Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 12:28 GMT, Thursday, 29 April 2010 13:28 UK
Welwyn Garden City celebrates 90th anniversary
Photo taken by Jack Hill.
The memorial garden to Louis de Soissons the designer of Welwyn Garden City.

A Hertfordshire town hailed as one of the finest examples of modern day planning celebrates its anniversary.

The vision for Welwyn Garden City, which was built ninety years ago was a town "designed for healthy living".

Commemorative 1920's postcards and maps of the town will be avaialble to mark the occasion.

WGC residents, past and present have also been invited to a number of events including exhibitions and fun days to celebrate the town's birthday.

World War

Welwyn Garden City was built soon after the First World War.

Social reformer and town planner, Sir Ebenezer Howard who founded the Garden City movement, wanted to create new towns where people could live, work and raise their families away from the miseries of congested cities.

His plan was to establish a town with its own public services, shopping amenities, good housing and places of employment.

Letchworth Garden City and Stevenage in Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire were also founded by Howard.

The town is laid out along tree-lined boulevards with a neo-Georgian town centre.

Every road has a wide grass verge. The spine of the town is Parkway, a central mall or scenic parkway, almost a mile long.

Older houses are on the west side of Parkway and newer houses on the east side.

Howard and Sir Frederic Osborn (who helped him create WGC) wanted people to enjoy working and living within easy reach of the countryside and have their own garden and open space.

Official Birthday

These figures are still recognised in WGC through place names.

The town's shopping centre, opened in 1990 is called the Howard Centre and there is a Sir Frederic Osborn School in Herns Lane.

There is a memorial garden in WGC for the town's designer, architect Louis de Soissons.

Over the decades Welwyn Garden City has grown in population and size. The town has accommodated the modern way of life introducing more houses, shops, schools, a hospital and sports centre, golf courses and an airfield.

The town's official birthday is on Thursday 29 April 2010, as the date marks the birth of the Welwyn Garden City Company.WGC's birthday.

The shopping centre in WGC named after Howard.
The Howard shopping centre.

Local groups and individuals have been asked by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council to come up with ideas of how to celebrate WGC's birthday.

The people with the best idea will be awarded money to put on their event.

The council has £10,000 to give towards the celebrations.

To apply go to the council office reception or visit

All applications must be received by 14 May 2010.

Other events taking place over the year to mark the anniversary include a fun day on 5 June and two museum exhibits on the history of WGC and a typical room from 1920 will be on display.

Postcards and prints of Charles Paine images from 1920 and a town trail walking map will be available.

Commemorative hand-carved benches will also be put in Sherrardspark wood.




SEE ALSO
Herts wind surfing competition
10 Mar 10 |  Things to do
Old book still shaping our world
18 Feb 10 |  England
It's a Pokemon world record!
21 Jan 10 |  People & Places
First garden city park gets 1.8m
15 Oct 09 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific