There is an intriguing background to Hatfield Road and its shops, which are still largely local businesses for local needs.
Accompanying us on our walk were also members of two well-known Fleetville retailing families: Percy Hall's Hairdressing Saloons and P H Stone's Newsagents.
A call from a brick researcher
A request has come my way from Roger Miles:
"A significant part of Bernards Heath saw brick-making carried on in the past.
A number of old clay-pits can still be seen on either side of the length of
Harpenden Road through the Heath. These local bricks are identifiable by
their appearance, a strong red or orange-red colour usually and a distinctly
sandy texture throughout - not just sand dusted in the mould to help release
the brick. Some of the bricks also have the maker's name or initials in the frog
(the hollow in the top). Alterations to Victorian/Edwardian period houses often
produce examples of identifiable local bricks. A prominent maker on the Heath
was Jacob Reynolds and Dixon is another name.
Bricks of similar type were made at other sites around St Albans and will
probably only be distinguishable if lettered.
have lettering in the frog. Bernards Heath brick-making stopped early in the
20th century, so houses built after 1920, say, would be unlikely to contain
Heath bricks, unless re-used. Details to note are:
The three dimensions of the brick (ins or cms), colour, lettering in the frog,
address of the building and, if known, date of construction. Photo if possible.
PHORPRES or FLETTON in the frog are definitely not of local manufacture.
Other, common, 'foreign' bricks of the period, from Bedfordshire, are rough, but
not sandy, and purple, purple-red or purple-grey in colour."
If you have any information for Roger, he may be contacted at email@example.com