A SURVEY AND HISTORY OF STANSTEAD ABBOTTS 1949


PREFACE

This survey, carried out by Standards 7 & 8 of Stanstead Abbotts V.P. school in October and November of 1949 has been made as accurate as possible so as to give a clear picture of our village as it is now.  Maybe in 50 years time someone interested in the growth of village may consult its pages for information.  In tracing the History contained in part I,  we would have welcomed such news of 1900 for instance.  In the same way that no one really knows how Cats Hill obtained its name, so Elephant Lane may well puzzle people in AD2000.  Its correct name – Netherfield Lane – will soon be completely forgotten.

Similarly, few can say where Occupation Road is, since everyone calls it Millers Lane because Messrs. Len, Jack, Archie and Sam Miller all live there.

Cappell Lane has already been both Chapel Lane and Park Road, while Roydon Road was formerly Vicarage Road and many would like to see the old names revived.

Finally, no two spell Abbotts, some using two t’s and others one.  A few years ago such official opinions such as those of the Station and The Post Office disagreed, but now both use two.  A study of private letterheads and of the Telephone Directory shows that the double T is the more popular.


LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND SERVICES

Stanstead Abbotts, part of Ware rural district has a Parish Council of 9 elected members serving for three years, and a Clerk.  The present council is Mr. A F Neave (Chairman), Mr E W Brown (Vice-Chairman), Mrs. Measdady, Mrs Hall, Messrs E F W Damen, T Findlay, J F O’Dell, Russell and W G Trower, withMr F. Andrews, clerk.  Meetings are held roughly every 6 weeks in the upper parish room while housing, footpath surveys, lighting etc involve extra meetings.  Parish council properties are stored in Cromer Yard while the Ware RDC have a depot in Glenmire Terrace.

The following are JPs:- Mrs. E T Pearce, Mrs W G Trower, Mr G F Pearce, Mr. G W Camp and Mr T. Findlay.

One policeman has to cover Hunsdon, Amwell and St Margaret’s as well as our village but Mr. E Cook and Mr E D Robertson are Special Constables.  A district nurse serves the same villages.  No doctor lives in the village but Dr Moore of Ware holds a surgery at number 22 High Street on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 11.30am.  Persons needing treatment go to Hertford County Hospital or Rye Park clinic.  Cod Liver Oil and baby foods are distributed by Mrs. Woodhouse at 49, Roydon Road every other Monday afternoon.

Dustbins are emptied weekly as are bucket type lavatories in outlying areas.  There is no Fire Service in the village the small local Brigade having been disbanded when the NFS was formed and we now rely on Ware or Hoddesdon Brigades.

How Post Office is only a Sub Office, with collections at 10:00 AM and 5:35 PM  (1.50pm Saturdays and 4:40 PM Sundays ) and two deliveries daily.  An average of 400 - 500 letters and 25 to 30 parcels are delivered daily.   

There is no Registrar of births and deaths here though a room at 11 High Street was used for this purpose a few hours a week until 1939.  Such Registration now have to be made at Ware or Hertford.  There is also no court in the village, cases being tried at Ware Court.

Rates are fixed at 18/8 in the £ plus 6d in the lighted area which includes all except the very outlying areas. A penny rate brings in £25.

The only public clock is the one placed in Saint Andrews church in February this year as a War Memorial for which the sum of £216 was raised by subscription, dances etc.

HIGHWAYS

The only tarred roads today are those which run through the village.  Thele Avenue, South Street, Glenmire Terrace and Riverside are gravel surfaced the two latter having very little traffic.

Two danger points have been discussed by successive parish council’s for years without any action on the part of the County Council.  They are 1:- the bottleneck opposite numbers 1 - 8 Thele Estate where the road to Hunsdon narrows suddenly and passes between steep banks down which children love to slide or jump.  2. The corner at the Vicarage.  The suggestion that the stream there should be run through pipes, leaving room for a footpath round the bend, has been repeatedly shelved.


POSITION OF OUR VILLAGE

Stansted Abbotts population 1350 stands almost at the head of the Lea Valley, famous for its large area of glasshouses.  We are almost exactly 20 miles north of London.  The road A414 passes through the village and on to the east coast, while A10 London to Cambridge, passes within a mile.  The Hertford East to Liverpool Street railway service serves the village through St Margaret’s station.

The nearest seaside place is Southend , 50 miles and coach trips there and to Clacton 63 miles are popular, while coaches occasionally go to Margate or Hastings.

The River Lea is still used to some extent by barges, chief cargoes being timber and grain.

Geologically we come within the London Clay belt (see page 34).  From the agricultural point of view we are just at the edge of the East Anglian belt, though all our farms are mixed farming ones.  Most of the land is sloping towards the South or Southwest, which is an advantage to the farms giving more sunshine and fewer frosts, but the fact that the village is almost exactly 100 feet above sea level means that floods are liable while fogs and damp conditions are frequent.

The fact that Harlow- scheduled as a new town - is only 9 miles away may well affect our village in a few years.  

(1952) Coaches now go further afield for day trips and Gorleston, Eastbourne, Kings Lynne and Hunstanton and have all been visited by outings.


Continued

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