Welwyn Hatfield newspapers feature in online Jubilee exhibition

The Queen's visit to QEII hospital in 1963 from the Welwyn Times and Hatfield Herald.

The Queen's visit to QEII hospital in 1963 from the Welwyn Times and Hatfield Herald. - Credit: Archant, Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

Archive images from the predecessor to the Welwyn Hatfield Times and its sister paper feature in an online exhibition commemorating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

The project has been devised by Herts Memories to encourage members of the public to submit their own memories of the Coronation, past jubilees, or previous visits of the Queen to Hertfordshire.

It includes pages from the now defunct the Welwyn and Hatfield Advertiser, and the Welwyn Times and Hatfield Herald from 1963 showing the Queen’s visit to the QEII hospital.

QEII Hospital patients meet the Queen in this page from the Welwyn Times and Hatfield Herald.

QEII Hospital patients meet the Queen in this page from the Welwyn Times and Hatfield Herald. - Credit: Archant, Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

One of the first submissions was by resident John Richies, who recalled: "It must have been Thursday 7th February 1952 when Mr Cheney our headmaster at Bromley County Grammar School for Boys told us that the King had died and that Elizabeth his daughter was to be proclaimed Queen.

"We had a lot of affection for King George VI as he had led our country during the recent World War when so many of our local people; including school friends; had been killed. My best school mate Ian Roberts and I decided that the following day we would skip our Lower Sixth lessons and go to the Proclamation of our new Queen at St James’ Palace in London.

"We arrived at St James’ Palace where there was a large crowd waiting. I can’t remember much about the ceremony but we travelled back home pleased that we had witnessed such an historic occasion. That was the beginning of our Queen’s historic reign. Sadly just over two years later my friend Ian was killed whilst we were both serving with the Royal Artillery."

Showcasing the Queen's visit to the QEII Hospital in the Welwyn Hatfield Advertiser of July 26 1963.

Showcasing the Queen's visit to the QEII Hospital in the Welwyn Hatfield Advertiser of July 26 1963. - Credit: Archant, Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

Queen Elizabeth II’s own personal connections to the county arose from her mother’s birth and childhood in St Paul’s Walden. She has often come to visit in an unofficial capacity, meeting her relatives the Bowes-Lyons and friends such as the Cecils of Hatfield House.

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The team at Herts Memories are also creating a physical exhibition with printed panels which will be on display in the foyer of Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies throughout June, but it will also be touring the county – most notably on the Jubilee day itself, June 2, when it will be displayed at Hertford Castle during the event.

There will also be images from their archive projected on the side of the castle.

You can see the online exhibition and add your memories at https://tinyurl.com/2dmazyaz