Fleetville, Camp, Hill End, Marshalswick, Oaklands, Smallford, Cell Barnes, Cunningham, Ellenbrook

Last updated on September 16th, 2019.

July 29th. New outline story about George Goodchild added to the Stories page.
September 2nd. New entry about Cunningham School on the Your Turn page.
September 6th. New book about architect Percival Blow added to Books page.
September 13th. New entry about athletics in our East End on the Your Turn page.
September 16th. New information about Woodvale Park on Questions Answered.

HERITAGE OPEN DAY in Fleetville and Smallford

Last September Fleetville Diaries welcomed everyone to the centre of Fleetville to explore projects it was undertaking, and to participate in a short guided walk around the heart of the district.

The Heritage Open Days event returns nationally this September and on Saturday 14th September Fleetville Diaries, the local history people, are again opening to view part of Fleetville Community Centre. Two new projects are underway and visitors can discover what has so far been discovered and curated about the former Ballito Hosiery Mills and about Beaumont Avenue. You may be able to contribute, perhaps a memory, a photograph or an artefact, but you would also discover so much more. Neither project is complete, so it will be fascinating to find out what a part-complete collection of material looks like! There is also another chance to see the hugely successful Frederick Sander exhibition, last on display at the recent Sander/Moon Tribute Day.

The former nursery building, still in use as a thriving community centre, now has a short remaining lifespan – exciting new plans for a new community centre building are being developed. Meanwhile we can discover the history of this unusual structure, with its low ceilings, remaining air raid shelters and underground tunnels.

This short talk is followed by a short guided walk around a few of Fleetville's streets and alleys, working out how Fleetville grew from its beginnings in 1897. There will be two identical talks and walks, at 14:30 and 16:00. No booking is required but participation is limited to 20 on each walk. Family-friendly, although the narrow footpaths make it a problem for dogs and buggies. Surfaces are level; there are no steps and we can accommodate a wheelchair on each walk. Start and finish is at the Community Centre in Royal Road. Free 3-hour parking is available on the south side of Hatfield Road opposite.

Saturday 14th September, open from 14:00 to 17:00. No booking required.

On the same day from 10:00 to 16:00 pop along to Smallford Station, in Station Road to view an exhibition about the station, its history, the railway it served and its impact on surrounding communities. Join a guided walk between Smallford and Nast Hyde, either at 12:00 or 14:00. Refreshments will be provided by Colney Heath WI.

Fleetville Diaries and Smallford & Alban Way Heritage Society hope you will be able to join them at one or both events.

HERITAGE OPEN DAYS LOCAL BROCHURE available from Fleetville Community Centre from Friday 6th September

Recent updates


East end schools


Do you have photos or other items to add to our collective knowledge about a school?




The start of a collection of accounts by and about people who have lived in our East End.


Everywhere is different


There are twenty-one great topics to explore in our East End. More will be added over time.

Nearly 200 years ago …

The tithe map for St Peter's parish, 1841, shows fields, farms and homes. The associated records tell us who owned what, who rented what, and in the case of the fields what they were called and how large they were.

Cunningham and Camp Hill

Camp Lane passes the line of cottages forming Camp Hill; while Cunningham Farm lies south of Cell Barnes Lane. The maps are available to view at Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies (HALS).

Green east end

Green East End is a gallery of photographs on this site which explores a number of more rural spots in St Albans' Own East End. The collection also shows a surprising number of locations within our crowded suburb where, surprisingly, the colour green dominates. The survey was undertaken in 2010 and 2011; it is therefore about time for an update, so look forward to new locations and changed scenes next summer.

Shade at the Beech Tree

Top: Fleetville Rec, where trees provide shade near the playpark. Above: Gateway leading to a field at Hammonds, near Sandridge.

Fleetville roads

There is now an almost complete series of early 20th century photos of the roads which connect with Hatfield Road between Bycullah Terrace and The Crown. The most recent to be discovered is …

Blandford Road

Thought to have been taken in 1907 before the age of the motor car, we can just see St Paul's premises which must have been still in the hands of the builders. Opposite is Thompson & Co, milliner, long before the Co-op arrived!

DH112 Venom

Hatfield is undoubtedly best known for its wartime "Wooden Wonder" DH89 Mosquito and post-war Comet series. But between the two a small military aircraft entered the market.

DH Venom
A Venom at Salisbury Hall

Seventy years ago the DH112 Venom undertook its first flight. It was a jet fighter-bomber and night fighter. A non-operational version is on display at the de Havilland Museum at Salisbury Hall.

A meeting of Sanders – and Moons

Fleetville Diaries, the local history people, hosted a magnificent celebration of two related families: descendants of Frederick Sander, the "Orchid King", and descendants of Henry Moon whose exquisite paintings of the orchids Sander bred were published in four massive tomes.

Sander & Moon Tribute Day

The result of Fleetville Diaries' project to renovate the family plot of the Sander/Moon families, was seen by eighty invited guests to Hatfield Road Cemetery and members of the Moon and Sander families.

Back to Barnfield

We may have been stunned or disappointed, according to our point of view, by the substantial estate of homes called Oaklands Grange now being constructed on the south side of Sandpit Lane. It was exactly sixty years ago that the hillside on the north side of the Lane was sprouting new homes, and one of these featured in the pages of the Herts Advertiser.

"New Private House"

"One of the private houses built in contemporary style that make up the new Sandpit Lane estate. It is in Barnfield Road." The road has recently been upgraded to a roundabout junction as if to handshake the new estate opposite on Oaklands land.

Life before Ballito

Ballito Hosiery Mills arrived in Fleetville (where Morrison's is sited today) in 1925. But the funding came from a company operating in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This is where Ballito really began, where cotton hose had been made – these were the southern cotton states – and then the new nylon stockings which replaced cotton. Richmond Hosiery Mills wanted the new hosiery to be available in the UK, but import tariffs on this side of the Atlantic meant it was more economic to manufacture them here.

Young "helpers" at the cotton mill

Child labour on penny wages at the Richmond mill may have been illegal, but that did not stop it happening between factory inspections. Not workers, but helpers, it seems.

Second editions under way

Did you miss the opportunity to grab a copy of either or both volumes of the first editions of St Albans' Own East End? Perhaps you borrowed a copy from a library, or hoped a friend or relative might offer you a copy as a birthday or Christmas gift? Or maybe you've made much of your patience and are sitting it out in hope.

Welcome news

Preparations are well under way on second editions, including new content. Keep an eye on this panel for updates.

New Camp Estate

A small estate build in the early 1930s south of Camp Road was created as three culs de sac roads. Lynton Avenue came first, followed by Windermere Avenue (later extended) and Glenlyn Avenue. The top photo shows a mature Glenlyn Avenue.

"Show House" in Lynton Avenue

When Goodwin & Hart brought their newly-built homes to the market in 1930, the catalogue showed a typical modern furnishing layout for each major room.

Local architect recognised

In September a book is being published about one of St Albans' former architects, Percival Cherry Blow. The range of his work was wide: banks, public houses, shops, a cinema and many homes, oh, and the former Sainsbury's in St Peter's Street.

A very local Blow building

Benskins chose Percival Blow to design its new public house for Fleetville, The Rats' Castle. Its licence was granted in 1927.

Salvage enterprise

We have an occasional trawl through early pages of the Herts Advertiser, and this time we highlight enterprising work undertaken by pupils of Hatfield Road Senior Boys' School. The year was 1943 and the most important task for them was collecting what was then called salvage.

Tons of rubbish

Potentially useful rubbish, of course: scrap metal. Philip Long, Fred Munns, Cyril Cane and Peter Dames. It's what people did during the war.

No trains to Nast Hyde

As you walk past this former halt platform at Nast Hyde, along Alban Way, you will be fascinated by the attention to detail given by the present guardians, part of the local community.

No trains to Smallford

It looks like part of a railway, and it's certainly was. The next station where trains stopped was Smallford. Park your car here and take a delightful walk along part of Alban Way.

No trains to Hill End

When a station loses its buildings – ticket office, parcels room and waiting room – all that's left is a platform. The stop was used by staff and visitors to nearby Hill End Asylum.

Forthcoming events

Fleetville Community Centre

Take a short walk along Royal Road and you will discover a real gem of a building which hums with activity all day long, and well into the evening. Next to the park and opposite the Infants School is Fleetville Community Centre. Call in and find out what's happening, not just here but all over this side of St Albans. Click the link below to find a complete list of groups regularly meeting at the Centre.

Talks and Walks

A number of walks around the East End are arranged each year through Fleetville Diaries, including a series of four story walks around Hatfield Road Cemetery. You can arrange to book a talk or a walk specifically for your local organisation.

Fleetville Diaries
Stacks Image 811

September is HERITAGE OPEN DAYS month.


Projects and exhibitions about Friederick Sander, Beaumont Avenue and Ballito Hosiery Mills

Plus a short talk on the history of the Fleetville Rec and Community Centre
A short guided walk around Fleetville streets and alleys.

Saturday 14th August 2pm to 5pm

All welcome.

Free to all

Click BLUE "HERITAGE OPEN DAYS return to Fleetville …" above.

St Albans' Own East End Blog

Engaging With Our Locality

15th September 2019
The Alley Beaumont end

Whenever families, individuals, classes at school and visitors to the district are able to share in some of the history of their home district, the experience is always positive. More than that, what we discover is quite joyous.

Heritage Open Days have proved the point once more, although other casual meetings throughout the year have a similar effect. …

Location of post subjects on the blog

December 2018
Wings over Hatfield (de Havilland 1958)

November 2018
Former Typo (St Albans Typographical Society
Move Over (new SAOEE site)
First pictorial record (Armistice)

October 2018
Moths (DH Moth models)
They recognised me (boys outside Hill End)
Behind the main road (Winches)

September 2018
Platoon … as you were (Home Guard from Hatfield)
Platoon … halt (Home Guard from Hatfield

August 2018
Was it that long ago? (review of 1968)
Fifty (review of 1968)
Meet me at the drill hall (signing up soldiers)

July 2018
Fire, fire! Pour on water (Fire at Hill End Farm 1878)
Welcome to our new pad (Opening of Highfield Visitor Centre)
It’s in the archive (keeping the stories from Hatfield Road Cemetery)

June 2018
Sweet sound (restoring a Salvation Army brass instrument)
Recollections all round (four recollections from readers)
The doorstep pint (milk deliveries)

May 2018
It’s showtime (Herts County Show)
The price of coal (using the Coal Office)
We have a plan (educating Fleetville and Camp)
Fielding for free (picnic at the Barley Mow)

April 2018
Educating the newcomers (Educating Fleetville and Camp 1)
Spies in Glenlyn Avenue (post-WW1 friendship visits from Germany)

March 2018
Pothole alley (road maintenance)
Just dropping in (spies over our East End)
Decidedly dodgy (repairs from bomb damage)

February 2018
On your bike (arriving at London Road estate)
Sweets and planes (William Grace)

January 2018
Playground closed (informal play spaces)
Travelling east (Hatfield Road east)
Year’s worth of delight (Hannah Sessions calendar)

December 2017
Enjoy it? It made Mondays (people who inspired us)
A Little Bit Further (extending the city limits)

November 2017
Learning a Little More (Symondshyde New Village)
An anniversary for Glenferrie (centenary)
Happy birthday (109th for Fleetville School)

October 2017
Give Me Some Space (improving Fleetville’s roads)
Sorry, we don’t do sliced (Morley’s bakery)

September 2017
Stop Go (traffic lights)
Farming Outpost (Marshalswick Farm)

August 2017
One Day We’ll Do Something About It (traffic through Fleetville)
Memory Triggered (growing up in Fleetville)
What do we know about the Mos? (DH Mosquito)

July 2017
Flag waving (Green Flag Award)
All Mixed Up (Sutton Road)

June 2017
Nine Nine Nine (police boxes)
Chalet Shops (by the railway station)
Portsmouth Ahoy (careers visit by Beaumont School)
Some People Like Barley Sugars (walking out in the East End)

May 2017
The Lanes That Move (lane at Hill End which is no longer there)
You’ll Never Guess What, Mum (postcard photo outside Hill End gates)

April 2017
Sixty Is a Memory (recollections from 1957)
Sutton Lakes (the problem of drainage)
East(er) End Roundup
Engineering In the Round (ELECO)

March 2017
Converting Industrial Measures (industrial estates)
Patching Up the Past (Duisburg exchange)
No Time For a Round (Nast Hyde development)
View From the Boundary (Clarence Park cricket pavilion)

February 2017
Junction By Design? (Crown junction)
Updating and Refreshing (Ellenbrook)

January 2017
Oh For a Bypass (St Albans bypass)
Road With a View (Camp View Road)
A Circle Road (the ring road)
Speak or Text? (phones)

Speaking of the growing Fleetville in 1912: "… the haphazard, disorganised and part-completed houses, workshops and factories down in St Albans' own east end".
Ernest Townson (from the Herts Advertiser 1912)