Right Up My StreetFor the past twelve months a small team has been working to create a history of Cambridge Road. The members have been collecting photographs, local press items, details of former shops, lists of occupiers of all of the hundred or so houses, when new homes appeared – and sometimes disappeared. House deeds have been scoured for detail, the origin of street names of nearby roads discovered; and how the road came about in the first place, having originally been a part of Beaumonts Farm.
Most satisfying of all have been the recollections resulting from oral interviews, now transcribed and collected into folders.
Although the project is not yet complete, current residents of Cambridge Road joined former occupiers and other members of Fleetville Diaries, coming together last week to hear and see the highlights of the last twelve months' work. And what an evening it was! The room was alive with enthusiastic conversation, surprises when old friends were met, and promises to exchange further information still in private albums, boxes and envelopes.
This blog has also played its part. Recently a call went out to locate a plaque which had been presented to the road's enthusiastic residents' association, for the standard of street decoration in the celebratory year of the Queen's Jubilee, 1977. Apart from an article that year in the Herts Advertiser, nothing more had been discovered. Now we can reveal that the plaque is still in the hands of the family it was originally presented to, and who once lived at number 16. Its members, with others, were a driving force in the formation and life of the residents' association. Job done! It is hoped that a photo will be obtained of the plaque, its owning family and a representative of the current team.
FriendsThose of us who were members of the social site called Friends Reunited will have heard recently that it is to close, having been re-acquired by its original owners. FR was, in many ways, ahead of its time, launching before Facebook and others of its genre. Not only did it put former friends in touch once more, but it provided the facility to exchange photographs and recollections. So school friends, work and club members and street occupiers were enabled to bring parts of their past up to date.
FR in turned spawned other groups as the remit of local history widened. Hundreds of local groups have been formed since the launch of FR, not so much to copy what FR was itself doing, but having been inspired by the notion that groups of people living in a given area could set up small projects which brought them together. St Albans' Own East End was one of them, of course, and from that developed Fleetville Diaries. Rather later came the Smallford Project.
Friends Reunited was a brilliant concept; what has been even more stunning have been the community groups which followed.
Butterwick industryThe extensive commercial site which is Lyon Way, Acrewood Way and Alban Point in Hatfield Road between Oaklands and Smallford, only developed from the 1960s, but it is sometimes confusing to trace how it developed; which companies arrived and left, and when.
|Meat store on the right, timber supplier on the left. Who, in 1951, owned the |
new-looking buildings bat the top of the picture?
COURTESY BRITAIN FROM ABOVE
Two additional buildings had been erected by 1950, as shown in this 1951 photograph. But so far, their owners are unknown. If any reader of this blog can point us in the right direction we would love to know.
The above was posted on Sunday 31st January. As of today, Tuesday 2nd February we have an update. The newer buildings at the top of the photo undoubtedly belonged to Frankipile Ltd. So, query sorted!