New Town beginnings

Derek Townsend remembers the interesting events leading up to the New Towns announcement

Contributed by The Dacorum Heritage Trust Ltd

Transcript:

It was not until 1943, when Hemel Hempstead had prisoners of war, who were being based up in Piccotts End, there was a big prisoner of war camp up there and then all of a sudden the whole town was filled with Americans and they moved into Marlowes, where Peter Spivey is now, there was about 50 Yanks in there because I was very friendly with a couple who lived in there, Mr and Mrs Duncan, who had been bombed out of London. So I was playing down there quite a lot, because they had big canteens in the garden, where all the Yanks used to, or the Americans I should say, used to have their meals. But they all just suddenly disappeared in 1944 with D Day.

When we first heard, that Hemel Hempstead was going to be a ‘New Town’ I know my Father went “We don’t want those old Londoners here”, I remember him saying that and they went to a protest group, a protest meeting at the Guild House, Hemel Hempstead. I cannot tell you the date, but I know it was before 1947 when they actually decided the date, so it was just after the war, you would say about maybe 1946, I think, when they first announced that Hemel Hempstead would become one of the new satellite towns around London, organised by GLC. (Greater London Council)

This page was added on 26/05/2015.

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