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News review 2005

Pick of the year images
The year started with the Bradmore Green Christmas tree being chopped down by vandals. Long-serving community police officer, Vojislav Mihailovic, hung up his boots after 25 years on the beat. The general election resulted in Grant Shapps becoming the area's MP. There was another national award for this site. The Parish Environmental Action Plan (PEAP) team published a local guided walk. Around 200 local residents braved freezing temperatures for the switching on of the Christmas tree lights on Bradmore Green. And an explosion at an oil depot in Hemel shook houses in the area and resulted in an unexpected day off school for some children.


The vandalised Christmas tree on Bradmore Green
A saw appears to have been used to cut through the trunk of the Bradmore Green Christmas tree
It brightened Bradmore Green for more than a month, was the focal point for community carols and good will, and was felled by vandals overnight.

The Brookmans Park Christmas tree was chopped down between the evening of Sunday, January 2, and Monday morning, January 3.

The tree was put up by Potters Bar and Brookmans Park Rotary, along with local volunteers, and was responsible for bringing several hundred local residents together for carols around the green. More details.

Parish council chairman Bob Horrocks presenting with former community police officer Vojislav Mihailovic with a plaque to mark his 25 years service to the community.
Parish council chairman Bob Horrocks thanks Vojislav Mihailovic
Former community police officer, Vojislav Mihailovic, was officially thanked for his service to the area by North Mymms Parish Council.

The presentation came during a reception at the end of the annual civic service held at Christ Church, Little Heath, on Sunday 9 January.

The former community bobby was presented with an engraved plaque bearing the parish council coat of arms by council chairman, Bob Horrocks.

Vojislav hung up his tunic and boots late last year after 25 years on the beat. More details.


2nd Hatfield Scouts our powerboating
Local scouts from the 2nd Hatfield on a power boat.
The local scout group updated its website to show the variety of activities on offer to young people.

The updated site, highlights some of the many and varied activities that have been offered to local youngsters recently.

Public Relations Officer James Bentall relaunched the site to show how scouting has changed in recent years.

"It's sad to see that some members of the community obviously feel scouting has nothing to offer them and react by attacking our scout headquarters. Perhaps, if they were more aware of the variety of activities open to them, they might be more inclined to support us, and maybe come along and join in," he said. More details.

View of Gobions from the south west across the pond. Tinted print from
View of Gobions from the south west across the pond. Image courtesy of Hertfordshire County Records Office.
The half hour video of the history of North Mymms, put together by the local history society in 1986, was made available in broadband quality.

The video was produced by Hugh Baddeley and Philip Elgar along with other members of North Mymms Local History Society (NMLHS).

NMLHS gave this site permission to reproduce the video, along with dozens of books and features, which can also be found in this site’s history section.

Click here to download a suitable player for the video. When you have done that, click here to view the video in broadband quality. More details.


wheelie bin
WHDC discourages the use of wheelie bins (image courtesy of
Welwyn Hatfield announced that household rubbish would only be collected if it is left on the boundary of properties.

The authority also discouraged the use of wheelie bins.

The council defines the boundary of a property as the point at which it meets the road or pavement.

Welwyn Hatfield District Council (WHDC) says the rubbish should be kept inside the boundary of your property, and not on the pavements, grass verges, or the road.

In the past, WHDC has collected rubbish from anywhere on a property, all local residents had to do was to make sure the refuse collectors could gain access on the correct day. More details.


North Mymms Spring Clean
Chairman of the North Mymms and District Green Belt Society, Claire Taylor and husband Jeremy collecting on Tollgate Road, near the war memorial - image Bob Horrocks
An old wardrobe, a WAGN fire extinguisher, a few sheets of corrugated iron, and 25 bin bags full of rubbish – that was the haul from the North Mymms Parish spring clean.

Dozens of volunteers turned out on Sunday morning 17 April and were handed bags, gloves, and pickers, all provided by Welwyn Hatfield District Council. The council also removed the collection of rubbish.

The area around Brookmans Park station was cleared by 19 scouts, two scout leaders, and four parents. The local scouts also cleaned up around the entrance to Gobions, the top of Pine Grove, and the Woodside Lane lay-by.

In 2004, 40 bags of rubbish were collected. According to one of the organisers, Councillor Bob Horrocks, there seemed to be less litter this year, probably due to improved litter-picking by the council. More details.


Grant Shapps, the new MP for Welwyn Hatfield
Grant Shapps, the new MP for Welwyn Hatfield.
The General Election resulted in a new MP for Welwyn Hatfield, local resident Grant Shapps.

Mr Shapps polled 49.6%, with the defeated MP, Melanie Johnson, polling 36.3% - an 8% swing. Lib Dem, Sarah Bedford, polled 14.1%.

This represented a Conservative majority of 5,946, which was 13.3%. The turnout was 44,716, which was 68.1%, up 4.2% on the last election.

In that election in 2001, Labour polled 43.2%, the Conservatives 40.4%, the Lib Dems 14.1%, and others 2.3%.

In the County Council elections, Cllr Bill Storey held Hatfield Rural for the Conservatives. More details.


Gobions Open Space
Police are asking young people to behave responsibly in Gobions
Police urged parents to remind their sons and daughters to behave responsibly in and around Gobions Open Space.

It came after a resident saw a youth take a bottle from a reycling bin and smash it against a wall.

Community police officer, Elvett Phipps, said that with the warmer weather, young people were again starting to gather in Gobions Open Space, staying there until late in the evening.

"One young lad, amongst a group of youths, was seen removing a glass bottle from a recycling box and proceeded to smash the bottle against a wall, leaving shards of glass across the pavement," he said.

"The youth was, however, very apologetic when confronted by a resident. The issue here was the potential for a nasty injury to a toddler, someone's pet, or to anyone else for that matter," he adds.

PC Phipps calls on parents to remind their sons and daughters to respect their surroundings. More details.


The Award
John Fraser collecting the award from Rosie Millard on behalf of the Brookmans Park Newsletter
Image courtesy of Daniel Deme
After finishing runner up the previous year, The Brookmans Park Newsletter went one better and won the 'community and information' section of the New Statesman New Media awards.

In previous years this site has been commended twice and won the Overall Merit Award once.

The awards were presented in London on Tuesday night, July 5, where the judges said the site was 'a clear winner in a very strong field.'

John Fraser, one of the Brookmans Park Newsletter Forum moderators and a regular contributor to the site, collected the trophy on behalf of the site.

The website team would like to thank all the people that have contributed to the site in the past either through written features, photos or by posting to the forum, and demonstrating to the judges that this site really is one where the content is created by the community it has been designed to serve. More details.


A new footbridge along the route of the first PEAP walk.
A new footbridge along the route of the first PEAP walk.
Camera courtesy of Fujifilm
Leaflets setting out details of a circular walk in the local countryside were delivered to every home in North Mymms.

The one and a half hour walk highlights some of the historical and geological features in the area and is part of the Parish Environmental Action Plan (PEAP).

The walk was devised and designed by a team of local volunteers and the leaflet produced thanks to an initiative led by the Countryside Management Service and the North Mymms Parish Council, in conjunction with North Mymms and District Green Belt Society, the Gobions Woodland Trust, the North Mymms Local History Society, the North Mymms Scouts, the Royal Veterinary College and this site.

The walk starts and finishes at Brookmans Park station via Water End and Welham Green. The leaflet includes a map, a dozen directions along the route, and eight points of interest with links to more information on this site.

There are another eleven walks on this site with maps, points of interest, and directions. Click here for the local walks index. More details.


PC Elvett Phipps is moving on after a year as the local community police officer
PC Elvett Phipps
The area had a new community police officer in September. PC Jitendra Dave, also known as Jitu, took over from PC Elvett Phipps (pictured).

PC Phipps had served as the community officer for Brookmans Park, Welham Green, and Little Heath since October 2004.

It was a short-lived spell, but the Brookmans Park and Little Heath Neighbourhood Watch thanked the officer for his service to the area as they welcomed the new appointment.

Later in the year, PC Dave was to meet area co-ordinators for the neighbourhood watch team to answer their questions and discuss their concerns. More details.


A caravan, full of junk, dumped at the side of Bradmore Lane
A caravan, full of junk, dumped at the side of Bradmore Lane
A new development in the battle against fly-tipping was announced in October.

The Environment Agency was given new powers to recover the cost of clearing up after fly-tippers. From now on, offenders will have to foot the bill.

New measures in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act also give local authorities more effective investigatory powers to catch fly-tippers, as well as the capacity to remove abandoned cars from the streets.

The cost of clearing up the mess left by fly-tippers can now also be recovered by landowners and occupiers who have had to clear illegally tipped waste.

Any tippers found guilty could end up paying the full costs incurred by councils for clearing the waste and investigating the crime. Vehicles used in tipping can also be seized and searched. More details.


The Christmas on Bradmore Green soon after the lights were switched on
The Bradmore Green Christmas tree
Around 200 local residents braved freezing temperatures to gathered in Brookmans Park Village on Tuesday 29 November, for the switching on of the Christmas tree lights.

The choir of Chancellor's School led the carol singing for the second year running.

The tree was again paid for and erected by local Rotary Club members.

Local MP, Grant Shapps, flicked the switch at 6.30pm as Rotary volunteers passed around mince pies and mulled wine.

A collected was made for a number of Rotary Club charities, including Isabel Hospice - Children and Teenage bereavement support. More details.


The scene looking down Moffats Lane as smoke clouds drift from the Buncefield explosions
The smoke cloud from the explosions drifts over Brookmans Park
Houses in Brookmans Park felt the force of a number of explosions at an oil depot near junction 8 on the M1 at Hemel Hempstead on Sunday morning, 11 December.

Windows in Brookmans Park shook following the blast and some said it felt as though a sudden storm had whipped up while others felt the house 'tremble'.

Brookmans Park Forum users reported hearing the blast and feeling it shake their windows as far south as Kew and Harrow.

Some local school children had an unexpected day off as health experts and Hertfordshire County Council decided to close all schools within a 10 mile radius of the depot. More details.

You can discuss the news review 2005 in a thread running in this site's forum.

25 December 2005

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