Local Plan newsletter - December 2018

Next steps for Local Plan confirmed


One of the local plan hearing sessions
One of the Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan hearing sessions

Welwyn Hatfield has published its latest newsletter setting out the next steps for the borough's Local Plan.

The newsletter recaps a lot of what was covered on this site earlier this month when the independent inspector, Melvyn Middleton, ruled that the council's current plan failed to meet the need for housing.

Chancellor's School transport survey underway

Building plans to be resubmitted when complete


The main entrance to Chancellor's School - image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons

Chancellor's School is waiting for the results of a new transport survey that will assess the likely impact of the proposed expansion of the school on the neighbourhood, in particular in terms of traffic flow and parking. The school hopes the results will be known later this month or early next year.

However a self-appointed group, which claims to have unanimous support of local residents is opposing the plans because "of the likelihood of increased traffic along Pine Grove, George's Wood Road, and at the junction with the Great North Road".

Pine Grove resurfacing could take six days

But the road will close daily for five hours not six


Pine Grove, Brookmans Park, due to be resurfaced from Friday 14 December Image by North Mymms News, released under Creative Commons
Pine Grove, Brookmans Park, due to be resurfaced from Friday 14 December
Image by North Mymms News, released under Creative Commons
Chancellor's School has confirmed that the resurfacing of Pine Grove, Brookmans Park could last until Thursday 20 December, although the school says the work is not expected to take that long.

The road will now be closed to traffic for five hours a day not the six originally thought. Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) had announced Pine Grove would be closed between 09.30 and 15.30, but Chancellor's School has spoken to the council and it's now been agreed that the road will reopen at 14.30 to allow for school traffic.

Pine Grove resurfacing work - road closure details

No vehicle access for six hours a day over five days


Road closure notice on Pine Grove. Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons


Hertfordshire County Council has notified residents in Pine Grove, Brookmans Park that the road will be closed for resurfacing work between 09.30 and 15.30 from Friday 14 December for five days.

Cars will not be allowed to use Pine Grove during the work hours, and drivers are asked to move their cars before work starts.

Welwyn Hatfield's Local Plan falls short

Inspector asks Council to investigate more housing sites


Local Plan graphic

Welwyn Hatfield is set to carry out a further study of the possible sites for housing development in the borough.

It follows the public examination of the council's Local Plan by independent inspector Melvyn Middleton who ruled that the current plan failed to meet the need for housing.

Mysterious death of local rail worker in 1888

17-year-old 'killed instantly' 200 miles from home


The headstones for 'Herby' and his parents, Annie and Henry Town Image by the North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons
The headstones for 'Herby' and his parents, Annie and Henry Town
Image by the North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons
The curiosity of a four-year-old, visiting St Mary's churchyard, North Mymms, with his dad more than 25 years ago, started a process that eventually shed light on the mysterious death of a local teenager in 1888.

Attempting to read the faint and fading etching on the headstone of Herbert George Town resulted in a father-and-son research project that gradually pieced together the story of 'Herby', as he became known to the pair.

Oyster cards to extend to Welwyn Garden City

Scheme to be introduced next year


Oyster card and wallet. Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons

Rail travellers from Brookmans Park and Welham Green stations will be able to use the Oyster Card system next year, according to the Department for Transport (DfT).

No firm date has yet been set for the rollout, but the DfT says it will be early 2019, and introduce in a phased approach.

Brookmans Park's top secret WWII meeting

Local residents kept completely in the dark


Eden and Molotov on Brookmans Park station - Thursday 21 May, 1942
Screen grab from Imperial War Museum film
It was a massive news event that, apparently, Brookmans Park residents totally missed.

In 1942, the then foreign secretary, Anthony Eden, and his Russian counterpart, Vyacheslav Molotov, met on Brookmans Park station.

Two local women were on the platform at the time, but they were too busy making sure they caught their train to notice.

Christmas event at the Happy Gardener Nursery

Free entry, free parking, licensed bar


A charity which offers a stimulating work environment for local people with learning disabilities is holding its Christmas event on Sunday, 2 December.

It's a chance to support a cause that offers a work experience opportunity to people from the local community, a number of whom require additional help which is provided by the charity’s leisure, education and occupational services.

"Stoned" youths found in car at Gobions

Police says don't do drugs and drive


Image of cars in Gobions car park courtesy of Hertfordshire Constabulary
Image courtesy of Hertfordshire Constabulary

"Two lads" escorted home to "unimpressed" parents


Responding to reports of suspicious activity in Gobions Open Space car park this week, officers found two 17-year-olds who had "clearly taken something" and were "unfit to drive".

Sergeant Stephen Hynes says police spoke to the "two lads" - who were not local - and decided to escort them home where they were met by their parents who were "unimpressed and supportive of the police action".

Free guide produced for local film buffs

The history of North Mymms as a film location


Dr Smart-Alec arrives at Narkover in the film Boys Will Be Boys (1935)  Screen grab from film by Paul & Hilary Marston
Dr Smart-Alec arrives at Narkover in the film Boys Will Be Boys (1935)
Screen grab from film by Paul & Hilary Marston
The first motion picture known to have been shot in North Mymms was released more than 110 years ago; the most recent was filmed in the last 12 months.

In the intervening years North Mymms has proved to be a popular destination for directors of feature films and TV series, producing big screen blockbusters, cult TV favourites, and TV soap operas.

Peach Pubs says "nothing changing at Brookmans"

But company "considering a change in investor"


Brookmans on Bradmore Green, Brookmans Park Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons
Brookmans on Bradmore Green, Brookmans Park
Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons
One of the owners of Peach Pubs has brushed aside speculation about the company's future saying it's business as usual at Brookmans pub and restaurant on Bradmore Green and that "nothing is changing".

Christmas yarn bombs drop on North Mymms

RSPCA supporters decorate post boxes with festive scenes


Swanley Bar Lane - Hawkshead Road junction, Little Heath  Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons
Swanley Bar Lane - Hawkshead Road junction, Little Heath
Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons
The support group for the RSPCA at Southridge has brought a bit of festive fun to postboxes in North Mymms by decorating them with knitted Christmas scenes. It's part of a fund-raising campaign that aims to add festive cheer and boost donations.

North Mymms panto almost sold out

Just 10 tickets left for Al9ddin



Rehearsals are continuing this week for the three performances of Aladdin - renamed Al9ddin in this postcode-localised remake - at North Mymms Memorial Hall on Friday and Saturday. At the time of writing there are just 10 tickets left for the show.

North Mymms community directory proposed

Plan is to deliver to 3,000 local addresses


The new NMPC community directory could on your doormat next year  Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons
The new NMPC community directory could on your doormat next year
Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons

A community directory, containing news and information about North Mymms parish, could be delivered door-to-door early next year.

North Mymms Parish Council (NMPC) has agreed a proposal which could see the directory being put through around 3,000 letter boxes by April, perhaps even sooner.

Facebook page for all things North Mymms

News updates, history, local information, and walks



North Mymms now has a Facebook page for those who want to follow the latest updates from North Mymms News, the North Mymms Local History Project, and Hertfordshire Walker.

Would you pay to park at Gobions Open Space?

Parish council discusses the introduction of fees


The car park at Gobions Open Space - Saturday November 24, 2018  Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons
The car park at Gobions Open Space
Photograph taken Saturday November 24, 2018
Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons

Councillors on North Mymms Parish Council (NMPC) have been considering the introduction of car parking charges at Gobions Open Space in Brookmans Park, according to council minutes. It's understood the charge, if it ever goes ahead, would not apply to North Mymms residents.

The well-used car park is accessed via Jonas Way off Moffats Lane, and is popular with dog walkers, anglers fishing at Gobions Pond, and walkers visiting Gobions Wood. (Grid Reference: TL 24978 03958).

At 10am on Saturday morning, November 24, there were 16 vehicles parked at Gobions Open Space.

NMPC minutes for October 2018 published

Image of typing by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons

The minutes for the October meeting of North Mymms Parish Council (NMPC) have been uploaded to the council's website.

They are for the meeting that was held on Wednesday October 24, 2018 at 19:00 in the council offices at 1a Bushwood Close, Welham Green.

North Mymms Youth Project seeks volunteer trustees

Two or three local residents required


Campfire - one of the activities of the North Mymms Youth Project in 2017
Campfire - one of the activities of the North Mymms Youth Project in 2017

Leaflets have been delivered door-to-door by the North Mymms Youth Project (NMYP) inviting applications for the role of volunteer trustee for the charity.

The project is hoping to appoint two or three new trustees to help ensure that the legal requirements of the charity are met.

Cricket club wants to build community partnerships

Aim to create "a legacy for generations to come"


North Mymms Cricket Club Pavillion - August 5, 2018 Image courtesy of North Mymms Cricket Club
North Mymms Cricket Club Pavillion - August 5, 2018
Image courtesy of North Mymms Cricket Club
North Mymms Cricket Club (NMCC) has made an early new year's resolution for 2019. It's to "create a sporting legacy" for the local community in order to "inspire everyone to play and support cricket".

To achieve the aim the club plans to visit every school and every community group in North Mymms during the year ahead to "talk about the exciting cricket project" the club is embarking on.

Welham Green's Hope and Anchor will reopen

Talks underway to secure pub's future


The Hope And Anchor, Station Road, Welham Green - August 2018 Image by the North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons
The Hope and Anchor - August 2018
Image by the North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons

There had been fears that the Hope and Anchor on Station Road, Welham Green had closed, with rumours circulating on social media that the last pint had been pulled at the Grade II listed North Mymms pub.

But Ei Group, who own the building, have confirmed that they are not looking to close the pub, but are working with the current tenant to ensure the 19th century inn continues to serve beer as it has for 180 years.

North Mymms boundary then and now

Comparing the parish outline 100 years ago




The North Mymms History Project has created an interactive map showing the outline of the parish of North Mymms as it was in 1914, and the outline in 2018.

100 years ago, North Mymms stretched as far as The Forum in Hatfield and included parts of south Hatfield and Roestock.

Bulls Lane re-opens after large fly-tipping dump

Police move rubbish to side of the road


Fly-tipping along Bulls Lane, Sunday, November 11, 2018  Image by North Mymms News, released under Creative Commons
Fly-tipping along Bulls Lane, Sunday, November 11, 2018
Image by North Mymms News, released under Creative Commons

Police warning signs have been positioned either side of a large dump of fly-tipping along Bulls Lane between Bell Bar and Welham Green.

It's the second time rubbish has blocked the lane in as many weeks.

Silhouettes of North Mymms WWI fallen join service

Shadows on pews for 100th anniversary


Silhouettes at St Mary's Church  Image by Mike Allen of the North Mymms History Project
Silhouettes at St Mary's Church
Image by Mike Allen of the North Mymms History Project

40 life-size head-and-shoulders silhouettes have been placed at the end of the pews in St Mary's church, North Mymms as part of the 100-year commemoration of the end of WWI. Attached to each of the black cutouts, designed to look like the shadow of a soldier, are details of servicemen from the parish who died during the 'Great War'.

Isabel Hospice appeals for fresh stock for charity stores

Charity's warehouse "trashed" overnight


Isabel Hospice shop in Haldens, WGC  Image courtesy of Isabel Hospice
Isabel Hospice shop in Haldens, WGC
Image courtesy of Isabel Hospice

Isabel Hospice says its appeal for the public's help to try to salvage warehouse stock damaged overnight has been met with such a good response that help is no longer needed at the Welwyn Garden City warehouse, "trashed" after a break-in.

However the charity says it now needs to replenish damaged stock, and has put out a fresh appeal for donations to sell in the local charity stores.

Isabel Hospice warehouse "trashed"

Charity appeals to public to help salvage stock


Phograph Salvaging stock from the Isabel Hospice warehouse Image courtesy of Isabel Hospice
Salvaging stock from the Isabel Hospice warehouse
Image courtesy of Isabel Hospice

Isabel Hospice is appealing for the public's help to salvage warehouse stock damaged overnight.

According to the charity, its Welwyn Garden City warehouse was broken into, "water pipes trashed and our shop stock is being ruined".

Rare photographs of North Mymms pillbox

Wartime archaeology on private land


Photograph of A type 24 pillbox in the fields of Boltons Park Farm owned by the Royal Veterinary College Image by the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
A type 24 pillbox in the fields of Boltons Park Farm owned by the RVC
Image by the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons

Standing in the corner of a field south of Hawkshead Road, Little Heath, with good views to the north, south, east, and west, is the only pillbox in North Mymms.

It's a type 24 box, and was part of the local WWII defences set up to protect London from invasion.

To the north and east of the pillbox is a dip in the land, formerly the trench that was part of the outer London anti-tank defence line.

Police target speeding drivers in North Mymms

Checks carried out in Welham Green and Little Heath


The speed warning sign on Bluebridge Road, Brookmans Park
Image by North Mymms News, released under Creative Commons

Recent speeding checks in North Mymms found that an average of 22% of motorists driving through Welham Green and Little Heath were travelling above the legal speed limit. Police say some offenders lived locally.

Officers have issued an invitation to local residents to volunteers in order to help catch speeding motorists. They say members of the public are "more than welcome" to help carry out their own speed checks using police equipment.

Then and now photographs spanning 100 years

Local history team digs deep in the archives


Hawkshead Road, Little Heath - left 1967, right 2018
Mix of photographs by R Kingdon (1967) and the North Mymms History Project (2018)
Montage by North Mymms History Project, released under Creative Commons

The North Mymms History Project (NMHP) has been examining how the Hertfordshire parish has changed since Victorian times by selecting images from its archives and comparing the scenes with modern day snaps of the same spots. And the results are fascinating.

It's official - the Dog Poo Fairy doesn't exist

Council debunks mythical poop cleaner



Pink and lilac posters have been pinned to trees and gate posts around both Gobions and Moffats open spaces in Brookmans Park, to remind dog owners that there is no magical solution to dealing with dog mess other than to pick it up and put it in one of the many disposal bins at the council-owned site.

Commemorative bench installed at War Memorial

North Mymms joins national tribute - 'Battle's Over'


The metal bench at the North Mymms War Memorial - October 2018
Image by Peter Miller of the North Mymms History Project
A black metal bench, depicting silhouettes of soldiers serving in WWI, has been installed at the North Mymms War Memorial outside North Mymms Park off Tollgate Road.

Fly-tipping blocks Bulls Lane, North Mymms

Fly-tipping on Bulls Lane, North Mymms Image by North Mymms News, released under Creative Commons
Fly-tipping on Bulls Lane, North Mymms
Image by North Mymms News, released under Creative Commons

The road between Welham Green and Bell Bar, in North Mymms was blocked on Sunday morning with rubbish dumped on both sides of Bulls Lane. The authorities have been notified.

Mighty Men of Mymms, an online memorial

The front page of the new Mighty Men of Mymms website
The front page of the new Mighty Men of Mymms website

A Welham Green man who has spent a total of six years researching and writing about the lives of 59 North Mymms servicemen who died during WWI, has now published the material online.

The result is a digital memory of the Mighty Men of Mymms, the name given to the men by their former schoolmaster, Benjamin Mallett, who taught many of them at Welham Green Boy's School.

Christmas comes early to Brookmans Park

Christmas fayre and carols around the tree


Brookmans Park Christmas Fayre poster

Two festive events take place in Brookmans Park on Saturday December 1, and both are free of charge. The first is the popular community Christmas Fayre held at Brookmans Park primary school. That's followed by the lighting of the Christmas tree on Brookmans Park's Bradmore Green.

NMPC minutes for September 2018 published

Image of typing by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons

The minutes for the September meeting of North Mymms Parish Council (NMPC) have been uploaded to the council's website.

They are for the meeting that was held on Wednesday September 26, 2018 at 19:00 in the council offices at 1a Bushwood Close, Welham Green.

Historical milestone to be reinstated after development

Bell Bar's 18th century milestone removed


Demolition work at the Swan, Bell Bar
Photograph by Peter Miller taken 24 October 2018
The supervisor in charge of the demolition of the former Swan Inn, Bell Bar has given assurances to a representative of the North Mymms History Project (NMHP) that the historical 18th century milestone, that has probably stood on the corner of Bell Lane and the Great North Road for almost 200 years, is safe.

Potholes patched up on Brookmans Park's Jonas Way

Parish council's "temporary solution" put in place


Pothole repairs along Jonas Way - photograph taken October 24, 2018  Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Pothole repairs along Jonas Way - photograph taken October 24, 2018
Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Half a dozen deep potholes along Jonas Way have been filled in as part of a "temporary solution" to "patch up" the popular track that leads to Gobions Open Space.

The road, which is frequently used by dog owners, anglers, guardians taking children to use the play equipment, and those accessing a network of local footpaths, had become difficult to drive along because of the depth of the holes.

Little Heath fireworks display date announced

Tickets now on sale for annual show


The flyer for the 2018 Little Heath fireworks display

This year's community bonfire and fireworks display at Little Heath, North Mymms takes place on Saturday November 10. Family, adult, and child tickets are now on sale.

Festive panto comes to North Mymms

Tickets on sale now for Al9ddin



There'll be a local twist when the popular panto comes to the North Mymms Memorial Hall as local laundry boy Aladdin, renamed Al9ddin for this postcode-localised remake, searches for his magic lamp in Gobions Wood.

There will be three performances of the show - two on successive evenings and one Saturday matinee - which is being staged to raise funds to support the upkeep of hall. Tickets are on sale now.

Former Victorian inn demolished to make way for flats

Concern for safety of historical milestone


The Swan being demolished - October 17, 2018 - Image by Peter Miller
The Swan being demolished - October 17, 2018
Image by Peter Miller

Work is underway to clear the site of Swan Lodge, Bell Bar, and build eight one and two bedroom apartments. The area has been fenced off as workmen demolish the old building that once served as a important coaching inn along the Great North Road. Local historians are keen to ensure that the 18th century milestone that leant against the wall of the building is preserved, as stipulated in the conditions of the planning consent.

Station Road grids and gullies still blocked

Surface water building up along busy road


Photograph of Blocked grid along Station Road close to Welham Green Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Blocked grid along Station Road close to Welham Green
Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Five months after Station Road was resurfaced, gravel is still blocking the grids and gullies preventing rain water escaping. This despite Hertfordshire Highways being told to "sort it out" by a local councillor.

"Please don't use this path as a toilet" sign taken down

Attempt to prevent human fouling of public path fails


The problem confronts walkers as soon as they follow the public path into the field Image by North Mymms News, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The problem confronts walkers as soon as they follow the public path into the field
Image by North Mymms News, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

A sign appealing to people not to use a North Mymms public footpath as a toilet appears to have been removed. And the problem of human excrement and soiled toilet paper continues to present a health hazard.

Welwyn Hatfield Council issues Local Plan update for October

Updates on hearing sessions and Green Belt Study



The October edition of Welwyn Hatfield's Local Plan newsletter has just been published. It includes the latest news on the Local Plan examination, the hearing sessions, the Green Belt Study, and sets out the next steps in the process.

North Mymms jazz night draws full house

More than £1,800 raised for the Isabel Hospice


The Humphrey Lyttleton Jazz Band at the North Mymms Memorial Hall on Saturday 6 October 2018. Image by North Mymms News, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

All 120 tickets were sold for the Humphrey Lyttleton Jazz Band's performance at the North Mymms Memorial Hall on Saturday night, with £1,822 raised for the Isabel Hospice. The organisers, the North Mymms Support Group for the hospice, said it was a great turn out and that people "gave generously".

Rare photographs and documents of North Mymms Park uncovered

Possibly the oldest known images of the house and grounds


The pleasure gardens at North Mymms Park c 1876
Image courtesy of Lindsay Sinclair and released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

The North Mymms History Project has digitised and published a number of historical items, which are now available to view online for the first time.

collection of five old sepia photographs of North Mymms Park, thought to be the earliest ever taken, has been uploaded to the site. They were found in a folder at a local farm.

And an auctioneer's brochure for the sale of 800 acres of North Mymms Park in 1922, has also been found, digitised and uploaded.

Police report an increase in thefts from cars and vans

Drivers urged to secure vehicles



Hertfordshire Constabulary is urging drivers to keep their vehicles secure this autumn, following a seven percent increase in thefts from cars and vans in the last six months compared with the same period last year.

Horses rounded up after another escape from Leach Fields

But fences around the field are still down


Photograph of The footpath from Moffats Open Space to Leach Fields cordoned off  Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The footpath from Moffats Open Space to Leach Fields cordoned off
Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

The North Mymms Parish Council run Moffats Open Space was cordoned off this morning following another escape of horses from Leach Fields. Just before midday, a thin foal, its mother, and another horse were rounded up and returned to their field.

Help us map the old trees of North Mymms

Community effort to record ancient, veteran and notable trees


Photograph of old oak along Mymms Drive, Brookmans Park - September 2018 Image by North Mymms News, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Old oak along Mymms Drive, Brookmans Park - September 2018
Image by North Mymms News, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
North Mymms News and the North Mymms History Project need your help in locating the oldest trees in the parish as part of a national effort to record, protect, and help preserve the country's arboreal history.

Invasive ivy cleared from Grade II listed tomb

Removal work reveals extent of damage


Revealed - the Grade II listed tomb at St Mary's, North Mymms - September 30, 2018 Image by the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Revealed - the Grade II listed tomb at St Mary's, North Mymms - September 30, 2018
Image by the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Piles of ivy lie alongside the tomb of a former vicar of St Mary’s, the Reverend John Alkin, who served the parish of North Mymms for the entire first half of the eighteenth century. The monument, which is listed by Historic England and described as a 'Chest Tomb', is now visible; in August it was completely covered.