Ten-year challenge: see how Welwyn Hatfield has transformed
- Credit: Google Streeview
The Welwyn Hatfield Times has bit the bullet and given in to the ‘ten year challenge’ social media trend to see what a difference a decade makes in the life of the borough.
On each image below you can see the changes to eight different landmarks by moving the image slider left and right.
We’ve looked at Hatfield Station, the site of the former QEII hospital, the former Shredded Wheat factory, Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School, Queensway House, Woodhall shops, the ‘boat’ roundabout, and Howardsgate.
Whether the changes are for the better or for worse is still a matter of debate in some cases.
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Ten years ago any visitor to Hatfield may have been slightly underwhelmed by the station.
But in 2012, plans were given the go-ahead for a £9million refurbishment, including a remodelled station building, a new car park, bus interchange, and pedestrian footbridge.
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Now the spruced-up station’s appearance befits its place opposite the imposing entrance to Hatfield House.
The Stanborough boat roundabout
Some public art, like the Angel of the North, or Hatfield’s Pearl statue, embed themselves in our hearts and minds.
Others, like the boat slowly dilapidating on the Stanborough roundabout since 2007, don’t.
All the same, it looked a lot better in 2008 compared to today - despite having had a £6,000 refurbishment just two years ago.
The QEII Hospital
Built in 1963, the QEII was appropriately enough opened by HM the Queen on July 22.
READ MORE: Welwyn Garden City’s QEII Hospital rememberedHowever in a move that still rankles with many today, the building was closed in 2014 and replaced, and key services, including inpatient services, were relocated to Stevenage’s Lister Hospital in 2013.
Former Shredded Wheat factory
One of Welwyn Garden City’s most beloved icons, the 1920s factory site is now being developed as the Wheat Quarter, a series of 1,454 homes and retail units.
Demolition of some of the buildings on the site began in 2018, including 27 of the massive silos.
Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School
In 2017, pupils were thrilled by their modern new school building.
It replaced a decades-old building and boasts modern science and IT labs, a new sports hall and studio, drama and music rooms, as well as various social and recess areas.
Headteacher Theodora Nickson said at the time: “We consider ourselves very fortunate to have such a wonderful learning environment for our pupils.”
The 1962 high rise was built by Hatfield Development Corporation as part of the post-war New Towns initiative.
It was given a facelift in 2012, and in our image slider you can see it pre-and post-new cladding.
The work continues, as in 2015 the building’s fire safety measures were deemed to pose a “serious risk” to residents, prompting numerous improvements that are still being completed.
One of the oldest shops at the curved arcade on Cole Green Lane, Woodhall Stores, was opened in 1938.
That’s now long gone - and so is the Somerfield pictured, now replaced by a Co-op.
The area has sadly seen an increase in antisocial behaviour in recent months.
Many shops have come and gone on Welwyn Garden City’s Howardsgate, and we’re still avidly awaiting news on what the old post office will become.
Ten years ago, the CEX game shop was Cube, a clothing shop, and McColl’s was Martin’s newsagent.
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