Welwyn Garden City’s ethos still strong, 90 years on

IN the spring of 1920, urban planner Sir Ebenezer Howard embarked on one of the biggest challenges of his life – the construction of a town designed for healthy living.

He had already built the first Garden City some 20 miles up the road at Letchworth.

Now it was our turn; and on May 30, Welwyn Garden City will be 90 years old.

Over the years, the town has changed much but, thanks to a small number of volunteers, the Garden City ethos remains alive and well to this very day.

Plans for a celebration to mark the 90th anniversary are now underway and both the Welwyn Garden City Society and the Welwyn Garden Heritage Trust have agreed to work together to make it an occasion to remember.


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Dr Dennis Lewis, who sits on the society’s executive committee, is hoping that the event will be as well-received as WGC’s Golden Jubilee in 1970, when the Queen Mother visited the town.

He told the WHT: “WGC is internationally known as a unique example of excellent town planning.

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“It was well before its time and the principles of town planning and green environment have had a lot of influence on the subsequent planning of towns.”

He added: “It is very important that we should mark the 90th anniversary and also start to make plans for the centenary in 2020.”

Dr Lewis said he is also keen to hear suggestions from readers as to how the town could mark its 90th anniversary.

Call him on 01707 324048 or email dennis.lewis@tiscali.co.uk

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