Area Guide: New Greens - home to the St Albans Amateur Boxing Association and the St Albans Centurions
- Credit: Archant
New Greens is a small area within St Albans, mostly residential but peppered with a few amenities, sports societies and a healthy residents’ association.
The parade of shops in New Greens comprises of a handy Co-Operative and news agents, for your quick grocery dash and your daily paper. Also there you’ll find Funzone Fancy-Dress & Danceware (for all your party costume needs!) and Black Iris Flowers. This florist prides itself on its long and dedicated history in all aspects of floral design, and supply a varied range of gifts or gift vouchers in addition to seasonal English flowers, traditional bouquets or exotic tropical arrangements. They also stock a range designed in conjunction with renowned fashion label Vera Wang. Airport Cars, a popular taxi company to/from the nearby airports, are also based in this suburb.
Also on this little parade is a Simmons Bakery, renowned as a Herts-grown baked goods business that originated in 1838 in the first year of Queen Victoria’s reign. Founded by Eliza Simmons, her baking know-how was passed on through the generations in this county. More bakeries followed, and her descendants kept the business going strong through the 20th century.
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Family members still run the business from Simmons’ Hatfield with bakeries around the area, including this one in New Greens.
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There are two schools here. Margaret Wix Primary School currently has 238 pupils in attendance, ages 3-11 years old. There are 9 classes which includes a morning nursery, all named after types of butterfly which links to the school badge. The school prides itself on its family feel and team of dedicated staff who “work together to make learning fun and purposeful”. The learning environment, both indoors and outdoors, is well equipped and provides ample opportunities for children to learn and develop new skills. The school has just had a new Food Technology room installed. Townsend Church of England School offers a long tradition of high quality education. The school is open to everyone and is not strict about attendees being church-goers. Their ethos is that children learn best when they are happy; all students are valued as individuals and are encouraged to flourish in a community that lives by values of compassion. They say: “We uphold the traditional values of good manners and hard work and have high expectations of all our students. Our teaching encourages independent learning and provides students with those skills and qualities which they need to take them through the 21st century.”
The school is historic too, tracing back to 1930. Originally there were no grounds staff so the pupils maintained the upkeep of the school - the boys worked during their gardening lessons and the girls spent their dinner hours taming the rough clay and creating a rockery, flower borders and a rose bed. Despite going from strength to strength (and surviving the war) the school nearly shut down in the 80s. The community spirit kept it going and after a vigorous campaign the schools future was secured in 1991. It has since received awards such as the Charter Mark, Sports Mark and Arts Mark as well as the Eco Schools Award and Humanities recognition. They have since installed new structures in the form of a Sixth Form building and Technology Centre.
New Greens’ church aspires “to be an all-age community, on a shared journey of faith, making the edge the centre.” On elaboration, this means that they are a mix of all ages in order to create a particular type of community. They say “in an era of fractured and dysfunctional relationships we want to be distinctive giving light and hope to all we are in contact with”. Their core values are to be generous in all things (living together out of the desire to give and serve), turning crises into opportunity (not to become discouraged, disillusioned or sceptical), to champion individual and corporate prayer and encouragement towards acts of service.
The St Albans Centurions
This is a community based amateur Rugby League club from St Albans. The clubhouse is on Toulmin Drive, along from the Sports Ground which is where the Cents train. The 2015 season is now over, but the registration evening for the 2016 open age players (First Team & Development) will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 3rd February 2016. Signing on costs £85. Training subsequently takes place every Wednesday at 7pm with Senior and Development sides training together. New players are always welcome.
The St Albans and London Colney ABA
The St Albans ABA is a premier local boxing club that offers classes for all age groups and is based in New Greens. The trainers pride themselves on their motivational instruction and will train you the basics of boxing so that it essentially becomes your art. It’s open to people of all boxing abilities and the association welcome curious aspiring boxers to pop down and observe, in order to get a feel for it.
They offer a free introductory session for juniors (10-21 year olds) on Sunday mornings from 10am-noon. From then on the cost for this age range for the two hour session is just £3 per session. Juniors are also welcome at other sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7pm-9pm, with the Wednesday session also focusing on juniors.