Hemel Hempstead born and bred - and proud of it!

Memories of Hemel Hempstead 1932-1955

by Lionel Howard

42 Bury Hill (1953)
Grandfather and me
S.A.C. Howard in Egypt
Heath Park Halt
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
Apsley Mills
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
Hemel Hempstead Grammar School
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
Lockers Park School for Boys
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
Nicky Line train on bridge over Marlowes c1940
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
Pump in the old High Street
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
The white bridge in Gadebridge Park
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
Watercress beds at Two Waters
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
Gadebridge School
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

The houses now in Bury Hill were built at the beginning of the 1930s, and my parents, with my brother and sister, moved into number 42 just after Mr Green, a local builder, had completed them. I was born in 1932 and delivered by Annie Barlow, the District Midwife who lived at 50 Bury Hill.

Puffing Annie

As a small boy I can remember looking out of our back bedroom window to watch ‘Puffing Annie’ the local train starting off on its journey from Heath Park Halt, which was between Cornerhall Road and Station Road bridges.

It would set off across the embankment on the moor, over the bridge at the end of Marlowes, through Paradise, along behind West Herts Hospital (where Windsor and Verulamium wings are now), under Hillfield Road Bridge to Midland Railway Station.

I knew when the train had stopped as there was a continual stream of smoke from the engine until ‘Puffing Annie’ set off again under Adeyfield Bridge, along the embankment and over Highfield Lane Bridge (now Queensway), and on to Cupid Green where it would disappear along the Nicky Line to Harpenden.   


Clean inside and out

Further down Bury Hill was a row of old cottages where my friend Patrick lived. Behind the cottages was a large back yard with outside toilets down one side and coal sheds along the other side of the yard, and on the boundary wall at the end hung large tin baths. On Monday, washing day, the yard would be full of lines of washing. I was glad we had a proper bathroom and toilet, although hot water was from a gas geyser and during the war we could not get it repaired, so the water was heated in a copper in the kitchen and carried up to the bath in buckets. On Saturday we had a dose of syrup of figs, cod liver oil, a hot bath, and we were clean inside and out for Sunday.  

At the bottom of the Bury Hill on the left hand side of the road was the Police Station (which now has been altered into Century House Flats). Further down on the corner of Bury Hill and Bury Road was Bury Mill (now a roundabout). Behind the mill was a large pond, and every year swans would nest on the banks of the river. In the spring we saw the cygnets hatch out, and change from gray into lovely white swans. Behind the Police Station was the police superintendent’s house and beyond that was the printing works, which printed our local newspaper, the Gazette (now flats are built there).

Gadebridge Park started next as it does now, the only change is the fences and stiles have gone and the footpath is now Leighton Buzzard Road. On the other side of the river were some watercress beds (now the bowling green and crazy golf course are there). 

Gone but not forgotten

As you went into Bury Road on the right hand side there were some houses, the Six Bells public house and Sid Williams newspaper and sweet shop and, in the back through a door, Sid Polard the barber conducted his business. All these buildings and the cottages in Bury Hill were demolished. Today a grass verge and pavement cover the site but Sid Pollard went round the local hospital to cut the patients hair and took newspapers to the wards.

On the opposite side of the road was Stainforth’s a grocers shop, the River Gade ran behind Stainforth’s, then came some small cottages. In the middle of the cottages was Charlie Knights fish shop (later Willis’ fish shop). At the end of the cottages was a right turning into Alma Road, continuing along Bury Road was Bill Brocket’s hardware shop (later moved to Old High Street), then there was Osborn and Tyres wholesale warehouse, Fred Oldfield the blacksmith was next. I would spend hours pulling the handle on the forge bellows, watching him turn red hot bars into horseshoes, and then shoeing the horses. After the blacksmiths was the cobblers, then the entrance to the Drill Hall. The backs of the RDC garages ran up to the Post House, which was the register and Rural District Council offices.

On the ground floor of Bury Mill was Howard’s garage, owned by my great uncle. On the forecourt was a petrol pump, it had a manual handle, which you turned like a car starting handle, and would deliver the petrol through a hose to your car. Mr. Coleman’s cycle repair workshop was next to the garage, and a large house which was Miss Stella Clark School of Dancing. All these buildings were demolished to make way for Dacorum College and Leighton Buzzard Road.

Still in Bury Road is the garage that Charlie Knight ran his Bream coaches from. The coaches ran a daily service between Bury Road and Apsley Mills morning, noon and evening for Apsley Mills workers. After the war Bream coaches ran Sunday day trips to Southend and Brighton.



John Dickinson in the London Road was the largest employer in the town. Another industry was brush making at Kent’s Brush Factory, which still has a small building on the same site on the London Road. The London Paper Mill was at Frogmore. Roses Lime Juice wharf is now B and Q stores, Davis and Baileys made and sold agricultural implements in Marlowes.  

Cranstone’s Iron Foundry, also known as Phoenix’s Foundry, was behind the Old High Street. A pump with a gas light on top, now at the end of the Old High Street, and the drinking fountain with a gas light, now outside Boxmoor Hall, were made by Cranstone’s. They also made the white bridge in Gadebridge Park.

Later Cranstone’s changed their name from Phoenix Foundry to Hemel Hempstead Iron Foundry and moved to Cupid Green In 1949.  

Brock’s Fireworks had a factory at Cupid Green with a lot of small wooden buildings in which the fireworks were made. The site was spread over a large area, which is now known as Woodhall Farm.

We also had a lot of watercress beds along the sides of the River Gade and River Bulbourn, plus lots of small farms in the area. A lot of workers also commuted to Harrow and London from Boxmoor Station, the station’s name was later changed to Hemel Hempstead Station, and the telephone exchange was altered from Boxmoor to Hemel Hempstead.                                 

Family life

Family life was different in the thirties; childhood illnesses were rife. My brother Stuart who was three years older than me, fell into the Bury Mill pond at the age of five and soon afterwards died of Diphtheria. In 1939 my sister Jean who was five years older than me had scarlet fever, and went into the Isolation Hospital.

I was sent to live with my grandparents at Hammerfield, where I stayed for three months. I loved staying with my grandparents as my grandfather was a practical man, and I would sit with him in his shed, watching him repairing clocks, soldering pots and pans, even repairing shoes for the family.  

As a small boy I used to help my sister collect cowpats for dad’s garden from Gadebridge Park where farmers grazed their cows. One day we had collected a barrowful and on the way home when we got to the stile my sister lifted the barrow onto the top bar of the stile, told me to climb over and hold it while she climbed over, but I was unable to hold the weight above me and the lot fell on top of me. My sister tried to wash me in the nearby river then took me home, where my mother stripped me off and hosed me down in the back garden before I was allowed in the house.  

In 1935 the town celebrated the Silver Jubilee of King George V. All the children assembled at Boxmoor and paraded up Marlowes through the Old High Street into Gadebridge Park. I was three years old at the time and my sister was looking after me, being a boy I wandered off and got lost, only to be found much later sitting on the pavement outside the Heath Lane cemetery crying for my sister.                       

The school I attended was Bury Mill End School and was very old (it is now rebuilt and known as Bury Mill End Family Support Centre); it is situated on the corner of Astley Road and Leighton Buzzard Road. The headmaster was Mr Elliot. I started in the infants’ class. Miss Parkin was my teacher and she remembered that I was the boy who got lost at the King George V Celebration parade. Some 21 years later she used to send me an apple each time my wife Margaret visited her as a District Nurse and warned her not to lose me. (By then Miss Parkin was a very old lady and still thought I was a small boy.)  

During the war years we had several families of evacuees living with us. When there was an air raid we would be bedded down under the stairs of our house until it was over. One night we heard and felt the bombs dropping. In the morning we went to school only to find a bomb had blown a house down in Astley Road and when I returned home at lunch time, I was told a house called The Orchard, which was 50 yards up Bury Hill from the Police Station, had also had been bombed.  

I left Bury Mill End School at the age of eleven. We had a choice of two schools: either The Grammar School in Heath Lane if you passed the eleven plus, or the secondary modern school, Crabtree Lane School, which I attended.

These were the only senior schools in Hemel Hempstead. There were three public preparatory schools: Heath Brow School, Gadebridge School and Lockers Park School for Boys, which Earl Mountbatten had attended, and two for girls: St. Nicholas School and South Hill School.   


We had few sports in Hemel Hempstead. Hemel football field was in Crabtree Lane, on the moor at Heath Park was the cricket pitch and opposite St. Johns Church was Churchill’s, a large house, and in its grounds was an open air swimming pool. The entrance to the swimming pool was in Park Road. It opened in May and closed in September, the pool was not heated but we had a cold shower so it felt warm when diving in the pool. On the other side of St Johns Church across the moor was the old swimming pool surrounded by a corrugated iron fence. The pool was two large holes in the ground next to the canal and was filled by a pipe from the canal, very different from the new pool at Churchill’s.     


Shopping was very different when I was growing up during the war as everybody was issued with a ration book, and coupons were handed to the shopkeeper for an allotted amount of goods. The shop keepers sold most groceries by weight, weighing out sugar etc into brown paper bags. Butter was made into blocks with wooded butter pats with patterns on them. Cheese was also cut with a cheese wire to a size you required. The shop had a counter, which the shop assistant stood behind and served the customers. Albert Rose the milkman would deliver milk with his horse and cart; we would feed his horse while Albert was measuring out the milk from his milk churn into my mother’s jug. The Baker and Coalman also delivered bread and coal with a horse and cart.   

Americans in Bovingdon 

A short distance from Hemel Hempstead was the village of Bovingdon and an American Air Force Base was stationed there during the war. A lot of American air men came into the town from Bovingdon, and at Christmas held parties for the children. An event worth mentioning was the help given in the rescue of the casualties in the rail disaster of 1945 at Bourne End by the Americans; the train crash was seen by an American airplane flying overhead who gave the alert.   

After the war

Some of the first homes to be built after the war were the steel houses on the corner of Adeyfield Road and Leverstock Green Road, built for the returning service men and their families. Two of the new roads were named Montgomery Avenue and Tedder Road, after field marshals from the war.  

I left school at fourteen and I went to work for H G Gibbons and Sons at numbers 5 and 7 Alexandra Road, a plumbing, heating and electrical firm, as an apprentice. It had a shop at number 5 and offices at number 7 with large double doors between them; the doors led to a workshop at the rear. Over the shop and offices were two flats. Before Gibbons moved into number 7 the property was the second home for the Gazette Works, the first home for the Gazette being in Sun Yard off the Old High Street, the third being next to Gadebridge Park, with offices in an old house in Marlowes, then they moved to the present new offices in Marlowes. 

I left Gibbons for my National Service in June 1953. I served in the RAF and was posted to Egypt. On my return in June 1955 to Hemel Hempstead, I saw a big change. A lot of familiar buildings had disappeared and new buildings had been built.

The old Hemel I knew had gone.

This page was added on 01/03/2010.

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  • Discovered this page during a covid lock down.
    I was born at Duffield Derbyshire on 12/10/27.
    Moved to Roughdown Avenue, Boxmoor in 1935 just before the Jubilee. I remember a giant beacon bonfire lit on
    Roughdown Common which was ignited by a flaming torch
    procession. My brother,3years older, marched with a torch.A big bone of contention as I was deemed too young
    to take part.

    By Phillip Leonard Thomas (11/02/2023)
  • Hi I wonder where you obtained the Gadebridge House pictures as I like to purchase some. I grew up in Woodview and we played in the ruins of the ‘old school’ as we called it for hours as children. There was a sad incident I remember in the 60s where a boy feel from the wall which is still there today in Gadebridge Lane. Wonderful recounting of memories. Thankyou

    By Janey Buckley (16/08/2021)
  • Dear Janey
    Thanks for your message. Most of the images in Lionel’s article come from Herts Archives & Local Studies in Hertfordshire. I will forward on your request to see if any of these can be identified as they do not have the reference nos on them.

    Marion Hill (Site Admin)

    By Marion Hill (16/08/2021)
  • For Reese: You probably already know this but there’s a road called Howard Agne Close in Bovingdon, not far from the old airfield.

    By Tim Pedder (30/01/2021)
  • I would like to know exactly where the cress bed photo was taken thanks Hemel born and bred

    By Jaqui Ayres (08/10/2020)
  • In response to the post of Doug Masters from some years ago, I attended Heath Brow School as a boarder between 1953 and 1955 and have quite a few good (and some not so good) memories. Not so much about Seth-Ward, who if I remember called himself Sethus-Wardus in his serious moments, but about other teachers, especially K.G.I.Elliot who in jest called himself Kelly Gorgonzola Idiotic Elliot! He wrote the end of year play called ‘O Wotta Wood’ which shows his playfulness with language in those days. I was a tree in it! I remember the morning trips barefoot to the freezing swimming pool in winter and racing Dinkey Toy cars in the play area – I raced a Cooper-Bristol and was quite good. Really good days and would like to hear from others from those far-off days.

    By David Templeman (20/06/2020)
  • My wifes Great Grandfather was Frederick Oldfield the Farrier / Blacksmith who lived next door to the forge in Bury Road. He was regarded as the oldest Blacksmith in the country and died aged 87yrs just one month after retiring from the forge.

    By Lawrence (04/05/2020)
  • My grandfather was the base commander at Bovingdon from 1958-1961. His name was Howard Agne. Would be fantastic to talk to anyone that might have known him or my grandmother Edith (Eddie).

    By Reese (13/02/2020)
  • A fascinating story of the period and Lionel’s personal memories. I just wonder whether it is ‘the’ Lionel Howard who worked for Ruth & Ray Findlay Plumbing & Heating Engineers. He was a lovely man and excellent plumber known to both my family and my wife’s.

    By Gordon Wingrove (12/02/2020)
  • Re. Julie 15/5/2015
    My Mum Eva was so badly burned in this terrible accident that she died a few days later on the 9th April 1951, if you’re Mum was in the accident then I knew her and the other lady who worked with them who fortunately was at the canteen at the time of the explosion. you uncle Peter was my best friend growing up, all of your Mum’s brothers and sisters know who I am.
    I am more than happy to let you have any details you want. I now live in Canada but come back to Hemel every year, while I still can.

    By Charles Dawkins (06/12/2019)
  • My husband,Roger Jesse Coleman was born in Hemel in 1935 and lived there until about 1952
    His grandfather owned the whole of Bury Mill at one time and his eleven children were reared in the Mill House.

    Later ,Jesse Coleman (whose father was also Jesse Coleman), sold the garage part of the property and let out the house for the dancing school.
    In his workshop he made new bikes from old and repaired bikes. Previously he had bought and sold cars.

    After his wife,s death he and his second wife went to live in Castlewellan Ireland where he owned another shop…..bikes I wonder? He died there at the age of 90.

    His son,, my husband’s father,yet another Jesse Coleman , worked at one time for a grocer in Hemel before leaving to go into the RAF in the war.

    My husband rode his bike all around the area and with a friend used to ride to St Albans and further afield.
    I have a photo of three boys two on bikes and a third sitting on a wooden railing on what seems like a bridge or walkway made of planks over the river.
    One of the boys is Terry Curran and one is my husband. The other boy is younger but unidentified.
    Roger and family lived in Sunnyhill Rd. He attended Hemel Hempstead Grammar school until his family moved to Middlesex and Roger joined the RAF.
    From what he has told me Hemel Hempstead must have been an ideal place to grow up in with plenty of open spaces and away from the wartime bombing .
    And Bury Mill no longer exists….its a roundabout.
    No wonder we could not find it on Google earth!.

    By Marie (17/11/2019)
  • I was born in the old St. Paul ‘s hospital in October 1954. My family lived in Peasecroft Road in Bennetts End and I attended Hobbs Hill Infants School which incidentally I absolutely hated. We then bought our own house in Adeyfield where I attended Maylands School which was much much better. I then went on to Adeyfield School and after that worked at Computer Techology on the Industrial Estate and then British Rail at Euston. I emigrated to Germany in 1982 and am happily married to a German national. I have so many fond memories of Hemel and love to read the different websites especially the historical ones.

    By Frances Kronenwett nee Grigh (10/11/2019)
  • Thank you all for sharing your stories. I loved reading this article on the old Hemel as I’m a born and bred hemel girl although wasn’t born until 1970 and lived on Gadebridge Road until I moved at 21 to Bennetts End to start my own family.

    There is so much history with Hemel and I cant get enough of it. Thank you again

    By Trudie Lichfield (Large) (25/09/2019)
  • What a wonderful walk through Hemel. My mother was born and reared in Hemel. She lived at 80 Bury Road in a house named Ebenezeer. Ebenezeer House was maintained by the Bailey family from 1870 (Edward Bailey and wife Elizabeth Jane Heading) until the passing of my grandmother Adeline Lillian Maude Warner Bailey in 1987. My grand uncle Alan Edward Bailey was one of the first firemen of Hemel. My great grandfather William Heading Bailey was one of the first men on the Council.

    By Jayne Gossett (10/03/2018)
  • From the Advertiser and Times 11 August 1900

    Hammerfield (continued)

    In one among other handwriting on the wall, in the pencilled legend: ‘These painfully remind us of the foolishness of man’. A red poppy that grows on a heap of rubbish at the end of the village street nods its head mournfully over the dereliction. The half-made road is thick with grass. Weeds sprout on the asphalt sidewalk. The chief building is a factory, where doormats are made on looms; but there is no local market for doormats. Many of the houses never had doorsteps laid. Some day the village may be finished. At present no one, not even the parish clerk, quite knows who are the legal owners, and no one cares to meddle with the ruin.


    The reference to mat factory above is probably Bullock Forty and Co Ltd who were mat manufacturers in Hammerfield during the year 1898. This is probably the factory in what became Glendale and which was demolished for the construction of the new-build semi-detached houses (erected around 1964).

    There were a number of small shoe factories, including J Palmer, though his timber-clad factory was destroyed by fire on Tuesday 4 January 1892.

    Algernon James Coan was another from 1893 to 1894.

    Another was EC Johnson 1893

    The reference to the builder might have been of Frederick Hestor who had gone bust in 1889, but it has proven very difficult to research this.

    By Paul Francis (26/10/2017)
  • From the Advertiser and Times 11 August 1900


    A mile from Hemel Hempstead says the Daily Express, there is a deserted village. It nestles in a pretty valley, under the shadow of a fir plantation. It is called Hammerfield, because of the the shape of the field in which it stands. The original owner of the land is an ironmonger (Boxmoor Ironworks, Lower Marlows) of Hemel Hempstead. Twenty years ago he planted 60,000 (sic) fir trees over the valley. He might now have been the ground landlord of a virgin forest if he had steeled his heart to a persuasive builder who came and saw and declared that Hammerfield was an eligible site for bricks and mortar rather than fir trees.
    This was five or six years ago, when there was trouble in the shoe trade. The builder had conceived the idea of founding an embryo Northampton in this remote Hertfordshire valley, where the agitator should cease from troubling and the shomaker be at work. He built shoe factories and commenced cottages for the workers to live in. The factories failed, and the few shoemakers who had come went away again. Most of the property has a mortgage on it instead of a roof. There are 100 houses, and only half-a-dozen or so are inhabited. The rest are crumbling shells.

    By Paul Francis (26/10/2017)
  • Loved this very interesting!!

    By Sylvia Cowley (04/05/2017)
  • Love these memories, I was born in Boxmoor, Haybourn mead 1953, memories of many summers at churchill swimming pool and waiting until most people had gone home and collecting up any lost change, naughty me. Also going for dancing classes at Stella Clark school and roaming al across box moor with friends on our bike, my uncle ran the post office in the 1950\’s and my mum worked at Apsley Mils until 1948. Fond memories

    By Judith Le Sage (08/02/2017)
  • Re Highfield Home: I lived at 5 Achilles Close from new in 1961. The close was built on the home’s driveway and featured beautiful mature lime trees. These have been cut down sadly. When I was there – up to 1972 – it was still a home for girls with learning difficulties. in the late 70s a local police officer was jailed for having intercourse with some of the girls without consent. Local scandal.

    By Delia Bugg (21/08/2016)
  • i was born in Hemel Hempstead in 1963 

    i have very fond memories of blackberry picking round the cherry tree lane aera 

    i now live in Lincoln but often think of home 

    By Lorraine Gregory (12/01/2016)
  • Tom Benstead. I remember you! I was the youngest of the four brothers of the Masters family who attended Heath Brow school in the 1940’s. I dearly loved Seth-Ward. He was very kind to me and I loved the school. When the school became Beechwood Park my sons attended it. Our family still live in the Hemel Hempstead area and would love to hear from you and anyone else who went to Heath Brow! What a shame there isn’t a Heath Brow old boys society!

    By Doug Masters (29/12/2015)
  • the house was called the hoo in gaddesden place  I believe it was destroyed by fire sometime I think I saw a  picture of it and a story about the fire.Iwas born at the hoo in 1945

    By gerry (03/10/2015)
  • My mother was one of the nine Collierr children living in Cupid Green in Three Cherry Trees Lane. She was born in Hemel in 1931 and still lives there today aged 84. At around 1950 she was involved in an explosion at the phenix firework factory and suffered appauling injuries. Does anyone remember this accident?

    By Julie (15/05/2015)
  • I have found this article most fascinating. I was born in the Holloway region of Islington in London. I moved to Hemel Hempstead when I was six in 1950. The property which I lived at; Belswains Farm House, has a story in itself. Today, it is Oliver Close.

    However, in keeping in context with the main article, some of these things I can remember. Those that I do not remember, or, would not know about, I still find fascinating information.

    I may be regarded as a ‘villain’ in this response. Some of my relations demolished areas such as Alma Road. I also believe that one of the contributors was a projectionist at the Princess Cinema. Well, some of my relations demolished that also. But that did sadden me. I did write an article about that cinema’s demise which is on both this website, and it’s sister website ‘Our Dacorum’

    But this item by Lionel Howard, is an excellent article. And I am not saying this because I have met him. Most fascinating information.

    Alan French.  

    By Alan French (11/03/2015)
  • We used to visit my grandparents in Hemel in the 50’s/60’s, and I have extremely fond memories of the old town, before the Marlowes became the main shopping centre. We moved back to Hemel in the mid sixties, and lived in Cupid Green. I know nothing stays the same, but Hemel in the 50’s/60’s was so uncomplicated. But then again, that’s just the opinion of a middle-aged old fart!

    By John Cross (05/03/2015)
  • I and my brother, Roger,went to Heath Brow in 1941, as a boarder when the Headmaster was Seth Ward.At the time my mother lived in London and it was considered much safer in Hemel Hampstead than in London , during the Blitz. I have very happy memories of the School and altho’ small it offered not only a good education but many facilities in sport as well ie swimming ,boxing, athletics, cricket and football. I have vivid memories of going down to the “air raid”shelter,in my pyjamas,during air raids at night time. The shelter had been built from the spoils of digging out the swimming pool. These were happy days for me as a youngster. Left Heath Brow about 1944 to go to Kent College in Canterbury, and then into the RAF as a Cadet Navigator in 1951. Believe it or not , but I am still in contact with a fellow student after 74 years and another who died last year whom I had known for 75 yrs. Tom Benstead   (now 82 yrs.) Heath Brow 1941~44

    By Tom Benstead (22/01/2015)
  • I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all these memories from you all. I’ve learned a lot!! Thank you all.

    By cathy young (17/01/2015)
  • I was born in 1956 in the little round house that was in Gadebridge Park it was also called the Tree Penny House . Do anyone have any photos as i can not get hold of any

    By sue townsend (12/01/2015)
  • My aunt came from Lambeth to ‘The Hoo’ at Great Gaddesden during W.W.11. where she gave birth to my cousin. I remember the house, as although born in Lambeth I moved with my parents to Hemel in 1952 unaware at the time of the family connection to ‘The Hoo.’ I have been unable to find a photo/picture of the house and wonder if anyone can help as I like to add it to the profile of my cousin on the Family Tree I have compiled.

    By Margaret (15/02/2014)
  • I am researching my family tree and I believe that one of my ancestors Richard Coombes has mentioned Berry Gardens which could be Bury House, Hemel, Hempstead Hearts.Is there such a place and does anyone have any more information. I believe there was a coat of arms attached to this as well.

    By Kerry Coombes (28/10/2013)
  • I was born at the bottom of Wood Lane End in a bungalow built by Bob Beadle a well know character who live in the lane, I remember all our groceries being delivered by tradesmen, Keens Butchers, Chennels the Grocers, who remembers Mr Howe the cobbler in the cottage by the Saracens Head, he was my Uncle and mended shoes in a small shed in the garden, My Mother was born in Kiln Cottages now behind the Wood lane End banks and my Grandfather was born in High Street Green, my family arrived here form East Hyde near Luton in the 1800’s to work in the Brickworks where Briery Woods now stand, I loved the Old Town more than I think of the Modern New Town even though it has brought other benefits to the town.

    By Neil Fleming (12/08/2013)
  • I was born at 164 Bury Rd in 1943………..just found this page while looking for pictures of Hemel. I too went to Bury Mill End school….and had Gaffer as a Headmaster…..My older sister Grace Herring, had her name on the Honours Board twice, and Mr Elliot used to point to her name and shake his head at me……..well! we cant all be brainy!!

    By Barbara Daniels (01/04/2013)
  • Ahhh!! Such wonderful memories. I was born in 1938 at The Sun Inn, High street and remember all the places you mention. Miss Parkin was Headmistress at George Street School in later years and I still remember Albert Rose, milkman and brown bags with sugar in. Thank you for wonderful memories. P.S: I still have photos of the original Gazette offices in the yard of The Sun Inn.

    By Alan bailey (25/10/2012)
  • I was in highfield home from 1945 to 1955 can you tell me what happend to the home and is there anyone still around that lived there at the same time as me. Mr Cooper ran the home when I lived there.

    By Ron davie (21/10/2012)
  • I went to Bury Mill End Primary School from 1945 to 1950. “Gaffer” Elliott was the extraordinary headmaster. My father was born at Piccotts End and later was employed by Bill Brockett. Bill once punched him on the nose as punishment for saying that he couldn’t care less. My family had to leave Hemel in 1950 and our lives changed completely.

    By Norman Foster (04/10/2012)
  • I was born on the 11th september 1939 my mum was sent from London because of the war and on my birth certificate it says 133 Hempstead House can you please supply any info into this address

    By pamela stephens ( watson) (22/08/2012)
  • I used to live in Cupid Green in Three Cherry Trees Lane, the Nicky line ran alongside our garden and the guardsman used to throw us a tin of sweets!

    By Jane Boddy (22/01/2012)
  • Message for robert bybee 29/11/2011 I think you may mean the Old Hoo at Great Gaddesden. It was a large house owned by the Wood family and was used during ww11 as a maternity hospital. Hope this helps.

    By Wendy Dwight (10/12/2011)
  • I was born at Hemel Hempsted at a hospital called “The Who” do you know if hospital still exist or was it taken down.

    By robert bybee (27/11/2011)