Plans afoot to mark 100 years of Welwyn Garden City

Dennis Lewis at the Coronation fountain

Dennis Lewis at the Coronation fountain - Credit: Archant

It may be six years off, but discussions about how best to mark Welwyn Garden City’s centenery have already kicked off.

A brain-storming session was organised by the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) last week.

Many of the Garden City’s ‘great and the good’ went along to the Friends Meeting House in Handside Lane to air their views.

Among many organisations represented were the Welwyn Garden City Society, Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust, the Town Centre Partnership, Barn Theatre, various charities, the museums service, along with many town-based clubs including the literary society, horticultural society and photographic club,

Also present were Welwyn Hatfield Times editor Terry Mitchinson and Welwyn Hatfield mayor, councillor Howard Morgan.

The meeting was chaired by Fiona Mannion, head of the TCPA’s external affairs department.

She said the main aim of the gathering was to decide if six years was the right lead-in time to organise centenary celebrations and if it was, what would be the best way to start the ball rolling.

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Town stalwart Dr Dennis Lewis gave a presentation about celebrations which marked the golden, 75th and 90th birthdays, all of which he was closely involved in helping to organise.

Graeme Bell OBE, a vice president of the TCPA – originally the Garden Cities Association founded by Sir Ebenezer Howard – then spoke of “lessons learned” from the Letchworth centenery.

Dr Lewis said: “Our thanks must go to the TCPA and to the people present representing nearly 40 local organisations.

“It was the general view that we should go ahead and involve as many Garden Citizens as possible.

“This will be a unique opportunity for us to put WGC on the map, and to show that Ebenezer Howard’s ideas worked, and have been very influential in the development of quality town and country planning worldwide.

“WGC is a town to be proud of. Let’s display that pride in telling the world, Ebenezer got it right!”

It was agreed planning for the centenary in 2020 should begin now and that a ‘delivery team’ be set up.