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Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation

Town and country must be married and out of this joyous union will spring new life, new hope, a new civilisation.

- Ebenezer Howard

The Garden City Movement

The industrial revolution had engendered not only new technology and smoke-belching factories, but also a momentous rise in urban populations. By the late nineteenth century, the great industrial towns had evolved into sunless slums characterised by extreme poverty. Reform was imperative and came in the shape of the Garden City Movement.

The Garden City Movement

The Garden City Movement was a visionary alternative to the chaos and squalor of british urban life. It was the brainchild of the pioneering Ebenezer Howard, whose book Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform (1898) became its manifesto. Through better housing, better union between town and country, and better community bonds, Howard proposed that a better civilisation could be created. Not content with merely theorising, however, he set about making his dream a reality. Thanks to his tireless energy and toil, Britain’s two garden cities were created, Letchworth Garden City (1903) and Welwyn Garden City (1920).

Welwyn Garden City

A model of sustainable development

In 1919, Howard purchased at auction the rolling green tract of Hertfordshire countryside upon which the town sits today and, the following year, a private company, Welwyn Garden City Limited, was formed to plan and build the new town.

In contrast to most towns, the garden city was built to a master plan by the Company that owned the freehold of the land. The Company quickly appointed a talented young architect, Louis de Soissons, as its master planner. De Soissons designed a place of beauty characterised by neo-Georgian buildings, elegant boulevards and generous open spaces. Existing trees and hedges were retained in his layout, and some of the original farm buildings still survive today – the Barn Theatre and the Backhouse room, for example.

The early settlers that came to live in the town were pioneers in a new project to create a better way of life. We would now call this approach ‘sustainable development’.

News

Festival of Music and Performing Arts with the Welwyn Garden City Centenary

Sing a Song – Celebrating 100 year of Welwyn Garden City in 2020

Sing a Song – Celebrating 100 year of Welwyn Garden City in 2020 is a resource …

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Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation - Launch and Finale Events

Festival of Light Programme

The Launch event of the Centenary year gets underway Friday / Saturday, 17th/18th January in …

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Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation - Schools Involvment

Schools Photography Competition 2020 launched

The Centenary Schools Photography Competition 2020 is now underway.

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WGC 100 Sport for All - Celebrating a Century of Sport

Sport Newsletter No 5 – Winter 2019

In summary – we have 47 Clubs taking part across 26 sports. In addition, the Primary and Secondary Schools are fully involved with a range of events planned, and the town’s central sports and leisure facilities, Gosling Sports Park, Stanborough Park and so on will be hosting events.

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A arden city with a welcome

Welcome to Welwyn Garden City – Newsletter

The Welcome to WGC team have been celebrating the installation of the new road signs.  …

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Centenary Walk

New signage

We continue to make progress with signage for the Centenary Walk, having now installed waymarkers …

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Centenary Walk

Accessible path at The Commons

Works are underway this week (week beginning 25th November 2019) to improve the path through …

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Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation - Schools Involvment

School children plant for the next 100 years in Welwyn Garden City

Pupils at Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Crookhams planted 2020 bulbs in their school …

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Centenary Walk

Saturday 9th November was a busy day for installing more way markers!

Deb and Clare, with walking friend Barry, set off on a lovely bright autumn morning …

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Centenary Walk

Second session of installing way markers – 2nd November, 2019

With the Stanborough Lakes section of the walk in our sights, David and I set …

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Disclaimer

The Foundation can accept no responsibility for the organisation or regulation of any satellite events arranged to mark the centenary of Welwyn Garden City. This includes but is not limited to public liability insurance, health and safety issues (including risk assessments, Performance Licenses and safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults), transport, hiring of facilities, and any costs associated. The use of the Foundation name and logo does not infer any specific oversight or involvement of the Foundation unless stated.”