languages, debating, socialising? What did you collect, get active with or play at? These are some of the questions about life in Welwyn Garden City over the years that the Heritage Trust is asking members of the public to help them answer.
The Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust is celebrating - our third bid for lottery money has been approved! The Trust’s new project ‘Play’ is all about the leisure activities of the town’s residents during the period 1920-1980. “Ebenezer Howard described a garden city as a place where people can Live, Work and Play” explained the project manager Tony Skottowe. “The Trust has already done a ‘Live’ project on housing and another on ‘Work’, which led to our book ‘Where Do You Think We Worked? - a timeline of WGC industries’.”
Waterstones is now selling Trust books! You now have another option of where to get our books as Waterstones in WGC now stocks all three. You can walk into the Howardsgate store and pick up the brand new QEII book, the industrial timeline or 'Garden Cities - The British Example'.