An insight into the qualities and quirks of Hertfordshire's locals
By Abi Samuels
Chopper Smith, a gypsy from Colney Heath Encampment. Early 20th century
Betty Leatherland of Tring, was said to have been 112 years old when she died in 1875. This picture was taken around 1860.
Herts Archives ref D/EBi/55/95
Dan Umley, Postman at Braughing c1900
Johnny Bean Green from Bushey tied ribbons around himself on special days and in later years kept them on all year round. c1910
Mr Blee, the Postman of St Ippollitts, 1866
"Mardell" the Road Minder (or mender). Hertingfordbury Road, Hertford, c1880s
Kit Nash (left) a 6ft tall notorious poacher from Harmer Green near Welwyn. She died in Hatfield workhouse in 1932 aged 83.
Richard Simmons (1775-1862)) Parish Beadle for Broxbourne and Postman for Braughing who fought in the Battle of Waterloo, 1815
William John Fry (1825 - 1900) Bailiff known as the Hermit of Barnet. Aged 73
Billy Oliver, Shepherd. Tring c1900
Mr Day, the Muffin Man of Royston, c1910
F.Walter Taylor, Confectioner and Muffin Man was a well known character around Hertford in the early 20th century
George Lawrence, known locally as "Cock o'me Dandy" was Hatfield's last Town Crier. He died in 1910 aged 74.
Billy-No-Hat, a famous Ware character in the stocks at Great Amwell. He had a reputation for being a simple character, but when offered the choice between a sovereign and a large old penny, he said he'd take the smaller coin as not to seem greedy.
Frank Bowler, Hitchin Town Crier, c1860
Betty Leatherland of Tring
The nature of any county is sculpted by the people who inhabit it. Throughout the ages, different characters within Hertfordshire were known and loved for their individual traits. Here is a selection of some familiar faces…
This page was added on 19/08/2011.