Life in Lanefield Walk
"I am really Welwyn Garden City born and bred"
Mary was born in 1934. Her memories were recorded by the Welwyn Garden Heritage Trust as part of its Where Do You Think You Live? project.
Mary’s dad George Kenney was born in No.2 Junction Cottages (Blakemere Road) in 1894 before there was a Garden City. Her grandfather and his brother worked on the railway as did her Uncle Jim. George Kenney “worked for Sherriffs and then went into the Army and when he came out in 1919/20 that’s when the Garden City was just beginning and he worked at the gravel pits on the washer, washing the gravel and sand that they used to build the Garden City. So he was presented with a tankard when the Queen opened the little garden on the Campus. So when they did 50 years of WGC – there’s a photo of my dad with his tankard. I am really WGC born and bred. I love my Garden City. I’m very proud of it.”
Her parents started married life at No.14 Sandpit Cottages but moved to Lanefield Walk where Mary was born in 1934. She remembers her childhood as “Good fun. I expect there was about 20 of us with about 7/8 years of each other and we were always together. There was a whole group of us. Guessens then was like what we would call now good old Council houses surrounded by these big private houses. ‘They should never have been built there’ my Dad said but that was where the ground was and that was where they were built and we enjoyed a lot of fun together – go up into the woods, up into the rhododendron woods and play and we had a big swing and see-saw in the field behind. We spent a very happy childhood until I went to grammar school and that was it. I was the only one that went so I lost all my main mates. They went to Handside and they would come and say “are you coming out to play?” and my mum said “no she has got her homework to do” and then gradually they didn’t bother and really I lost quite a bit of that part of my childhood with them, the enjoyment, the fun with them. I got through it.”