Lemsford Fete LLHG Display 2019

Lemsford Fete LLHG Display 2019

Since its conception in 2003, Lemsford Local History group have produced a display for nearly every Lemsford Fete. We have explored, ‘The Great North Road’, ‘Lemsford Church’, ‘Brocket Hall’, ‘ Lemsford Village’, ‘ WW1’ and many more. For this year’s fete in late 2018 we decided that the subject should be the Graveyard. The reason was partly made as the War Memorial was unveiled on 20th July 1919, one hundred years ago.

The format was simple and came together at the Fete on May 6th 2019. We had a small display in the hall showing information about the graveyard history and records of the twenty men who gave their lives in WW1 and whose names are on the memorial. There was also a Power Point presentation and an outlet for selling our publications. Learn More

We were lucky the day was dry as our main display was in the graveyard. We ask the local community to contribute memories of relatives in the graveyard and asked members of the group to research well known graves. This produced twenty-four articles, which included Lord Mount Stephen, Henry Horn, Charlie Wager and many more.

In the graveyard we had 24 display boards (double sided) with basic information on the front with a link to the website article and a brief history on the back. The boards were erected next to the grave and a team of guides were on hand to show the public around.

The response from the public was positive and the combination of hard copy display boards and links to the website including an app via QR made relaying information an enjoyable experience.

AAll of the grave articles were interesting and its difficult pick out favourites but for personal reasons the articles that meant the most to me were ‘Brenda Lines’ a 6 year old girl who was knocked down by a car in 1922 outside the house I live in. ‘The Brocket Babies’ the group campaigned for a permanent memorial to the babies that died between 1939 and 1949 at the Brocket Hall maternity hospital. ‘Stan Borrie’ founding member of LLHG and popular figure around the village, one of life’s true gents and greatly missed by the group.

As a small local history group, it’s difficult after 16 years to keep finding new history to research. We have an archive and website with over a 1000 images and almost every aspect of the long life of Lemsford Parish. This project produced further memories for all of us to share. I learnt about families that moved to the area like Bill & Lily Curtis, whose daughter Alison recalled some wonderful memories about her parents. ‘In 1980 Bill and Lily moved to Brocket Road, just down the road from St John’s Church. All the neighbours were really friendly and they very quickly got to know everyone. Bill cleared the large overgrown garden and filled it with dahlias and vegetables. Brocket Road and Lemsford suited Bill and Lily very much. When Bill died in 1985 it was a great comfort to Lily that his resting place was just up the road in the village church. ‘

What I loved about this article was a photo of Bill working at De Havilland.Image Above Learn More

Mr Wallis, the man that helped to build Mill Close in the village, was researched by Marion and produced a fascinating article which included his early life and building up one of the biggest poultry farms in Hertfordshire opposite the village hall.

‘During the late 1920’s or early 1930’s, Bernard (known as “Bunny” to his family and friends) decided to take up poultry farming and moved to a council farm at Brocket Road, Lemsford. (The house is now named Meadowcroft.)

The Chickens were initially kept in large wooden “houses” but he later expanded the chicken housing arrangements by acquiring army style “Nissan” huts. One of the large sheds housed two incubators to facilitate egg hatching. It is believed that school children from Lemsford were occasionally invited to view the newly hatched chicks.’ Image Above Learn more

The next article shows the development of Brocket Road, a subject I want the group to research for 2020 as part of the WGC centenary celebrations.

Cyril Roden, Churchwarden at St John’s Lemsford for 26 years (1965 - 1991)

In 1933, when newlyweds Cyril and Edith Roden moved into 32 Brocket Road, fields surrounded the few houses along this country road and New Road was just a dirt track.In the early 1970s, Cyril was involved in installing bells in the St John’s church tower, under the guidance of enthusiast Geoff Dodds.’ Image Above Learn More

My final grave I picked as it was not only interesting but have the best image of the 2019 Fete display .

‘Charlie Wager was a churchwarden at St. John’s Lemsford for 16 years (1977-1993)

Charlie Wager will always be known as the man who put the gardens into the garden city. He joined the WGC Co., which was constructing the gardens for the New Town, early in his life, and spent the rest of his career on the gardens, becoming head gardener for many years.’

Attached is a photo that always cheers me up. Image Above. Learn More

The legacy from the fete display is a page on the website www.lemsfordhistorynews.co.uk/Graves.html that will stay there and be added to by any memories and images you have of a loved one in St John’s Graveyard.

LLHG is a small group but all have worked hard to produce the Fete Display 2019. We end our year with a special day. On the 20th July 1919 the War memorial at St John's Church Lemsford was unveiled. On 20th July 2019 between 11-00 & 15-00 will be marking this 100 years anniversary With a open church day including the graveyard tour, display of the 20 men who died in WW1 and a ceremony to remember these men.

In September we have our AGM, if you want to know more about the group join us then details will be on this website