Photo triggers memories of Old Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 09:44 19 October 2015 | UPDATED: 09:51 19 October 2015

Audrey Parsons with the Welwyn Hatfield Times that had a picture showing her old house and her painting showing St Etheldreda's Church and Jacob's Ladder

Audrey Parsons with the Welwyn Hatfield Times that had a picture showing her old house and her painting showing St Etheldreda's Church and Jacob's Ladder

Archant

A photograph in the Welwyn Hatfield Times sparked poignant memories for one reader as it showed the house she was born in - no less than 87 years ago.

Audrey Parsons' painting showing St Etheldreda's Church and Jacob's LadderAudrey Parsons' painting showing St Etheldreda's Church and Jacob's Ladder

Audrey Parsons , now living in Longmead, was born in Hatfield’s original Salisbury Square in 1928, and remembers the newly restored steps known as Jacob’s Ladder vividly.

She told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “When I opened the paper, I could not believe it.

“That street light used to shine straight into my mother’s bedroom. She used to say she did not need a light.

“I used to go up the steps every day to school.”

Audrey and her husband lived in the house with her parents after their marriage, but later moved to the Longmead flat she has never left.

One of her most treasured possessions is a painting of the square, showing her father Eddie Norton speaking to two neighbours -including one she remembers clearly as Mrs Warner

She can even remember seeing the artist, Beresford Johnson, at work in Salisbury Square over two or three days in the late 1940s.

She said: “He worked for de Havilland, and he used to paint all the pubs.”

Her husband bought the painting for three pounds and five shillings at an exhibition at the de Havilland aircraft factory, roughly at the time of their wedding in 1949.

Audrey’s father died in 1965, but her mother Florence Norton was still living in Salisbury Square when it was demolished in about 1970.

Audrey remembers: “There were a lot of elderly people there, and no-one wanted to move.”

Her husband Jim Parsons, who also worked at de Havilland, died in March at 93.


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