|Nash's Corner, Welham Green pre 1920s|
Image from A Nott / G Knott, from the Images of North Mymms collection
Our village of Welham Green lies between Hatfield and Potters Bar and has grown from a hamlet, as I first remember it, to what it is today. I still live in the same house that my father built about 1905 before he was married, so I have many memories, some of which I will tell you about.
|Postcard of Potters Bar Railway Station, 1900s |
Image from the Peter Miller Collection
We had no railway station or buses in those days, so we had to walk to Potters Bar or Hatfield to get a train. It was usually Potters Bar where we walked along the cinder path by the side of the railway. We also had quite a walk to school at Water End, which sadly is no longer there.
|John Kingdon at the flooded swallow holes at Water End in February 1958|
In the background the Southern Cross Garage
Image from R Kingdon, from the Images of North Mymms collection
In the summertime we walked across the fields to school, but in winter we had to keep to the roads as the swallow holes at the back of the school were flooded and the water rushed under Teakettle Bridge nearby.
|Painting on a box lid interior of the Marshmoor POW Camp 1914-18|
Image from R Papworth, from the Images of North Mymms collection
On wet days, the school had slippers and socks for us to change into, and hot cocoa was made for us on the round coke stoves. The boy's school was situated in the village and part of it still remains.
During the 1914-1918 war, we had a German prisoner of war camp opposite where our railway station is today.
My father was a builder in the village and he had to build a brick silo for Mr Crawford at Potterells Farm, and he had two of the German prisoners from the camp helping him. They learnt quite a lot of English, and it was great fun listening to them.
|Potterells farm buildings and rear of the house in the 1980s|
Image from the NMLHS, from the Images of North Mymms collection
We used to fetch our milk in cans from Potterells Dairy, where they had a herd of Jersey cows. Later we fetched it from Potterells Farm where Mr Crawford lived.
Among the happy memories were the lovely hay making days and all the picnics in the hay and catching tiddlers in the stream nearby.
During the war and post-war years, we also went gleaning for leftover corn in the fields for our chickens, which a lot of us kept in our back yards along with rabbits, a ferret and a jackdaw.
|North Mymms Guides at camp at Frowick House in 1936|
Image from J Knight, from the Images of North Mymms collection
We had fetes too, which were held at North Mymms Park, Potterells, Abdale and Hawkshead House, also Girl Guides, Brownies, Scouts and Cubs.
|Water End schoolgirls maypole dancing in the 1900s|
Image from G Knott part of the Peter Miller collection
We also used to do country dancing and dancing round the maypole. We have a lovely old church in our village, built of flint stones and is about a mile from the village. My parents, also grandparents, were all born in the village.
|Postcard of Fairview, Welham Green in the 1910s|
Image from the Peter Miller collection
My grandfather lived in Welham Farm, which was next to Fairview in Station Road, which used to be a shop in those days. My father was a bellringer at the church for 50 years and my mother was in the church choir for many years.
|Postcard showing the North Mymms Village Institute in the 1900s|
Image from G Knott, part of the Peter Miller collection
As regards halls in the village, we have North Mymms Memorial Hall and next to it, the Men's Institute. A little way down the road is the Youth Centre.
The Mens' Institute is the oldest of them and the flower shows used to be held there along with the whist drives.
The flower show is now held in the Youth Centre, along with other activities such as wedding receptions and parties.
|Children's xmas party in the scout hut in the 1950s|
Image from E Maynard, from the Images of North Mymms collection
We used to have a Scout House in Dixons Hill Close, where so many functions were held in the past, but sadly that has now gone.
|The Sibthorpe Arms, Welham Green in the 1900s|
Image from R Papworth / G Knott, from the Images of North Mymms collection
Behind the Sibthorpe Arms pub in Station Road there used to be a large wooden shed.
We children were encouraged to go on stage and sing a song with a prize for the best singer. One of the songs we had to sing was, "I'm lazy, I'm lazy". What fun it was, no sound came from some of us when we tried to sing.
In front of the Men's Institute to the left, on the grass, the village pump was situated where the menfolk came with their yokes on to carry two buckets of water back.
To finish with, and what gave me most pleasure, was to sit in the hip in front of a lovely fire in the kitchen range, having my bath.
by Ruth Pinder (1992)
The piece above is one of eight articles written by North Mymms residents which appeared in a booklet called North Mymms Reminiscences, published by the former North Mymms Local History Society in the 1990s. All eight pieces are published on this site. They are:
- North Mymms on the eve of this century by Peter Kingsford
- During the Great War by Doris Ambrose
- Welham Green 1914 by Ruth Pinder
- Changes in half a century - 1900-1953 by Rosie Simmonds
- Brookmans Park Evacuees by Marjorie Tether
- 20th Century North Mymms by R. G. Colville
- White's Corner by Sue Mason and Sidney King
- Forty years ago in Brookmans Park by Peter Kingsford