Changes to the local landscape
Tony and Sonia Waterton reflect on how the 'New Town' development changed the surrounding area
The Dacorum Heritage Trust Ltd.
(T): After I lived in Crescent Road, to start with and then we moved to Bargrove Avenue in Boxmoor and of course beyond that, when I was a lad, were all fields, it was just fields and we used to go sort of through the back gate and out across the fields to Shrub Hill Common and all there. Not like you children do now days, we just went, you know, there was no, your parents didn’t have to go with you or anything and so then we gradually realised that the whole, well it was just changed and all the farms and fields. The farmer in Green End Lane was Clark…
(T): Everybody knew each other really and we knew he was upset because he was being thrown out and all that sort of thing. I suppose we just accepted it really.
(S): It was a little market town surrounded by farms, a ring of farms, which had been there, you know, ever since feudal times or beyond and they had all been compulsory purchased so there were these sad farmers thrown out after generations and these, all these farms then became housing estates. What was so particularly upsetting was that it was obviously people from London coming in and they were brought in by coach to start with, to see it, then they came and they were, they seemed to be so ungrateful and so well, it’s this sort of tribal thing that they were different and they would stand at bus stops and say “Oh we don’t like it here, wish we were back in London” and they were getting these beautiful houses and we’d lost all our farms.