Whilst going through my extensive archive, all sorts of things have turned, up so whilst you think about whether or not to look at a selection of Berko photos, I found this from September 2009 which appeared in the next issue of the Parish magazine (other articles are available as I never throw things away!!)
‘The sixties keep getting written about as I suppose those who were there appear
to have the attitude that if you remember it, you weren't there. The latest one I've
heard about is a book by Jenny Diski and entitled 'The Sixties' -
Being, (as most who know me) bitter and twisted and not being stupid enough to waste my time going to university, I thought we ought to start putting the record straight as far as our little town is concerned. The sixties in Berkhamsted brought big changes. Most of the town centre was knocked down and housing going up everywhere. This was the time when the railway was being electrified, commuter housing going up and the town expanding in an effort to catch up with the rapidly expanding new town of Hemel Hempstead.
You are going to have to forgive my recollections in some areas as I got hit by a
bus in 1982 which has resulted in gaps due to a bump on the bonce, so let's start
with the obvious. Durrants Estate was started just after I came to the town and,
naturally, my parents moved into one of the first council houses (remember council
houses?). Normal schools for us ‘ruff raff’ were Chapel Street and Gossoms End, then
to Park View or Victoria and then to the 'bi-
In the early 50's most of the town had gas street lighting, a Sainsburys, the major
retailer was the Co-
Before we get to the sixties, what else sticks in my mind? Well, the High Street
had nasty yellow street lighting installed in the early 50's. You couldn't walk down
the High Street without having to stop and natter to at least half a dozen people.
Sharlands was the alternative to the Co-
Bye the bye, I’ve been actually reading one of the many books about Berkhamsted (in
particular ‘Berkhamsted -
Whilst in the mood, look out for my booklet walking around the Sunnyside side from
the station and back via the canal, Garden Lane up to Ashlyns and back to the station
I’ve found the cover for both versions which should be here
The A5 booklet (you have to print double sided and fold the A4 paper to A5) should be here
The A4 version -
Once again my rummaging has produced results. How would you like to read the Official Guide to Berkhamsted? No, well move swiftly on but for those who are curious here is front cover in glorious colour
Now you have had the taster, how about the whole thing?
My rummaging has no bounds as I’ve found the program for the spring fair on June
6th 1977 in the Castle grounds before the Duchy of Cornwall decided it was far to
damaging to the ancient monument. They noticed it after at least 20 years of events
being held there. I seem to have kept it because it was the Silver Jubilee Fete to
celebrate the Queens Silver Jubilee. I have made a copy but cannot be bothered to
upload it at the moment as no-
Guess what, I’ve now found the Berkhamsted Town Council Souvenir Programme (price 25p) for the week, and no, I didn’t win the £50 for entering the draw. The interesting thing is the advertisers in both publications. It was a lively little market town until it turned into commuter town.
You will find out what I’m currently up to at www.normancutting.co.uk
Comments and suggestions best done by dropping a postcard I suppose you can still
get them? to the address below with an e-
Wondering why it’s not here, well it used to be but I got fed up with all the begging
letters from very rich people or people I don’t know wanting to provide Internet
services and I’m sure I’m not that popular or rich -
I suppose it’s only fair to include the odd photo or two. Sad to say I have more, but if you remember any of these people, you might like to keep it it quiet!!
Don’t worry, I’ll be back in spite of what everyone thinks!
In case you are wondering -
©2021 Norman Cutting -