Happy Birthday Welwyn Department Stores
25 Years in its present building
By Susan Hall
To celebrate its 25th year of successful trading and service to Hertfordshire, Welwyn Department Store ‘presented an interesting cross-section of the County’s Arts, Crafts and Industries together with other exciting BIRTHDAY attractions throughout the store.’
The opening ceremony was to be on Saturday 19th September 1964 at 10.45am and star of stage and television, Dick Emery was to open the celebrations.
On his arrival he was to make his way to a special stand outside the food hall where he would open the celebrations and cut a giant cake, he would then make his way to the first floor restaurant foyer where he would then sign autographs.
Among the attractions for the two weeks of celebartions were:
Model Circus and Fairground, Toy Dept first floor
Incubators with live chicks, Childrens Wear first floor
Pottery Making, ground floor
Aircraft Exhibition, Hawker Siddeley ground floor
The County Regiment, past and present main stairway
Model Railway, Toy Dept. first floor
Lotus Racing Car, Motor Accessories ground floor
Glass Animal Making, ground floor
Fashion Parades, Parkway Restaurant
And, as an added attraction, throughout the birthday fortnight, spectacular displays in over 30 windows featuring Industrial Exhibits, Historical items and work of local Artists, Sculptors and craftsmen.
There were also various demonstrations and competitions.
Dick Emery arrived from Blackpool by private plane, which he piloted himself. He landed at Hatfield Airfield and was driven to Welwyn Garden City by car.
He cut the giant pink Birthday cake using a ceremonial sword, after the first slice was cut he lead the singing of ‘Happy Birthday’
After lunch he piloted his plane back to Blackpool where he was appearing in a show.