Community Exhibition: Post War Welwyn Garden City
Community Exhibition Plans
As part of our National Lottery Heritage Funded project we have been working with local volunteers to research and plan a public pop up exhibition. The exhibition will look at how the identity of Welwyn Garden City (WGC) as a garden city evolved post-war as a new town with guidance from government. Through this story we will tell a more complex and multi-layered story of WGC. Exploring the evolution of the town through the addition of new housing, new population diversity, and new cultural needs while still maintaining the garden city ethos.
Our story is of WGC from 1948 to the present, illustrated by stories of those who moved here from London or abroad including experiences of multiple cultural communities. Post war thousands of bombed out Londoners needed homes and people were encouraged to move to the UK to help rebuild the economy. The garden city principles concerning planned urban spaces, green spaces, good transportation links, and the balance of healthy living with productive commerce were growing in society as best practices when planning new communities. However government’s needs for increased housing, new hospitals, increased diversity and government funded needs were occasionally in contradiction to the traditional garden city ideals.
How did the local community change from the original garden city residents to the new town residents? Now what can we expect for the future of this garden city? Considering current pressures, needs and plans for the local authorities on future town’s developments how does the garden city look tomorrow? We will be asking these questions and more within the exhibition and will be including some ideas from the youth of WGC to see what they think a garden city ought to look like in the future.
As part of our research and planning for the exhibition a volunteer working on the project, Darren Harte, conducted some audio interviews with local residence. Here are some short snips of their oral history interviews which will be available in more detail when the exhibition is revealed.