Brookmans Park Newsletter
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News Review 2001
The year started with a pile up of black bin bags following the Christmas festivities. The council had organised a collection schedule and residents had responded but the vans were late.
A group of travellers set up temporary home at North Mymms Community Centre. The council then sent local volunteers a £1,500 bill for the clean up operation.
A mystery about where war-time billets used by American forces were located had been puzzling a Welwyn Garden City man for years. This site helped him and his family locate the spot in North Mymms.
Micro-scooters were banned from the local primary school and the headteacher warned parents of the dangers of children using scooters in the village after dark.
Rail services began to return to 'normal' following the Hatfield rail crash and months of disruption for local commuters.
The local Green Belt Society discovered that a second mobile phone mast was planned for the village and raised concerns.
The village was plunged into darkness by another blackout. This time some homes were without power from early evening until late morning. Some homes were in the dark for three days.
The spread of foot-and-mouth led to the closure of many paths throughout the country with people being urged not to cross farmland.
The cracks in Folly Arch appeared to have widened and repairs were promised before the winter. The repairs never happened and spring 2002 is the new date for the work.
The foot-and-mouth restrictions spread and although the trustees of the local Woodland Trust voted to keep Gobions Woods open the council decided to close Gobions Open Space.
The local authority started to come under pressure to re-open Gobions Open Space with local residents, particularly dog owners, beginning to feel trapped by the restrictions.
Almost 100 people attended a public meeting to discuss the growing number of satellite dishes and mobile phone masts at the Brookmans Park Transmission Centre. Many wanted assurances about the health implications associated with† increasing capacity at the site.
Brookmans Park Primary School appointed its new headteacher, Lesley Stevens, to replace Peter Evans following his retirement at the end of 2001 after 18 years as head.
The slow re-opening of local footpaths began with the council putting up 'green for go' notices on 1,600 paths throughout the county.
There was a lovely story about a Brookmans Park artist who helped a former resident, now living in America, give his wife the perfect anniversary present. An original painting of the St Mary's church where they were married.
An elderly Canadian user of this site wrote in asking whether anyone had any pictures or memories of Roestock where his ancestors came from. A 'virtual tour' was put together to help Richard Gillians delve into his past from the comfort of his Toronto home.
A fascinating record of 16th century life in North Mymms was added to this site thanks to a New Zealand woman's research into her genealogy. It began when Rosie Bevan e-mailed the Brookmans Park Newsletter asking whether anyone had any information about the Frowick and Knolles families.
No pick of the year would be complete without the images from the annual Brookmans Park village day. Again all records in terms of crowds and cash were broken.
As the year warmed up a local resident became curious about the size of a particular insect in his garden. It turned out to be a rare hornet visiting from the continent.
A retired journalist from Australia found the Brookmans Park Newsletter while searching the web and was intrigued by the fact that 'Little Miss Muffet' was a local girl. He decided to take up the story and publish worldwide.
Brookmans Park School was awarded top marks in the classroom and on the sports field. The head described the SATS results as 'excellent'. The school also won the Hatfield schools athletics competition.
Bradmore Lane seemed to become the favoured spot for fly tippers with piles of household and garden rubbish building up by the day. Rubbish filled every gateway to fields the length of the road and bin bags were also dumped in Mimmshall Brook.
In nearby Woodside Lane locals took to electronic surveillance to try to catch the culprits who were dumping waste in the Wild Hill and Kentish Lane area.
As the summer continued the number of domestic bonfires increased and this led to a heated debate in this site's 'Have Your Say' section. Many residents were furious that, on nights when it was hot and people wanted to leave their windows open, they couldn't because of plums of thick smoke drifting through the village.
In the summer the Hertfordshire Constabulary was re-organised. The local neighbourhood policeman Vojislav Mihailovic explained what it would mean.
There was good news for cyclists with the completion of the local section of Route 12 linking North Mymms with the Great North Way.
The North Mymms Local History Society celebrated its 20th birthday with membership at record levels and by being invited to host the annual meeting of the Hertfordshire Association for Local History.
There was a debate on this site about whether people should be allowed to post messages anonymously. This followed some heated exchanges about domestic bonfires (mentioned earlier).
A request from Canada for pictures of the North Mymms War Memorial resulted in a photo gallery being put together to show the names of those who died in the two world wars.
In 2001 the area escaped without any serious flooding but when the rains became heavy the site took a look back at the floods that forced people to evacuate their homes in 2000. (Bit of a cheat but they were impressive pictures!).
There was a slight increase in car thefts during the summer that resulted in a warning from local police for people not to leave their keys on show in their homes. It appears thieves were nipping in, taking the keys and then the cars.
Fly tipping increased with clear evidence that some had resorted to using trucks to dump their waste. Again the evidence was caught on film.
Work began on the expansion of the Royal Veterinary College in Hawkshead Lane. The work is due to be completed early in 2002.
Chancellor's school recorded improved results. The Brookmans Park secondary school ranks above the area average and is on the national average.
Local police held a public forum in Welham Green. The hall was packed with more than 300 people, many having to stand for the two-hour meeting. Two issues dominated. The activities of young people in Welham Green and speeding through local villages.
A new facility enabling users of this site to send postcards of the village was added to the site. It soon proved one of the most popular features after the 'Have Your Say'section and the search facility on the front page.
A father and son team's research online and in North Mymms graveyard and villages led to the writing up of the story of a 17-year-old local youth who met a tragic death more than 100 years ago.
Happy New Year to all users of this site.
December 15, 2001