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News Review 2004

It was a year in which Chancellor's school mourned the loss of its popular head teacher, Paul Wormleighton. The flood defences alongside Mimmshall Brook were eventually finished. A man died following an incident at the Old Maypole in Water End. Brookmans Park went live on the net with the setting up of a webcam. The parish council got tough with dog owners who fail to clear up after their pets. Two off duty police officers died when their microlight aircraft collided with a helicopter over Welham Green. Brookmans Park was voted ICT (Information Communication Technology) village of the year countywide and regionally. This site was again commended in the New Statesman New Media Awards. Freddy O’Hare won the best allotment competition for the third year running. Plans to build a country house on green belt land, known locally as the 20-acre field or Friday Grove, were rejected. Community bobby Vojislav Mihailovic hung up his boots after 15 years policing the area. Here is the Brookmans Park Newsletter News Review 2004.

January

St Albans Cathedral
Paul Wormleighton
13 April 1943 - 14 January 2004
Image taken from order of service
The year started with the sad news of the death of the former head of Chancellor’s School, Paul Wormleighton.

The following month a memorial service was held in St Albans cathedral for friends, family, and pupils.

January also saw another heavy snowfall with children enjoying a snow day off school. A gallery of images of the day was posted on the site.

The local neighbourhood watch group reviewed its alerts procedures following concerns that news of an attack on a woman walking alone in Gobions failed to reach all areas of the village.

February

Concrete coated metal walls edge Mimmshall Brook along Warrengate Road
Concrete coated metal walls edge Mimmshall Brook along Warrengate Road
Camera courtesy of Fujifilm
In February, the parish council reminded golfers that they could no longer practise on Gobions Open Space. The ban wasn’t new, but it seemed many had been ignoring it.

The history of Potterells was added to this site's history section after the author of a feature gave permission for it to be published online.

Flood alleviation work along Mimmshall Brook was finally completed and the project officially opened, although workmen had to return later in the year to make alterations to the flood gates. 'Road Closed' notices remained up at both ends of Warrengate Road for much of the winter and early spring.

Local parents and their children spent a stressful few weeks waiting to hear which secondary schools they had been allocated following a delay in the setting of places.

All Hertfordshire’s 16,000 secondary school applications had to be reprocessed following an investigation into the admission rules of five schools.

March

Old Maypole
The Old Maypole pub Water End
Camera courtesy of Fujifilm
Welwyn Hatfield Council rejected a second application for six two-bedroom flats at 2 Georges Wood Road. The first was refused last October as being visually prominent, intrusive and appearing cramped within the plot.

Police issued an appeal for witnesses to an incident at The Old Maypole Pub, Water End, on Sunday 21 March, which resulted in the death of a Barnet man.

Hertfordshire police wanted to hear from anyone who saw anything leading up to the death of father of four Richard Hemstead.

April

Red dog waste bin at Gobions Open Space
While this picture was being taken two dog owners allowed their pets to foul the grass and failed to clear up.
Camera courtesy of Fujifilm
In April the Brookmans Park village webcam went live. The first picture, transmitted on April 1, featured another snow storm.

British Transport Police issued a warning following an alleged indecent exposure on a train between Kings Cross and Brookmans Park.

Police investigated claims that a lone female was approached by a man who followed her when she got off the train at Brookmans Park on Saturday 10 April.

The parish council urged dog owners to clear up after their pets when taking them for a walk. North Mymms Parish Council said that Gobions Open Space was becoming a ‘brown field site’ because of the amount of dog mess.

May

North Mymms spring clean
Volunteers taking part in the North Mymms spring clean
Image courtesy of Bob Horrocks.
A community spring clean resulted in dozens of black bin bags being filled with rubbish from some of the worst local litter black spots.

The event, organised by the North Mymms District Green Belt Society (NMDGBS), local scouts, and the Gobions Woodland Trust, saw dozens of volunteers wandering round the parish with black bin bags, gloves, and litter pickers.

Little Heath and Brookmans Park Chess Club finished its fourth competitive season enjoying considerable success.

The first team, led by Mark Topham, won Herts League Division 4 by a comfortable margin, following up on three successive divisional championships.

June

Village Day 2003
Village Day beamed worldwide via the webcam
Camera courtesy of Fujifilm
Brookmans Park Village Day 2004 was beamed live worldwide for the first time capturing all the action from the time the gates opened to the moment the last stall closed.

The village primary school agreed that a Webcam can broadcast a general shot across the school fields so that all those who live overseas, or are unable to make the event, could watch it online.

As usual, there was a photogallery of the event.

Jean Hockings, the editor of St Mary's parish magazine decided to put the monthly journal online for the first time and, over the year, added each copy to the new section of the site to provide an archive of life in North Mymms parish.

July

The crashed helicopter in a field off Station Road, Welham Green
The crashed helicopter in a field off Station Road, Welham Green
Camera courtesy of Fujifilm
Two off duty police officers died and two other people were injured when a helicopter and a microlight aircraft collided over Welham Green.

The helicopter landed in a field opposite St Thomas More Church in Station Road. It has a smashed canopy. The microlight crashed in a field near Dixons Hill Road.

Brookmans Park was voted Hertfordshire ICT (Information Communication Technology) Village of the Year 2004.

The judges felt that this website, Chancellor School's new ICT status, and internet access at the local library, made Brookmans Park the clear winner.

The Brookmans Park Newsletter was again commended in the New Statesman New Media Awards.

The Community and Information Award was for "the individual or organisation that has best used new media to give an alternative, informative voice enhancing democratic debate".

Plans to build a country house on green belt land, known locally as the 20-acre field or Friday Grove, were rejected.

August

Councillor Bob Horrocks, chairman of North Mymms Parish Council hands the Best Kept Allotment cup to three-times winner Freddy O'Hare at his allotment at Station Road, Welham Green
Councillor Bob Horrocks, chairman of North Mymms Parish Council hands the Best Kept Allotment cup to three-times winner Freddy O'Hare
Camera courtesy of Fujifilm
It was three wins in a row for horticultural enthusiast Freddy O’Hare when he picked up the cup for North Mymms Best Kept Allotment 2004.

Freddy, who reckons he spends up to 400 hours working on his Welham Green plot each growing season, has been keeping family and friends supplied with home-grown vegetables and fruit since 1996.

Welwyn Hatfield District Council announced that it would be issuing free brown wheelie bins for garden waste in an effort to encourage local residents to recycle their garden waste.

Police warned that mobile speed cameras could soon be used in an effort to prevent drivers speeding along Bluebridge Road. Police say there is sufficient justification to introduce cameras in order to enforce speed restrictions in the village.

September

Vojislav Mihailovic
Vojislav Mihailovic, community police officer for 15 years
Camera courtesy of Fujifilm
After 25 years in uniform, policing the local area, community officer Vojislav Mihailovic hung up his boots and tunic and put on a suit, as he took on the role of secretary of the Hertfordshire Police Federation.

PC Mihailovic, who has been the community bobby for 15 years, told this site he had enjoyed his time policing North Mymms.

“It’s been a fascinating 15 years and during that time you get to know a lot of people and make a lot of friends,” he said.

Vojislav was replaced, the following month PC Elvett Phipps. http://www.brookmans.com/news/october04/communitypc.shtml

October

Sir Nigel Gresley's A3 locomotive No.4472 Flying Scotsman heading north through Brookmans Park Station on its last journey before leaving for the USA.
Sir Nigel Gresley's A3 locomotive No.4472 Flying Scotsman heading north through Brookmans Park Station on its last journey before leaving for the USA.
Picture courtesy of North Mymms Local History Society Archive
The North Mymms Local History Society announced that unless it could find a new volunteer archivist, all the local records would have to leave the parish and be stored at Hertfordshire County Hall.

The current archivist, Marian Benton, stood down after 20 years looking after more than 900 items on behalf of the NMLHS.

The North Mymms Youth and Community Centre announced that activity at the centre was on the increase.

The centre's organisers said that two more weekly activities had been added to the schedules, although plans to reopen the popular youth club have yet to be realised.

Dance, drama, and Marshall Arts are just a few of the activities now available, ensuring that the centre remains a focus for young and old in the community.

November

The Christmas tree on Bradmore Green soon after the lights were switched on
The Christmas tree on Bradmore Green soon after the lights were switched on
A new community directory was launched in November to give local groups the opportunity to promote their events and bid for new members.

November ended with a Christmas tree being put up on Bradmore Green with the choir from Chancellor's School leading the carol singing as the lights were switched on by representatives from Brookmans Park and Little Heath Rotary and the North Mymms Parish Council.

A recording was made of the first carol, sung by local residents gathering round the tree, and a special night time tree webcam was set up to beam live pictures of the tree worldwide.

December

Stuart Phillips, headmaster, Chancellor's school and James Bentall, representing this website after being presented with the certificate by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, television personality and farmer-chef.
The Brookmans Park delegation at the awards ceremony.
Picture courtesy of Calor
Brookmans Park was named ICT village of the year for eastern England and the home counties.

Brookmans Park was competing against villages from Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Essex.

Having already won the Hertfordshire title earlier this year, Brookmans Park was voted the top information communication technology village 2004 in the annual competition sponsored by Calor.

Community police officers announced that they wanted the help of Welham Green’s residents and businesses to tackle crime and disorder in the village.

The community’s Ward Constable, PC Sarah Dey, said everyone is needed to look out for and report on criminal activity in the village.

She is calling for volunteers to help the police by being their eyes and ears in the community.

28 December 2004


News reviews
News Review 2004
News Review 2003
News Review 2002
News Review 2001
News Review 2000
News archive
Local news in 2004
Local news in 2003
Local news in 2002
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