Monday, 17 August 2015

Our market stall was a big success!

Last Saturday's market stall on St Albans Market was a big success! Well done to all those who organised and helped, especially Jennifer Taylor. Here's Jennifer reporting on the day, with photos by Martin Reed:

On a fine Saturday in August, members of the SRA Committee, assisted by 4 enthusiastic residents, manned a stall at the market with a view to promoting Sopwell as a fascinating area in which to live and, of course, to sell copies of Sandy Norman's book "Sopwell: a history and collection of memories".

We were allocated a stall in front of the town hall and, with the stall sporting the fine new Sopwell Residents Association banner (in St Albans colours), we laid it out with photographs and information texts.

The stall soon proved to be quite a draw to the shoppers and passers by, locals and visitors to St Albans alike. Some of the old aerial photographs, most of which were taken immediately post-war, generated considerable curiosity with locals trying to pin-point the streets they could recognise, which in turn gave rise to jolted memories and stories - especially in relation to the gas works! The five piles of Sopwell walk leaflets were quickly snatched up, as were the leaflets on the Nunnery Green Space.

We were supported during the day by visits from all three of Sopwell Ward's councillors, Eileen Harris, Janet Smith and Iain Grant and also by the Mayor, Cllr Salih Gaygusuz, each of whom stayed for a while and chatted to stall visitors.

Friday, 14 August 2015

August 2015 update

Due to a couple of unforeseen accidents, I find myself again laid up with a broken leg! Someone up there must think it's funny! So I have not been in a fit state let alone Internet access to write a post or update the Sopwell Memories website. So apologies. I am writing this in the hope that soon I will be back on-line and can set a few wheels in motion.

Back last winter, the Sopwell Residents Association booked a stall for a Saturday market in St Albans to showcase the Memories Project, to sell copies of our publication: Sopwell: a history and collection of memories and to circulate our set of five Sopwell history walk leaflets. The event is this coming Saturday, 15th August. It's the charity stall so should be somewhere in the middle. 

Please come along and say hello. Tell your friends. Buy the book - if you haven't done so already. I am sorry I cannot join my colleagues as I am not yet mobile but I will be there in spirit.

Sandy Norman

Monday, 10 August 2015

Visit our stall on the St Albans Market on Saturday, 15th August

We would like to invite you to visit the Sopwell Residents Association stall on the St Albans Market on Saturday, 15th August.

You will be able to:
  • learn more about the Sopwell Memories project and website,
  • share any memories you may have of the Sopwell area of St Albans,
  • get a free set of five Sopwell history walk leaflets,
  • buy copies of our Sopwell history book at a reduced price.

Although we are in profit now and have money in the book fund to spend on community projects, we need to sell more copies of our book "Sopwell: a history and collection of memories", as we have lots left cluttering up Sandy's house!

The books will be sold at a reduced price - reduced from £15 to £10 - so a real bargain!

Come and say hello. We should be somewhere in the area in front of the old Town Hall.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Thanks for the memories!

These days I am not doing an awful lot of original research but instead relying on kind souls to point me in the right direction or sending me stuff. So I wish to thank everyone (especially on Facebook) for their finds relating to Sopwell. The odd photo turning up here and there gets me all excited again and I start writing more posts on the website.

Mayor officially opening first house in Eywood estate
Mayor officially opening first house on the Eywood estate
Thanks must go to fellow historian, Mike Neighbour, who has been indexing photos in the Herts Advertiser. He has sent me some wonderful photos – well not that wonderful in quality as they are as they appeared in the paper – but nevertheless they have added interest to stories which I researched for my book on Sopwell.

One shows the fire at Sopwell Nunnery farm in 1931; another is the erection of houses on the Eywood estate (Doggetts Way and Wilshere Avenue) in 1932; and the third story is about the unsolved murder of Steven Varley in the allotments in 1948.

So three new posts on the Sopwell Memories website for you to enjoy!

Sopwell Meadows by George Henry Moon
Sopwell Meadows by George Henry Moon
Also thanks to Derek Roft, a friend on Facebook, who has drawn my attention to two lovely paintings by George Henry Moon of Sopwell Meadows. This is the area in the Ver Valley near the Verulam golf course and Sopwell Mill. You can see the Abbey in the background.

When I last looked, there were nearly 27,500 hits on the website which is good which makes it all worthwhile.
Sandy Norman