WGC’S Third Man?

For any project to succeed it needs a visionary, a designer and a maker. You will be familiar with the names of Ebenezer Howard and Louis de Soissons, the visionary and the designer but who actually made our beautiful town? The memorial of Welwyn Garden City’s maker stands at the top of Parkway facing across The Campus but not many people know who he actually was.
Theodore Chambers was the maker of WGC. Chosen by Ebenezer Howard in 1920 to be the Chairman of the Board of WGC Ltd he remained in post until the company was taken in to the New Towns programme in 1948/50. During that time, he oversaw the creation of what is now recognised worldwide as one of the finest examples of town planning, but who was he?
Tuesday 14th September 2021 at 7:30pm a free online webinar is taking place with Geoffrey Hollis and guests.
The talk is based on extensive research by Geoffrey following the extraordinary revelations in his talk about Louis de Soissons. It will become clear what a huge debt of gratitude we owe Theodore Chambers, an exceptional man, including some fascinating history of his Scottish roots. The talk, supported by WGC Heritage Trust, will include a memory from his grandson, live from Hawaii, and other contributions. 

This talk is now available on the Trust's Youtube Channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsXuup7pNGsbCOca2WNqJ3w


A Polish Picnic in Parkway

A sunny June event in 2021. Tony Skottowe joined members of the Polish Saturday School to give a talk about the history of Welwyn Garden City. From the review below the day went well!

"Sun, water, blanket, sun cream, snacks, loads of smiling faces and simply a joyful afternoon - that’s it! Sometimes the smallest thing can bring the greatest joy!

After a long year of being at home, a year during which it was often impossible to meet, today’s picnic with the Polish Saturday School in Welwyn Garden City Town Centre was a wonderful opportunity to spend a bit of time together and socialise.

However, our event had a two fold purpose; apart from our get together, 30 + participants listened to a fantastic talk given by Tony Skottowe, Chair of the WGC Heritage Trust, about the history of Welwyn Garden City, which is now 100 years old. 

As we often say in Poland - "przyjemne połączone z pożytecznym"! A few hours together, in a great company, was fabulous. We have to do it again! 

P.S: We are truly blessed with where we live!"     Iwona Pniewska and Michal Siewniak


Gardens, Dreams and Visions

Gardens, Dreams and Visions – you are invited to join us in the Garden of the World.

To mark the Centenary of the founding of Welwyn Garden City, Kadam Dance and Welwyn Hatfield Interfaith Group present the Garden of the World, a series of talks and performances inspired by gardens and expressed through dance, music and poetry. The events will run every Tuesday at 8 pm on Zoom from 14 July to 18 August 2020. We invite you to join us.

The series opens with  'A Garden City – Vision and Reality', a talk by Tony Skottowe (Chair, Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust) on July 14, 2020 at 8pm. Link to join Zoom Meeting:


Tony’s talk lays the foundations for the 6 week long project, which has gardens at the heart, celebrated through dance, music and poetry. Kadam Dance and Welwyn Hatfield Interfaith Group have partnered to bring an engaging programme on Zoom, to all residents of Welwyn Garden City and further afield ahead of a live performance in 2021. Further information is available at: http://www.pulseconnects.com/garden-world


A Potted History of WGC

On 11th December 2019 trustee and local historian Angela Eserin gave a fascinating talk in WGC Library for some of the volunteers who are helping WGC Centenary Foundation celebrate the town's centenary in 2020.

Entitled 'WGC A Potted History' the talk covered the beginnings of WGC, post-war planning, the QEII hospital, 50th anniversary celebrations and the town's global influence. A series of talks open to the public is being planned for 2020...


Captain Birkin's 1929 "Blower" Bentley workshop

On Saturday 2nd Nov 2019 despite the inclement weather a blue plaque was delivered to Topps Tiles in Broadwater Road, WGC by the Bentley Drivers Club. It commemorates the site of the workshop set up by Sir Henry (Tim) Birkin where, in 1929, he produced his world famous racing “Blower” Bentleys.

Birkin workshop in Broadwater Road sectional factory 

The presentation was made by Ron Warmington, former Chairman Bentley Drivers Club, who explained that the "Blower" Bentley was born thanks to technical help from Clive Gallop, supercharger specialist Amherst Villiers, and Dorothy Paget who financed the project after Birkin's own money ran out. As well as the increased power Birkin's added supercharger ("blower") in front of the radiator gave the car it's unique appearance.

Ron Warmington, former Chairman Bentley Drivers Club, presenting the Birkin memorial plaque.

The plaque will be formally mounted at the Topps Tiles premises on 23 Aug 2020 when a display involving several "Blower" Bentley cars will take place, driving around a closed circuit, as part of the WGC centenary celebrations.



10th Birthday Party

Wednesday 15th February 2017 saw a gathering held to celebrate 10 years of the WGC Heritage Trust. Joint founders Dennis Lewis and Tony Skottowe gave short speeches recalling the start of the organisation and it’s achievements; both looked forward to the next ten years!


Donations arrive during exhibition

As has happened with previous displays the Trust’s recent ‘Where Do You Think We Played?’ exhibition at Sainsbury’s has prompted further donations of material for the WGC Heritage Trust archive.


A mini-CONTACT revival in Howardsgate

A couple of photos from our 'Mini-CONTACT' event held on Howardsgate within the WG Petit Tour event on 17th July 2016. We had decided, as part of our 'Where Do You Think We Played?' project, to revive a little of the spirit of the Convention of Town Activities that used to be held annually on The Campus from 1966 to the early 1980s, and provided a showcase for all the different organisations and clubs that residents could join.


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