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A HISTORY OF HERTFORDSHIRE

A cover picture from the North Mymms Local History Society video
A cover picture from the North Mymms Local History Society video

Note: The following information is reproduced exactly as it appeared on the sleeve notes for A History of Hertfordshire, produced by the North Mymms Local History Society.

A SOCIAL HISTORY of an ENGLISH COUNTY

Running time: 45 minutes

Age Range: Upper Primary, Secondary & Further Education

INTRODUCTION

The people of Hertfordshire are seen from Roman times to the present day against the ever changing background.

The running time of 45 minutes is long for the average lesson but particular periods or events can easily be selected by running to the starting time given in these notes.

Times are calculated from the appearance of the first title on the screen. Should it be desired to omit earlier centuries and deal only with Victorian times to the present day the video may be run to 24 minutes 20 seconds from the start, the picture of the young Queen Victoria and her Consort, Albert.

From here to the end provides a social history covering most of the 19th and 20th centuries, showing the changing life styles, the influences of the two world wars, the coming of the age of the motorcar and the mechanization of farming, new towns, motorways and the spread of industry. The running time of this section is approximately 20 minutes.

SUMMARY OF CONTENTS

0.25 MODERN HERTFORDSHIRE: factories and motorways. Beneath the A1M are the remains of the BATHS OF A ROMAN VILLA, near WELWYN.

1.20 VERULAMIUM: the remains of the city walls, followed by the hypocaust and mosaic floor of a Roman dwelling.

1.50 ROMAN CITIZENS appear in a reconstruction of LIFE IN A ROMAN VILLA including a teacher giving lessons to the son of the family.

2.15 VARIOUS SCENES OF VERULAMIUM as it was: the Forum, gates, theatre etc.

3.50 THE MAGISTRATE IS SEEN IN A RECONSTRUCTION addressing the citizens. From Rome a decree has been received, ordering the suppression of the Christian, religion and a return to the worship of the ancient gods of Rome. One man resists and is led away to execution. His name is Alban. (A.D.303. Emperor: Diocletian)

4.55 THE ROMAN ARMY LEAVES BRITAIN to defend the Empire. (AD 410) ROMAN ROADS AND TOWNS IN DISREPAIR, forests cover much of Hertfordshire. SAXONS and later DANES invade and take up residence in the county.

5.50 THE BATTLE OF HASTINGS leaves the Saxon Harold dead and William of Normandy the conqueror. He comes to ...

6.10 BERKHAMSTED to receive the submission of EDWIN AND MORCAR, the leaders of the defeated Saxons. (A.D.1066) MOTTE AND BAILLIE CASTLES are followed by PERMANENT CASTLES (Hertford).

7.00 CHURCHES ARE BUILT, among then a great new church for St.ALBANS abbey. INSIDE MEDIEVAL MONKS AND PILGRIMS gather round Alban's shrine while the monks sing a Gregorian chant. The GREAT GATEWAY, now part of St. Albans School and scene of an attack during the Peasant's Revolt. The plague known as the ...

8.30 BLACK DEATH breaks out, leaving villages in ruins. THE WARS OF THE ROSES begin, the first battle is fought in St.Albans. THE MEMORIAL TO THE BATTLE OF BARNET is followed by a reconstruction of the battle, commencing in the misty dawn of Easter Sunday 1471.

9.35 MEDIEVAL PEASANTS CELEBRATE A HOLY DAY. They dance to the sound of the pipe and tabor and watch the conjurer and other attractions.

10.25 HATFIELD OLD PALACE, one of the first brick buildings since Roman times. PORTRAITS OF PRINCESS MARY and PRINCESS ELIZABETH who lived there. ELIZABETH becomes queen. Her portrait is followed by figures in Hatfield church of ladies dressed in Elizabethan fashions. A reconstruction shows Elizabeth being entertained by boys of St. Albans school when she returned to Hertfordshire to visit Sir Nicholas and Lady Bacon who came to greet her. (1572)

11.30 TUDOR HOUSES IN HERTFORDSHIRE display the characteristic timer styles. IN THE VILLAGE OF THERFIELD one of the four beacons is still preserved, and the BEACON MASTER'S HOUSE. The beacon is seen alight to warn of the approach of the Spanish Armada and give the signal for the Muster-master to call to arms the able-bodied men listed in the Muster Roll.

12:2.35 A PORTRAIT OF JAMES I of ENGLAND and VI OF SCOTLAND. On coming to the throne he inherited HATFIELD PALACE. But he preferred THEOBALDS, owned by Robert Cecil and proposed an exchange. HATFIELD HOUSE was built by Robert Cecil after pulling down part of the old Palace. Interiors of Hatfield House are shown including the KING JAMES DRAWING ROOM and the LONG GALLERY

13.15 THE SOURCE of the NEW RIVER which was constructed by SIR HUGH MYDDELTON is seen with the GAUGE HOUSE which later controls water that is drawn from the nearby River Lea to make up for the drying up of one of the two springs that at first supplied clean drinking water for the City of London.

14.15 PURITANS, ANGLICAN PARSONS, CHARLES THE FIRST and ROUNDHEAD SOLDIERS are shown in a reconstructed sequence introducing the civil war.

15.00 SIR THOMAS CONINGSBY, High Sherrif and a supporter of the King comes to raise volunteers but is interrupted by the arrival of Cromwell and his Roundheads. (1643)

15.20 GUBBINS, a fine house in North Mymms, was one of many large mansions built in Hertfordshire after the restoration of the monarchy.

16.00 A typical Georgian house (Gosmore) introduces a reconstructed sequence showing the elegance of the Georgian era, the era of the horse, the "age of elegance".

16.55 A reconstruction of a GEORGIAN ELECTION (St. Albans 1722).

17.40 A FARMING SEQUENCE follows, oxen pulling a wooden plough and the new inventions of the seed drill, threshing, winnowing and chaff-cutting machines.

18.26 THE BAD ROADS lead to the development of canals, including the GRAND UNION in Hertfordshire and the working of a lock. The enclosure of the commons. Landowners hold a meeting which leads to the enclosure of the common at Weston. HORSES AND CARRIAGES and the improvement of roads, TOLLS and the TURNPIKE TRUST. STAGE COACHES speed up travel.

22.05 A WINDMILL and a WATER MILL. Mill Green Mill at Hatfield produces flour, the staff, farmer and a housewife appear in the costume of the 18th century.

24.20 THE VICTORIAN ERA COMES TO HERTFORDSHIRE. The first railways arrive. Embankments, cuttings, Digswell viaduct, tunnels - stations and a ride on the footplate of a steam loco.

25.10 HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGES are reduced to waiting at the stations. TERRACED AND SEMI-DETACHED HOUSES become the fashion. A Victorian family take tea waited on by their parlour maid.

26.25 FARMING IS STILL HERTFORDSHIRE'S BIGGEST INDUSTRY, Everyone helps with the haymaking. Horses provide the motive power. Then STEAM engines appear and drive the threshing machines.

27.15 A STRAW-PLAITER AT WORK, a widespread cottage industry.

28.25 PAPER MILLS by the canal in King's Langley and Watford and large printing works introduce the age of factories.

29.00 A PORTRAIT OF EBENEZER HOWARD introduces Letchworth, the first "garden city" and its amenities.

29.50 EARLY CARS (1907) on dusty roads are the forerunners of the motor-car age. A puncture in those days was a serious matter.

31.30 WORLD WAR I, Soldiers march through WATFORD. The memorial at Cuffley introduces the shooting down of the first German airship by Capt. Leefe Robinson and a second airship over POTTERS, both in 1916.

31.50 AFTER THE WAR, HOUSES TOOK ON A NEW STYLE. The second garden city, WELWYN GARDEN CITY, was built.

32.40 The BBC RADIO TRANSMITTER at Brookmans Park, the first to transmit two programmes simultaneously from the same place.

32.55 EARLY HERTFORD CINEMAS, the arrival of sound, Elstree becomes the British Hollywood. An extract from BLACKMAIL, the first British talkie, scenes in the studios, super-cinemas.

36.10 The "new" COUNTY HALL is built at Hertford in 1939.

36.25 WORLD WAR II, EVACUEE CHILDREN arriving at WELWYN GARDEN (3rd Sep.39) CITY, RATION CARDS, AIR-RAID SHELTER, RAF CREWS AND PLANES of 85 SQUADRON at HUNSDEN AIRFIELD.

30.50 SEQUENCE ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE MOSQUITO WARPLANE, designed at SALISBURY HALL and THEN SEEN FLYING. NORTH MYMMS HALL, hone of County's Lieutenant, a war hospital. St. AUDREY'S SCHOOOL HATFIELD BOMBED. BOMB CRATER and NOSE CONE of a GERMAN FLYING BOMB. CROWD ON VE Day, the war is ever. WAR MEMORIAL

38.50 TRACTORS have taken over from the horse on Hertford farms. They draw various implements, following a COMBINE HARVESTER.

39.40 STEVENAGE NEW TOWN, the first of many. Construction and town today.

40.50 CHILDREN, result of the post war "baby-boom". Herts. County design NEW STYLE SCHOOLS, prefab, frames and glass.

41.30 THE FIRST "COMET" EMERGES FROM THE HANGER AT DE HAVILLANDS and takes off on its test flight -- the world's first jet air-liner, built in Hertfordshire.

42.00 COUNTY HALL, celebrations are taking place to mark one hundred years since the modern administration took over from the parish councils. The chairman unveils two new HART sculptures.

42.35 A MOTORWAY IN THE COUNTY followed by MODERN FACTORIES, the county today, its businesses facing keen world competition. AN AIRCRAFT IS FLYING, it is one of BRITISH AEROSPACE'S new products which is being sold to airlines worldwide.

43.00 A GROUP OF SCHOOL-CHILDREN APPROACH THE CAMERA. In their hands we leave the task of keeping the County in the forefront of progress and preserving its green and pleasant countryside for future generations to enjoy.

44.00 SOME SCENES 0F HERTFORDSHIRE COUNTRYSIDE concludes the film.

END

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

H.M. the Queen: The Royal Collection
BRITISH AEROSPACE
CATHEDRAL & ABBEY CHURCH of St. ALBANS
THE COMPANY OF TEN
HERTFORDSHIRE AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE
HERTFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
LADYBIRD BOOKS
LETCHWORTH HERITAGE MUSEUM
THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
MILL GREEN MUSEUM & MILL
MOSQUITO AIRCRAFT MUSEUM
NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
NORTH HERTS. VILLAGE RESEARCH GROUP
PITSTONE LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY
POTTERS BAR HISTORICAL SOCIETY
THE SALVATION ARMY
St. ALBANS MILLENARY PAGEANT
STEVENAGE MUSEUM
STRAW-PLAITER : VERONICA MAIN
THAMES WATER : New River Company
VERULAIUM MUSEUM
WATFORD MUSEUM
WELWYN ROMAN BATHS
WEINTRAUB SCREEN ENTERTAINMENTS

Written & Edited by HUGH BADDELEY FRPS MBKS Modern Scenes and Reconstructions photographed by HUGH BADDELEY and BRIAN LANGLEY BSC ARPS.

Narration spoken by JOHN BRABAN

Produced for the NORTH MYMMS LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY by HUGH BADDELEY PRODUCTIONS, BROOKMANS PARK, HERTFORDSHIRE.

You can discuss this issue in this site’s forum.

15 April 2006


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