Welcome to the North Mymms History Project

A growing historical resource of almost 200 books, features, and documents. Feel free to use the comment box beneath any item to add information - you may need to disable any ad blocker software to reveal. Suggestions and content ideas are always welcome.

PC Brian Hitchings - 23 years as community policeman

PC Brian Hitchings Image courtesy of the Chancellors Community Newsletter
PC Brian Hitchings
Image courtesy of the Chancellors Community Newsletter

In 1988 PC Brian Hitchings retired as the local police officer having served the area for 23 of his 30 years with the force. 

According to tributes paid in the Chancellors Community Newsletter at the time, PC Hitchings was "the epitome of everyone's idea of a village policeman as he rode around the district on his bicycle".

A short history of Bell Bar

The mission hut Bell Bar in the 1980s Image from the former North Mymms Local History Society
The mission hut Bell Bar in the 1980s
Image from the former North Mymms Local History Society

Bell Bar was once an important staging post for those travelling north and south along the Great North Road with four inns and alehouses in the small hamlet. In the 1750s it was one of the busiest communities in North Mymms

In 1987, local historian and author, Peter Kingsford, wrote a brief history of Bell Bar for the November issue of the Chancellors Community Newsletter. It is reproduced here with permission of the publisher Lyn Shiells.

Gobions (Gubbins) a brief history

South-west view of Gobions 1840 Image from NMLHS, part of the Images of North Mymms collection
South-west view of Gobions 1840
Image from NMLHS, part of the Images of North Mymms collection

Those who have walked through the Gobions Woods Nature Reserve and Gobion Open Space might have wondered about the history of the place. This site has a lengthy feature on the history and evolution of Gobions from 1718 onwards

In this piece the history is traced back further to the 13th century. Originally published by the Barnet and District Record Society in October 1952 and written by local historians K.G Davies and H.J. Butcher this article was republished as an abridged version in the April 1986 issue of the Chancellors Community Newsletter. It's been reproduced here with permission of the publisher Lyn Shiells.

Brookmans Park Motors – a history

Photograph of Greenleaf's garage and the Swan Hotel in the 1960s. Image by B.H. Warne, digitised by Mike Allen
Greenleaf's garage and the Swan Hotel in the 1960s
Image from B.H. Warne, part of the Images of North Mymms collection

When Gordon Simmons started work as 'a young lad' at the Swan Garage, Bell Bar, North Mymms, a gallon of petrol cost almost eight shillings (38p). The year was 1938. 46 years later Gordon wrote about working for Brookmans Park Motors for the Chancellors Community Newsletter's September 1985 issue. In the article he looked back at motoring in the area through the war years and up to the 80s. The article has been reproduced here with permission of the publisher Lyn Shiells.

Good and bad pupils in the 1870s

Front cover of a 19th century North Mymms Parish magazine Image from the Peter Miller collection
Front cover of a 19th century North Mymms Parish magazine
Image from the Peter Miller collection

Boys and girls attending school in North Mymms in the late 19th century could expected to be rewarded with money if they were good or face corporal punishment and detention if they were bad. 

A list of their names was published in the parish magazine and school logs. According to local historian and author, the late Peter Kingsford, the list, published in the 1870s, didn't record any bad girls, only good. 

He wrote about the system in the May 1989 issue of the Chancellors Community Newsletter. The article has been reproduced here with permission of the publisher Lyn Shiells.

The tradition of commuting to the city

The evening commuter rush arriving at Brookmans Park station May 1969 Image by Ron Kingdon, part of the Images of North Mymms collection
The evening commuter rush arriving at Brookmans Park station May 1969
Image by Ron Kingdon, part of the Images of North Mymms collection

In April 1986 local historian and author, the late Peter Kingsford, published an article about commuting from Brookmans Park to London. It appeared in the Chancellors Community Newsletter and has been reproduced here with permission of the publisher, Lyn Shiells.

Brookmans Park 1936-1994

Shops on Brookmans Park's Bradmore Green in the 1930s Postcard from the Peter Miller collection
Shops on Brookmans Park's Bradmore Green in the 1930s
Postcard from the Peter Miller collection

In 1936 there were just two shops around Brookmans Park's Bradmore Green. One sold groceries the other sold sweets and stamps. The nearest bakery was in Welham Green; the nearest butchers was in Potters Bar. 

It was the year Doris Childs moved to the village. In the November 1994 issue of the Chancellors Community Newsletter Doris shared her memories of 58 years living in Brookmans Park. 

The article, embedded below, has been reproduced with the permission of the publisher of the Chancellors Community Newsletter, Lyn Shiells.

The historic North Mymms balloon landing

The day Vincenzo Lunardi touched down


Image courtesy of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, USA, released for public use by Archive.org under the terms of Creative Commons
Image courtesy of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington
Released for public use by Archive.org under the terms of Creative Commons

On the afternoon of Wednesday 15 September 1784, North Mymms entered aviation history.

The Italian balloonist, Vincenzo Lunardi, making the first manned aerial voyage over England, touched down briefly in a cornfield near the parish border with Northaw.