Memories of the 1950s

By Roger Filler & Kenneth Street

Stonehills c1958
Junction of Stonehills and Bridge Road, showing old Police Station and Dickinson & Adams Motors c1962. Welwyn Stores, now John Lewis, in the background
Welwyn Garden City Library
Probably taken from Welwyn Stores in 1964, clearly seen are Dickinson and Adams and Munts, down to the bank on the far right
Welwyn Garden City Library

The photograph of Stonehills, c1958, is taken from what is now the bottom of Sir Theodore Chambers Way and captures much of what is still familiar about this area of the town centre and a number of landmarks, now sadly gone.

Police Station

Just out of this picture, but clearly visible in the second photograph was the old WGC Police Station which was closed in 1962 and demolished the following year when the new station opened on the Campus. National Westminster bank is, of course, still there and in 1958 was the premises of National Provincial Bank. The low building in the mid-background is The Broadwater Press, who for many years produced The Welwyn Times, run by Harry Cheatham.

Dickinson & Adams

Beyond there was Munts, selling bicycles and prams and who have a separate page on this site. On the corner of Stonehills, opposite the Cherry Tree, where the multi storey car park now stands was Dickinson & Adams Motors and 752 taxis, which can be seen in the second photograph. When these pictures were taken Stonehills was a through road, but it was closed in the 1960s.

Kenneth Street remembers those times vividly: “I lived next door to the police station which is just to the left of this photo from 1952 until 1959 when my father (the local police station sergeant) retired. The photo of Stonehills is very evocative of memories I had as a young child living in the town centre. I well remember the buildings opposite my home including Munts cycle shop (they sold good fireworks!), Broadwater Press (kept my mother awake at night when the presses were working) and Williams Bros discount store. I well remember in the dead of night hearing the expresses racing through the railway station to and from Kings Cross (steam hauled of course) – this began my lifelong interest in railways. The Cherry Tree public house was well known in the area (not frequented by me I might add!). The fire station always sounded its siren on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. – very loud if you were close to it.

Do you memories of the town centre at that time. Why not log in today and share them with other Garden Citizens.


This page was added on 06/09/2009.

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  • It’s very nice to see pictures of stonehills and particularly Munts, where my dad was Manager from 1949 to its closure in 1971, albeit these premises were vacated in the mid 1960’s, when they moved to the old Underwoods shop in Howardsgate. We lived in WGC from 1952 until 1971/2<I moved out in 1969 when I married. I certainly remember the old police station and the Welwyn Dept Store, which is now John Lewis's

    By Rod Slade (25/09/2018)
  • Ahhh Stonehills! Lovely photos of how I remember it!

    By Joseph Peterson (31/03/2015)