Jessie Axford - Shopping in the New Town
Shopping facilities in South Hatfield in the late 1950s
contributed by Welwyn Hatfield Museum Service
Jessie Axford on shopping in the new town.
She refers to “Tin Money,” which was pressed tin made into different shapes in different denominations.
“We had no shops in South Hatfield; Oxlease was still countryside. I walked with Christine down to Hatfield to William Bros near the Curzon Cinema. They gave you tin money with your change, which could be cashed back at 1/- for a £1 worth of tin money. The Co-Op van called in Bishops Rise lay by Monday and Thursday mornings. It was a converted coach and only 3-4 at a time could get in. We ate a lot of tin food. South Hatfield shops were built at the same time as the Church (St. John’s); the big shop near bishop’s Rose was the Co-Op, Fine Fare had the other end one. We had our own post office instead of going to Roe Green, a Butcher, Greengrocer; Keco sold most DIY and hardware; Young’s had a small shop for electrical goods. Most people had a club book as there were very few clothes and linen shops in Hatfield. With young children not very easy to go on buses to St. Albans but we did at the sale times. We also had wool shop, chemist and rent shop. Tingeys hardware shop was where we bought lino and things. It was where Hatfield upstairs downstairs is now (recorded in 1999).”