A garden city with a welcome

Our team has been working tirelessly over the past four years to make residents, businesses and visitors feel proud that they have arrived at a special destination. Whether people travel by road, rail or bus, the team have focused on creating better signage which reflects the garden city principles and welcomes people to our lovely town.

See also our News items at: https://www.wgc100.org/category/events/signature-events/a-garden-city-with-a-welcome/

1. New Road Signs

The most recent addition to the town has been eye-catching new signs on the 9 main road entrances to the town. 

The first of their kind in Hertfordshire, they include an iconic illustration of Howardsgate by artist Richard O’Neill.

The Gateway Gardens, designed by Gary Primrose, sit beneath the nine new signs and have been designed to complement the planting in WGC. Thanks to the help of volunteers the first part of the design is now in place.

The main structure is an infinity symbol hedge created with Euonymus raised at the back, to show off the ‘W’ of Welwyn Garden City. The centre of the infinity will cross over as a knot taking inspiration from the famous knot garden at Hatfield House.

Six alliums have been planted around each post to represent the ‘utopia’ design that Ebenezer Howard modelled Garden Cities on with Cornus sitting at the back of the garden to provide a striking red contrast in winter.

The next phase in spring will be to introduce lavender, grasses and flowers to inject the garden with some colour.

It will take about a year for the impact of the gardens to be fully appreciated, but it will be an exciting journey seeing the seasonal changes and certainly something to look forward to.


Our sincere thanks to Hertfordshire County Council for making this project possible.

New Sign on Waterside
New sign on Waterside, with project team (L-R) Malcolm Day, Dr Dennis Lewis MBE, Nigel Quinton, Malcolm Cowan, Alan Willison and Gary Primrose
Illustration of new garden designs by Gary Primrose
Gary Primrose with the first phase of the Gateway Garden
Volunteers preparing the ground.

2. Bus Station

The team worked with the County Council, giving input to improve the design of the new bus station next to The Howard Centre. 

The plate glass walls of the bus shelter are marked with opaque vinyls to prevent people walking into them. The team thought it would be good to include an element of the Louis de Soissons 1920 Master Plan. He was the architect who designed the plan for Welwyn Garden City. 

A full-size copy of his plan has been mounted on the solid walls of the shelter, together with an interpretation board. Discussions are also taking place with a local artist for a suitable piece of artwork to be displayed on the solid wall, and also perhaps to be mounted within the railway station.

WGC Bus Station
Bus Station Vinyl

3. The Railway Station

Welwyn Garden City station is a very busy station, used by over 3 million people each year.  Our project team has been working with both Govia Thameslink and Network Rail, as well as the Railway Heritage Trust over the past few years, discussing the restoration and upgrade for the station. Work began over Christmas and New Year, when the dagger boards on the canopies were replaced, and it is hoped that the repainting will be done before Easter.

The team hope that this upgrade will complement the amazing work that the All Aboarders have done to improve the station gardens. plan is for a renovation and an upgrade to a more consistent design with a return to the old LNER cream & green livery. 

All Aboarders is the Welwyn Garden City Station Adoption Group, volunteer citizens greening WGC Station for the enjoyment of the travelling public and improving the station in time for the centenary year. 


The long awaited upgrade to the footbridge should be completed by summer 2020. 

WGC Station 2018
Gardens at WGC Railway Station
Gardens at WGC Railway Station

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Louis de Soissons Plan

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Welwyn Garden City is arguably one of the most beautiful and certainly the best planned towns in England. The man responsible for the much of what we see in the City was Louis de Soissons, its Chief Architect and Town Planner for 42 years – from its inception in 1920 till his death in 1962.

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Meet the Garden City with a Welcome Team

Malcom Cowan part of the Garden City with a Welcome team

Malcom Cowan

Malcom Day part of the Garden City with a Welcome team

Malcom Day

Dennis Lewis part of the Garden City with a Welcome team

Dennis Lewis

Nigel Quinton part of the Garden City with a Welcome team

Nigel Quinton

Alan Willison part of the Garden City with a Welcome team

Alan Willison


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.”