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1920's   -  This comment on the 1920's appeared in "Hertfordshire Within Living Memory ":
"Wash day was hard work in our early. The copper was built into the corner of the scullery and had to be kept on the boil with wood and coal shovelled onto the fire beneath.  In some houses in Leverstock Green the water had to be pumped up to fill the copper, which was also used to cook the Christmas puddings, which bounced about in the boiling water.  Steam was everywhere.  The old wooden-rollered hand mangle squeezed out the water and was used to flatten the sheets when dry and folded.

The kitchen range was the means of cooking and heating and was put to many uses.  It had to be blackleaded each week - not a popular task with the young women of the family.  The stove was usually draped with things to dry or warm, wet shoes steamed gently at the side, the kettle constantly hissed on the top, pots of stew bubbled away and the smell of baking in the oven wafted through the house." [ S25 p.74 - 75 ]

1920's - The Leverstock Green Cricket Club was known to have been in existence during this time, and there are records in 1926 of the Cricket Club playing matches in the field in Pancake Lane where the Football Club now is.   By the end of the 1920's the Club had moved to grounds off Cherry Tree Lane ( where the Buncefield oil depot can now be found.  [S102 ]

5th February 1920 -   The Leverstock Green School Log books records the following brief inscription:-

Special Entry.  Memorial unveiled 7.30pm.

I subsequently inaccurately interpreted this to mean that the village war memorial was unveiled at this time - only to find at a later date from an entry in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette that this in fact occurred on April 9th 1921.  The memorial mentioned in the log book must therefore have been referring to one put up in the school; but at that time there was no record to substantiate this.

Recently a photocopy of an undated and sourced newspaper article has come to hand which bears out this supposition and showing that a plaque was erected in the schoolhouse to those boys from the school who had lost their lives in the war.  It would be interesting to know what happened to the plaque after the schoolroom was demolished to make way for private housing it the sixties. 

As the article reproduced below did not appear in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette I assume it must have come from the Hertfordshire Advertiser in the week following February 5th 1920.


A beautiful memorial brass was dedicated on Thursday last to the boys of Leverstock Green School, who have fallen in the war.  On Thursday evening many people assembled in the large school room  The Vicar (Rev. Arthur Durrant) entered in his robes, and took his place near the tablet, which was then unveiled, and the inscription, which was as follows, was read aloud by him:- "To the glorious memory of the boys of this school, who fell in the Great War, 1914-1918.  The Righteous live for ever more and the care of them is with the Most High."  The names of the fallen inscribed on the tablet are:  Ben Briggs, Fred Cole, Fred Eames, Benj. Oakley, Harry Biswell, Jack Bisswell, Fred Charge, Bernard Wright, Fred Harrowell, Victor Perkins, George Goodenough, Fred Taylor, William Parkins, Herbert Wombwell, James Hallett, George Timson, George Brown, Arthur West,  Edwin Thirn, Harry Sears, Harry Woodward.   A short memorial service  followed, the psalms used being xxiii., xxvii., and the hymns, "They whose course on earth be o'er" and "For all the Saints who from their labours rest," were sung.  The vicar afterwards delivered the address in the course of which he said  "Almighty God speaks to us in ways that He chooses.  Tonight his message seems to be that all is well with God's children, and he asks us to trust Him.  here in this life, God calls His children in Holy Baptism, and then he sacrifices them, fitting, training and preparing them for closer presence to Himself.  In this sanctification there must be much we cannot understand, for God is eternal, infinitely wise, almighty and of infinite love.  He tells us that through much tribulation we enter into the glory of His Kingdom.  We know enough of God to trust Him in this  life.  This is the experience of the saints and of all who love God.  As  we get to know God we are led to trust God , and so we can trust into God's hands those whom He takes from us.  What shall we say to God tonight? We may say 'Gather us, O Lord under the feet of Thine elect, as Thou wilt and when Thou wilt, only with our sin and shame'.  God has gathered  to Himself those whose names are on this memorial brass, from the field of battle, where doing their duty, saving home and country by the supreme sacrifice of themselves.
The brass  has been erected through the kind help and assistance of Mr.. Ford (headmaster) and by subscriptions collected by Sergt. Thorn, F. Wilkins, and E.Woodwards and the schoolchildren themselves.  The names engraved are of those men who were educated in Leverstock Green school in their boyhood, two of whom finished their education there and the rest (19 in all) were brought up there from their youngest days.  The brass has been admirably executed.  It is mounted on oak, and the design and lettering are simple and bold.  It is certainly a piece of good and truly artistic work, such as one seldom meets with in a small country village.

Mr. Ford went on to record in the school log book for  16th Feb. 1920 that:-

" Mr. P. Webster (Manager) & Mr. Lyn Harding visited this morning re memorial".  

Mr.. Percy Webster lived at Sibleys Orchard, was a  London Goldsmith and a pillar of the church and Leverstock Green society; Mr.. Lyn Harding lived in Tile Kiln Lane and was an actor who at the time was receiving excellent notices for his performances in the London theatres.. [ S73, Gazette April 16th 1920, S115]

29th March to 25th May 1920 -whooping Cough was known to be virulent in the village, with many children absent from school initially, and the school being closed by the School Medical Officer from April 12th. [S73]

1st April 1920 - The records of Horn & Co, Undertakers from Marlowes show the following entry:
REF 274/Deceased: Parkins, Thomas
DATE OF DEATH: 1.4.1920
NOTE: He was 34 years old and the funeral took place at Leverstock Green on 6.4.1920
ADDRESS: The London Hospital, Whitechapel
[DCHT Undertaker's Records, Horn & Co  http://www.hertsmuseums.org.uk/dacorum/funindex.htm ]

19th April 1920     - This was the date on the deeds relating to "The Leverstock Green Parish Hall Trust".  This trust was an extension of that trust which had originally been set up on 18th February 1915 when land at the corner of Pancake Lane and Leverstock Green Road had been purchased for use as a parish room, with the intention of that time of creating a Memorial Hall for those killed during the Great War.  This 1920 Trust was an agreement between the then Vicar, the Rev. Arthur Durrant and various other worthies.  The Trust was managed by the Vicar and the Churchwardens at that time, and six other persons of repute living in Leverstock Green.

Eventually  an old army hut was set up on the site - see entry for 31st December 1920.  This building was used for just about everything: a meeting place, a public library, a clinic, meetings of local organisations including Brownies, Guides, Scouts etc..[ S75, S81 ]

Thursday 6th May 1920  - A sale of black pigs took place at Bennetts End House (Farm).  In the Gazette the week before had been a longish article extolling the virtues of the forthcoming sale and of the pigs themselves Click herre to view.:


Saturday 14th August 1920 - The Gazette featured both with an advert and a long article, a rather splendid Garden fete which took place that afternoon at Bennetts End Lodge (previously known as Orchard Lea) in Tile Kiln Lane.  The Garden fete was to include  a variety of entertainments including a play The Constant Lover  which had previously been performed in front of the King and Queen. :

The Garden Fete at Bennetts End Lodge today (Saturday) promises to be an exceptionally popular affair.  In addition to the many side shows and attractions the programme arranged by Mr. Lyn Harding  for the platform is of unusual strength, including as it does, Mr. Pope Stamper the tenor, Miss Catherine Nesbitt and Mr. Jack Hobbs both of whom are now are now appearing at the Ambassadors Theatre  London, and who will present the one-act play The Constant Lover which s delighted their Majesties at the recent fete at the Earl Hague's Garden Party; also Mr. Arthur Helmore the humorist . In addition to these great favourites are those who's names have been announced and will positively appear;-  Miss Renee Meyer the Wendy  of Peter Pan, Miss Sylvia Grimwood, Mrs. K. Pearson, Mr. Leslie Styles, Mr. Henderson Bland, Mr. E W Nicholls and Mr Lyn Harding.  Miss Jesse Winter and Mr. Austin Melford are unable to come along owing to their appearance twice daily at the Coliseum London.
It should be mentioned that refreshments will be on sale to visitors and that Mr. Ashley has given a pig as a prize in the greasy pole contest. 

(In aid of the Parish Hall Fund)
Miss Catherine Nesbitt and Mr. Jack Hobbs in
(as performed before their Majesties the King & Queen)
Mr. Pope Stamson (Tenor), Mr.. Arthur Helmore (humorist)
Miss Renee Meyer the Wendy  of Peter Pan, Miss Sylvia Grimwood,
Mrs. K. Pearson, Mr. Leslie Styles, Mr. Henderson Bland,
Mr. E Nicholls and Mr Lyn Harding
Dancing in the Evening to Mr.. & Miss Wall's Jazz Band
Gates open 3pm. Prices: (Reserved) 3/- (Unreserved) 2/-
including admission.  1/- after 5 o'clock

[Gazette  14th August 1920]

21st August 1920 -  The Gazette gave a lot of column  inches to the right-up on the previous Saturday's garden fete, which proved a great success, but not free from mishap:


With an array of talented artistes such as we have seldom witnessed before in the district, the enthusiastic promoters of the garden fete held on Saturday last at Bennetts End Lodge (by kind permission of Mr.. F.W. Wright) could have experienced no doubting forebodings as to the success of the event other than that of the behaviour of the Clerk of the Weather.  Certainly his idiosyncrasies of late  tended to give rise to much anxiety, but with King Sol claiming his rights to reign supreme upon a typical August day the Leverstock Green Parish Hall Fund was assured an appreciable advance as a result of the fete.
If Bennetts End Lodge is perhaps  a little obscure to all but the villagers of Leverstock Green, we find it a most charming venue for such an occasion as this and the huge company who were comfortably seated on the lawns during the musical and dramatic performances basking in brilliant sunshine positively revelled in the delightful surroundings as well as the efforts of the artists.
An improvised platform had been erected at the door of the Lodge and from this a number of celebrities in London musical and theatrical circles gave an entertainment that provided a rich treat for all lovers of music and drama.  The commencement was delayed a little owing to the lateness of Mr.. Lyn Harding, the other artistes being reluctant to open without their colleague, to whose efforts  the matinee was due.  However, Mr.. Harding did not arrive until Mr.. Nicholls had won the ready applause of the audience by his pianoforte selections, and an oration he well deserved.  Mr.. Lyn Harding briefly apologised for his lateness and called upon Mr.. Keith Harding...................
(there followed a list of each individual performer and the item they performed)..........
..........The house rocked with unrestrained laughter during Mr.. Arthur Helmore's "sermon" upon Old Mother Hubbard, the cupboard, the bone and the dog, his impersonation of clerical oratory being cleverly humorous.
A great disappointment now awaited the audience - Mr.. Lyn Harding announced that owing to the properties of the play "The Constant Lover" having been lost between Euston and Bennetts End, Miss C. Nesbitt and Mr.. J. Hobbs would be unable to repeat their dramatic item which had won the arm appreciation of their Majesties the King & Queen on the occasion of  The Earl Hague's garden party.  However there was a deal by way of recompense for this in the items given by the two artistes...............
(There followed more about the various items.)
............Every item during the afternoon was well up to the expectations of the visitors who vastly enjoyed the programs.  To Mr.. Lyn Harding who was practically responsible for organising the committee of the fund for  which  the proceeds are devoted was a debt of gratitude, but Mr.. Harding's modesty takes no praise for himself.  He frankly confessed that but for the loyalty of his friends in coming down from Town he would not have known what would have happened for Friday was a very busy day ending in a motor breakdown at 11.30pm. a number of miles out which meant his staying the night and delaying his return.


The concert over the visitors repaired to the grounds for tea.....................later on the evening was given up to "all the fun of the fair".  Leverstock Green united to give one and all a good time.........................
.......The proceeds totalled £84 - 1s - 9d and there is some more still to come in.
[Gazette 21st August 1920]

28th August 1920 -  The Gazette reported the Marriage which had taken place at Holy Trinity Church of The Rev. Durrant's middle daughter Enid.  She married Charles Hazeldene Moore the only son of Mr. & Mrs, H.T. Moore of Redbourne House near St. Albans.  The Rev. Durrant gave the bride away, the ceremony being conducted by Rev. Cannon E.J. Gallop. There were two bridesmaids, the bride's sister Miss Dorothy Durrant and her cousin Miss Stella Pelly.  The Hon Robert Grimston and Master  Richard Randolph acted as pages.  A full transcript of the account of the wedding is available elsewhere.  Sadly the marriage was not to last, ending in divorce with Enid  remarrying and going to France to  live with an artist. [Gazette 28th August 1920;  S303]

28th August 1920 -  the following note on Leverstock Green's Football Club appeared in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette:

Mr.. L.R. Seabrook is this year the Secretary of the Leverstock Green Football Club whose headquarters will be at "The Leather Bottle".  Last year's secretary Mr.. D. Cox is assistant secretary, H. Gentle is Captain and A. Hobbs "vice".  The club are anticipating a good season and have entered the following competitions: West Hertfordshire League (Div.II), Minor Cup, Webster Cup and the Hertfordshire Junior Cup. [Gazette 28th August 1920;  S303]

28th August 1920 -  the following note concerning one of Leverstock Green's better known residents was reported  in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette:


When Ethel Irving appears in "La Tosca" in a few weeks time she will have almost an ideal exponent of the villenous and sinister Scarpia in Lyn Harding1, says the London Press.  He has the voice and the commanding presence for the part, and has never yet played anything badly.  Scarpias, other than the operatic variety, have been rare in London. In fact is it doubtful if one has been seen since Sir Johnston Forbes-Robinson at the Garrick, to the Tosca of the late Mrs... Bernard Brere, and that was a long time ago. :[Gazette 28th August 1920;  S303]

4th September 1920 - The following brief articles appeared in The Gazette:


This is now nearing completion  and is expected to be erected shortly.   The total cost will be £206.  Subs received and promised amount to £180.


The W.I. recently held a sale of needlework in the school, as it was a very wet day, otherwise it would have been held in Mrs... Secretan's garden.  Some members of the Institute have attended a sewing party at her house since February for the purpose.  A sum of £19 was handed in to the Parish Room Fund. [Gazette 4th Sept. 1920]

2nd October 1920 -  Leverstock Green residents were destined to have to make do without mains drainage/sewerage for some time to come if the following article in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette was anything to go by:-



"Our readers will remember that at the last meeting of the Hemel Hempstead Town Council a letter was authorised to be sent to the S. Albans Rural District Council with reference to the great increase in the amount of tenders for the Leverstock Green sewerage scheme above the pre-war prices.  The tender for the work based on the bills of quantities ranged from £27,300 - £594,988 and the Hemel Hempstead Corporation asked whether the RDC would be prepared to pay such an increased annual  contribution as would be proportionate to the increased cost of the work.  The Clerk added that if the work was carried out St. Alban's contribution would be increased from £150 to something like £750.

In reply to the question the Surveyor said the scheme would serve just under 40 cottages in the council's area. On the motion of Mr.. Nott, and seconded by Mr.. Summers it was "decided that the council drop out of the scheme for the time being." [Gazette 2nd Oct. 1920]

9th October 1920 - The following was reported in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette :-


At St. Albans Sessions on Saturday last Mr. Herbert Finch of Corner Farm made an application for an ejectment order against William Brazier in respect of a cottage in White-Horse yard Leverstock Green. Because seven clear days notice had not been given, the Bench decided they could not hear the case. [Gazette 9th Oct. 1920]

20th November 1920 - The following report on Leverstock Green's Women's Institute was printed in the Gazette.


This week sees the second anniversary of the Leverstock Green W.I.  Two years ago the Institution started with twelve members - they are now over seventy strong whilst a more happy united party it would be hard to find.  Gatherings have been held practically every fortnight (sometimes oftener by special arrangement) for lectures, folk songs, entertainments, basket making, sales and other diversions.

Among their other achievements was the raising of £120 towards the Parish Hall Fund.  They also take a keen interest in all local affairs, such as housing, matters of health, and on this latter subject they are looking forward to a lecture by Docroe Barnet in December and to a very welcome return visit of Lady and Miss Polick. [Gazette 20th Nov. 1920]

25th December 1920 - A Christmas Day Friendly football match between Leverstock Green  & Chipperfield was played inthe village..  LEVERSTOCK GREEN won 3:1 [Gazette 1/1/1921]

31st December 1920 - This was a triumphal evening for the Leverstock Green community as their long awaited Parish Hall was eventually opened.  The Gazette published the following report over a week later



A large and representative company assembled on Thursday evening December 30th for the opening of the long anticipated Parish Hall.

The Rev. Durrant declared the hall open with prayers and a few appropriate words. A delightful concert of 14 items followed, and was much enjoyed.  This was arranged by Mrs. Ford and helpers.  After sumptuous refreshments, admirably supervised by Mrs. Howe and helpers, came dancing and whist.  Mrs. Durrant and her orchestra played for the dancing and throughout the evening.  The orchestra was a revelation to those who do not attend the weekly dances and  the music was a great treat to all.  Mr. Howe and Mr. R. Sears arranged the dances.  Miss Child and helpers ran a very successful whist party.  The large hall and goodly sized ante-room were prettily decorated by Misses Bailey Bourne and Cox.  The transport department was splendidly worked by Mrs. Secretan and helpers.  Mr. Wright successfully arranged the lighting of the rooms.  Messers M Gambles, Woodwards, Dell & Wilkins and others kindly helped in other ways.  A most happy evening was spent finishing about 11.30.

The trustees for the Parish Hall are Rev. Durrant, Viscount Grimston, Mrs. Mary M Cox, Mr. W.C. Child, Mr. J. Bailey, Mr. Percy Webster, Mr. F. Dell, Mrs. W.W.Wright and J.W. Dell  hon. Secretary.

Many of these were present amongst them some who originated the scheme 15 years ago.  A few of the originators have passed away and their memory was duly honored by in Rev. Durrant's speach.
[Gazette January 8th 1921]

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