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The Industrial Revolution
By R. G. Colville 1994

The 19th century in Great Britain is noted for change. The Industrial Revolution, the coming of the railways, schools for general education, improved sanitation and life expectancy.

North Mymms Parish was involved directly or indirectly in all of these and, as a consequence, at the end of the century, experienced a considerable rise in population.

Parish changes

In 1893, Little Heath became a separate ecclesiastical parish, but remained a part of the civil parish as it continues to this day.

In 1894, the Parish Council was formed to take over some of the duties and responsibilities previously covered by the Parish Vestry and the churchwardens. The Church continued to have a great influence on the minds of activities of the people.

By the beginning of the 20th century, in spite of all these changes, the Parish of North Mymms was still very much a rural community under the control and authority of the Church and the principal landowners.

Large Estates

The larger estates of Brookmans, North Mymms Park, Potterells, Leggatts, Hawkshead and Abdale were still privately occupied each with its own indoor and outdoor staff. Bell Bar and Roestock with generally smaller houses and local tradesmen, including builders, butchers, bakers, blacksmiths and possibly a small grocery store and one or more public houses.

The Great North Railway

Although the Great North Railway, (later named L.N.E.R.) ran for several miles through our Parish, our nearest stations were Potters Bar to the south and Hatfield to the north.

Compared with the present time, the inhabitants of North Mymms had little time for leisure. However, copies of the Parish Magazine record that in the years before the Great War (1914-1918) North Mymms had three cricket clubs, the North Mymms Club, North Mymms Park Estate Club and Brookmans Park Estate Club.

Not many games were reported for any one-year and games did not necessarily take place on a Saturday, but to play games on a Sunday was very definitely taboo.

The War saw the end of the estate clubs. The North Mymms Club welcomed members from the disbanded clubs and through the generosity of Mrs W.H. Burns (Sir George Burns’ grandmother) they were able to use the ground at Waterend which had previously been used by the Estate Club. That happy situation still continues thanks to Sir George Burns.

By R. G. Colville 1994

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