Welwyn Garden City Centenary: Carnival among plans to celebrate milestone

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:43 27 July 2018

WGC Centenary was launched at Brocket Hall. 
Picture: Joan Jellett/www.joanjellett.com

WGC Centenary was launched at Brocket Hall. Picture: Joan Jellett/www.joanjellett.com

Joan Jellett photography http://www.joanjellett.com

The stately home of Brocket Hall provided the magnificent setting for Lord Salisbury to host a reception to launch the Welwyn Garden City Centenary to supporters of the town.

WGC Centenary was launched at Brocket Hall. 
Picture: Joan Jellett/www.joanjellett.comWGC Centenary was launched at Brocket Hall. Picture: Joan Jellett/www.joanjellett.com

The purpose of the event was to showcase 14 events planned for 2020 to celebrate 100 years of WGC.

Attendees included the Lord Lieutenant for Hertfordshire, Robert Voss, and two Chelsea Pensioners.

Guests were invited to support the Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation (WGCCF), a registered charity, established to steer the programme of events to fruition as it seeks to raise funding and sponsorship of over £1million.

Driven by the community, some events are one-offs, while others are more enduring and will raise the profile of WGC on the national and international stage.

Lord and Lady Salisbury with Michael Longshaw at Brocket Hall during the Welwyn Garden City Centenary launch event. 
Picture: Joan Jellett Photography/www.joanjellett.comLord and Lady Salisbury with Michael Longshaw at Brocket Hall during the Welwyn Garden City Centenary launch event. Picture: Joan Jellett Photography/www.joanjellett.com

Events include a Centenary Garden entry to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the restoration of The Dell in Sherrardspark Wood as a place accessible for all, which can be enjoyed once more for community activities.

The first production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream took place in 1925 at The Dell.

A carnival is planned for July 11 2020.

Also in the pipeline is an art and sculpture exhibition and a royal visit.

Another project that is underway is the ‘City of Trees’.

WGC has more than 19,000 trees and information is being collated about them and will be used to produce a series of walks.

WGCCF is also considering having a centenary beacon which could burn on the Campus like an Olympic flame to signal the start and finish of the centenary year.

In addition to the above events, many more projects are being organised by community groups, businesses, schools, the local authority and residents.

Lord Salisbury, as patron of the WGCCF, thanked Brocket Hall for the hospitality.

A WGCCF spokesman said: “He was very pleased to have been asked to be the patron of the foundation, most particularly since his grandfather was very involved with enabling Ebenezer Howard to realise his vision by making further land available to the WGC Company -a vision with which he still strongly agreed with.”

WGCCF chairman Peter Waine said: “We are proudly celebrating the first one hundred years, reflecting on our legacy on town planning worldwide but in so doing we must not be complacent especially as many have interpreted a Garden City as little more than a mundane urban sprawl.

“Welwyn Garden has shown that by seeking the best of town and country, we need not sacrifice precious green fields and the Green Belt.”

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