Miss Farris discusses new town planning meetings [Text only]

'I forget what it was called, my father belonged to it, there was an association, was it called...'

Stevenage Museum

I forget what it was called, my father belonged to it, there was an association, was it called… Residents Protection Association, I’m not sure.  Anyway there was an association to fight the New Town and my father was a prominent member in it.  Somebody was the chairman who lived at Corey’s Mill and this was, you see before the war about 1937 Professor Abercrombie was evidently had the task of finding where they could put London’s overspill and there was a map, and on this map was a dot, different dots and one was Stevenage and my father said, good gracious they are thinking of building a new town in Stevenage, but I don’t suppose they ever will anyway it wouldn’t make any difference to us.  Little did he know, but anyway, then directly after the war when it became a real possibility there was this association formed and they had meetings and they all gave money and then we got a public enquiry in the Town Hall.

Oh the meeting was absolutely crowded and I went with my father, it was crowded, I don’t know if my brother went I can’t remember.  Well it didn’t affect him quite so much because he lived out at Todds Green and at any rate, crowded and there were crowds of people outside and there were the speeches were relayed outside all the crowds, but anyway we were in and I can see it now.  And at the end of everybody saying all these learned things and why we shouldn’t have a New Town, and oh of course it’s very, very good agricultural land where the New Town is, you see.

Well anyway we had this meeting and when everybody had said all their parts and why we shouldn’t have it, they said that the New Town should be built probably like out Royston way or somewhere like that where the ground was much more stony not the very good corn land. Course we know why one of the reasons was it was just on the main line and that was one of the reasons any rate.

So then Silkin got up and he said it doesn’t matter what you say you are going to have a New Town here, but it will make no difference to you people in Stevenage your town will not be touched.  That’s what he said and I booed for the first time in my life, everybody booed, we all booed for the first time in our life and at any rate, we dispersed feeling very angry.  People put gravel in his tank of his car so as it wouldn’t start.

This page was added on 16/04/2018.

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