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Day 26 - A homage to Ebenezer Howard

The Garden City revisited

sunny 23 °C
View Following in the Family Footsteps on Neileeann's travel map.

Well I may be a retired town planner, but sometimes you still can't take the town planner out of the man.

I needed a rest day today and so I decided to pay a homage to Ebenezer Howard, who was a famous town planner at the beginning of the 20th century and created what was call “The Garden City” movement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_city_movement). He created two “garden cities” just north of London, so I took a trip to the closest one – Welwyn Garden City.

Welwyn GC is located approximately 35 km north of London, which would in Brisbane terms place it about Beenleigh. However the footprint of London is much smaller than Brisbane, so this is “city” surrounded by green agricultural belt and would be a commuter town. Unlike Beenleigh it is very much a middle class English suburban estate.

Being a Sunday, Welwyn has the gentle hum of suburban life. Hedges were being clipped, lawns mowed, mothers and fathers out for quiet strolls with their children in prams and on bikes, younger people going for a run. Sunday Church service had just ended and people were still milling around the front talking and passing pleasantries. Spirits renewed it was off to cook the Sunday roast and settle in or the afternoon just enjoying the sun. The sun shines gently on these green fields of England.

Continuing my walk I wandered down a close and the locals were setting up for a communal lunch, whereby all the residents of the close would bring out tables, chairs and food and share it, while “bringing the community together”. I suspect no one in that close was under 65 years old and I started talking to a few old fellows. I suspect that if I was pushy enought I could have invited myself to lunch. But I had a vision of having a cup of tea and tete a tete with the victor and suddenly someone kneels over and all of a sudden I am in the middle of a Midsomer Murder episode.

So I moved on and went off in search a suitable dark and dingy English pub for my tradition Sunday roast. Do you think I could fine one? So I had to settle for a more modern brassiere run by Romanians. Very nice meal washed down with a Cornish ale.

One thing I did notice was they speak with a different accent up here – English. I still can’t believe how little English I hear spoken in central London.

So after paying my respects to Ebenezer I caught the train back to London. 40 mins and back into the hectic world that is London.

Posted by Neileeann 17:00 Archived in England Tagged town planning garden_city welwyn_garden_city ebenezer_howard Comments (2)

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