Postcards open window onto St Albans’ and Harpenden’s past

PUBLISHED: 13:19 08 December 2017

St Stephen's Church, St Albans. Photo: Ronnie Giles.

St Stephen's Church, St Albans. Photo: Ronnie Giles.

Archant

A selection of postcards have opened a fascinating window onto St Albans and Harpenden history.

The Heath Works fire, dated 1911. Photo: Ronnie Giles. The Heath Works fire, dated 1911. Photo: Ronnie Giles.

Ronnie Giles, from Sandridge, allowed us to print the cards, as well as a leaflet featuring the now-defunct Herts Advertiser football team.

Mr Giles said: “They are from my nan’s house on Holywell Hill.

“Hers was probably one of the last homes that was all gas.”

One of the postcards, dated ‘Feb 16th 1911’ shows the Heath Works fire.

St John's Church, Harpenden. Photo: Ronnie Giles. St John's Church, Harpenden. Photo: Ronnie Giles.

According to the Herts Memories website, the fire engulfed a candle factory on Harpenden Road in Bernards Heath belonging to Wiles & Lewis’s Tallow Works.

The factory was rebuilt, but the company eventually closed in the 1960s.

The football leaflet was for a St Albans Industrial Sunday Football League fixture between Ballito F-F and Herts Advertiser’s 12-man team at Ballito’s ground on Hatfield Road.

St Albans cathedral. Photo: Ronnie Giles. St Albans cathedral. Photo: Ronnie Giles.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. Photo: Ronnie Giles. Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. Photo: Ronnie Giles.

Harpenden Road, St Albans. Photo: Ronnie Giles. Harpenden Road, St Albans. Photo: Ronnie Giles.

Hemel Hempstead high street. Photo: Ronnie Giles. Hemel Hempstead high street. Photo: Ronnie Giles.

Page 1 of the St Albans Industrial League programme featuring the Herts Advertiser team. Photo: Ronnie Giles. Page 1 of the St Albans Industrial League programme featuring the Herts Advertiser team. Photo: Ronnie Giles.

Page 2 of the St Albans Industrial League programme featuring the Herts Advertiser team. Photo: Ronnie Giles. Page 2 of the St Albans Industrial League programme featuring the Herts Advertiser team. Photo: Ronnie Giles.

Page 3 of the St Albans Industrial League programme featuring the Herts Advertiser team. Photo: Ronnie Giles. Page 3 of the St Albans Industrial League programme featuring the Herts Advertiser team. Photo: Ronnie Giles.

Page 4 of the St Albans Industrial League programme featuring the Herts Advertiser team. Photo: Ronnie Giles. Page 4 of the St Albans Industrial League programme featuring the Herts Advertiser team. Photo: Ronnie Giles.

Page 5 of the St Albans Industrial League programme featuring the Herts Advertiser team. Photo: Ronnie Giles. Page 5 of the St Albans Industrial League programme featuring the Herts Advertiser team. Photo: Ronnie Giles.

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One of my favourite summer activities as a child was pond-dipping. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a house with a fairly large pond in the garden and so my pond-dipping activities often extended over days and weren’t as much dipping as a thorough exploration of the life in the pond.

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