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.
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.
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.
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.