Year in review 2021: April, May and June

Ebenezer Howard

The new statue of Ebenezer Howard with artist Ben Twiston-Davies - Credit: WGC100

As we moved into April, spring was in full swing and lockdown measure were starting to ease. 

As part of the pilot events to ensure the safe return of mass gatherings as COVID-19 restrictions, Hatfield House was chosen to host 10k races later in the month, while April 12 saw non-essential retail reopen. 

We also remembered the life of Prince Philip and his many visits to Welwyn Hatfield, after the Duke of Edinburgh passed away at the age of 99. 

Ebenezer Howard, founder of Welwyn Garden City, was honoured with a bronze statue in Howardsgate.

Ebenezer Howard statue

Ebenezer Howard was honoured with a new statue. - Credit: Stuart Carnegie

Founder of the Garden City movement, Howard was responsible for establishing the world’s first two garden cities, Letchworth Garden City in 1903 and our own Welwyn Garden City in 1920. 

“My design shows Howard pressing forwards, giving a rousing speech before digging the first spadesful of earth of the garden city. He was a modest and a shy man, but also a visionary, altruistic and concerned for people’s wellbeing. I hope I have done him justice,” said designer Ben Twiston-Davies 

Ebenezer Howard's great granddaughter, Ursula Howard, added: “I am thrilled to see this wonderful representation of my great grandfather. Ebenezer was known by his family as Ben and it’s fitting that his sculpture should have been produced by another Ben! Our family feel honoured that a century on, people will see the man behind the plan.” 

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May began with the news that a 24-year-old man had been found guilty of murdering Cameron Hill in Hatfield.

Cameron Hill, aged 23, was fatally stabbed in the early hours of Monday morning at a block of flats

Cameron Hill. - Credit: Herts Police

Najiib Hasan was found guilty at Cambridge Crown Court, while Christy Bishop, Nicholas Pitts and Nickell Moore  were all found guilty of manslaughter. 

The court heard that Bishop had been persuaded by a group of men to lure Cameron to her flat on the promise that that they would give her free drugs. 

Cameron arrived at her flat where the group – who were all involved in drug trafficking – were waiting to ambush him. 

The month brought good news for bars and restaurants, as easing lockdown restrictions allowed them to finally reopen their doors. 

Elsewhere, students at Dame Alice Owens school in Potters Bar took a stand against a lack of action over racist comments by fellow pupils. 

More than 800 students walked out of lessons in protest, with children and parents reporting a number of incidents in which racist language or graffiti was used by students.

Dame Alice Owens racism protests

More than 800 students walked out in protest of racism at Dame Alice Owens. - Credit: Supplied

“I think the protests helped the school take on board some of the problems they have to deal with,” said a parent, who asked to remain anonymous. 

“I think it’s amazing they all came out and did it. There was no trouble at all and they got their opinions across in the right way. I think the protest has made a difference because 800-odd children stood outside and made their voices heard. 

“The children have said enough is enough and using this language is not acceptable. 

“Individual teachers supported what the children did, but that isn’t going to change anything. I hope the school listens and the senior leadership team needs to be held to account, but I’m really worried they won’t be.” 

June saw Cameron Hill’s killers sentenced to more than 50 years in prison, while the Independent Office for Police Conduct launched an investigation into the death of Christie Frewin. 

Elsewhere, Freedom Day on July 19 was delayed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson following the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. 

One Hatfield resident was in luck though, as he won a brand-new car and £30,000. 

Elis Woodford won a top of the range Audi TT-RS - worth more than £55,000 - and the cash prize thanks to the BOTB lottery, having spent just £1.80 on his ticket.

 

The cover of Route 66, Woody & Kleiny's single with The Hoosiers. 

Woody, Kleiny and The Hoosiers released Route 66 ahead of the Euros - Credit: Woody & Kleiny / The Hoosiers

As the nation got ready for Euro 2020 and football finally coming home, YouTube stars Woody & Kleiny released a single ahead of the tournament to raise money for mental health charity CALM. 

Working alongside The Hoosiers, the Welwyn Garden City pair released Route 66, with Woody saying: "It's been something that we've always wanted to do more on.

"We have got an opportunity, with you guys, to have an amazing, powerful impact." 

Kleiny added: "Proceeds go to the amazing charity CALM who do such an amazing job, and we're just really proud to be a part of this project. Especially after the year we've had, it just felt the right time to do this song.”

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