The Final Hours

Welwyn Garden City Railway Station

By Jennifer Mccann

WGC Station
Jennifer McCann
WGC railway station 1926-1989
Jennifer McCann

The approaches to the original Welwyn Garden City railway station on its last day of trading before demolition started in Spring 1989.

The contractor’s temporary buildings are visible through the railings at the right hand side of the station building.  The Howard Centre now incorporates the railway station.  I believe that the fact that the land used for the Howard Centre was previously British Rail property, rather than that of the New Towns Commission is what encouraged Marks & Spencer to come to town.  Perhaps another contributor can confirm this? 


This page was added on 17/08/2009.

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  • Paul, I absolutely agree with you! Howardsgate is much the same but the Howard Centre absolutely ruined the town centre. Woolworths – bought my Kodak camera for 10d there. I do have many pictures of the town and a few of the station here:

    By George Boston (30/10/2015)
  • Disappointed that the station pictures don’t show a clock in the middle of the facade. Every time I see Back to the Future I think of the 1950’/60’s and WGC of my childhood. The station, the green outside Woolworths, extending all the way up Howardsgate into Parkway.  Now it seems more alternate future from BTF2, a little spoilt by the Howard shopping mall.

    By Paul Davies (24/10/2015)
  • The old station building was very good but fairly impractical – what we missed after it was demolished and replaced with the Howard Centre was the Kebab van parked near to it

    By Rob Jerams (24/06/2015)
  •  Im sure the old guys name was Ron (surname forgotten) and he had a shop at woodhall parade also in Welwyn.

    I had a paper round for a short while supplield from the station kiosk

    Simon C

    By Simon Crawford (24/02/2015)
  • Here are the names of a number of the long forgotten station staff who worked at the station during the years 1972-1974. Station Chargeman/Foreman Charlie Heritage along with his opposite numbers Ivor (second name forgotten?) and Fred Spooner plus Railmen Dave (second name forgotten?) Dennis (the Irishman second name forgotten?) and a young fella also on the platform (name forgotten?) along with an older fella who was ‘punching tickets’ in the ticket booth on the station footbridge who’s name I have also now unfortunately forgotten plus also the two shunter’s in the Up yard Sid who lived at Cole Green & Fred a West Indian gentleman who lived at Finsbury Park as well as a couple of booking office clerks who’s names I never knew. Most of the above station staff were at the station several years before 1972 and several years after 1974.

    By Michael S (04/05/2014)
  • The three dormer windows in the roof lit the central booking hall, which rose the full height to the roof. The booking and parcels offices were to the north (left) of the entrance and the Smiths kiosk was to the right against the south end wall. In the south east corner to the left of the kiosk was the exit to the footbridge and platforms. Handsome for a “temporary” structure!

    By Jonathan Kinghorn (11/02/2014)
  • The old WGC railway station building was actually quite a pleasing building to the eye and the few times that I have visited WGC since 1990 I have regretted that the old station building was pulled down and replaced by The Howard centre. To the left of the old station building and out of sight of the camera around the back of the building was the bike shed also the top three windows near the top of the roof may have been dummy windows as I don’t think that there was a top floor to the building but I could be wrong?.

    By Michael S (27/05/2013)
  • In the early 70s I had a saturday/summer job at W. H. Smiths, who operated the station kiosk. When the old guy who manned the kiosk fell ill I spent a couple of weeks standing in for him there. The kiosk was filthy inside, and stuffed with packets of shreaded wheat, Polyfilla, and other local products given by passing workers. I was horrified when commuters dashed past every morning grabbing papers and magazines — but not paying for them. How was I going to account for the loss? Then on Friday as they hurried by they threw money at me for the week’s purchases! As I cleaned the kiosk I found old coins absolutely everywhere buried in the grime! My accounts looked very good.

    By Jonathan Kinghorn (07/02/2013)
  • Thats how I like to remember WGC station during the late 1960s and through the 1970s. As you walked into the station entrance the booking office window was to the left and to the right was a newspaper & magazine kiosk that also sold confectionery, later on in the 1970s I recall a small flower seller being there as well. Once you had passed through this small area inside the station entrance you then immediately climbed the staircase up onto the ‘long footbridge’ which either took you down onto the station platforms or continued on over the railway yard and brought you to another down staircase at the Shredded Wheat factory and the Broadwater road.

    By Michael S (31/01/2013)
  • Before they ruined WGC now look at it a faceless piece if garbage called the Howard Centre that cost locals £49m . Shame we didn’t realise what we had back then a real shame.

    By Matthew Scott (04/11/2012)