Stevenage at the turn of the 20th century

A Picture Gallery

By Tony Ellmore

These pictures show a very different view of Stevenage to the town we know today.

Do you recognise any of these places?

This page was added on 03/08/2011.

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  • Photos 1 – 6 L to R

    Photo 1:  Do not know, but my mother used to shop in a shop that looked like this (early 60s) which was on the western side of the High Street (south).  It was before supermarkets.  Inside we would sit in a queue waiting to be served, and we could sit or stand for ages if it was busy.  My mother would go daily in the morning.

    Photo 2:  Looking north to Green with divide of Hitchin Road and Great North Road.

    Photo 3:  Junction of Julian’s Road with Hitchin Road.

    Photo 4:  Looking north up High Street with Middle Row to right.  Shop in the middle was Shepherd’s the butchers (when I was a child).

    Photo 5:  Junction of church lane with Walkern Road.  Probably has not changed much since this photo.  The tower house must be noted for its design.

    Photo 6:  It must be emphasised that in those days, places like Broadwater and Shephall were hamlets well outside Stevenage itself.  Stevenage in the 1900s was a very small town spread along a High Street full of inns, a leftover from being a major coach staging post for London to Edinburgh.  Much of the Old Town development occurred in the 20s and 30s (as per Letchworth).  The New Town came 50s on, and the size of Stevenage then just exploded.

    By David Abram (11/02/2015)
  • A further comment on Photo 5 and 6.  In the 1900s, Walkern Road was a country lane from this point all the way to Walkern (of course).  Some of the original road is still there as cycle track and pathway by the side of the Stevenage Cemetary and through Hampson park.  I suspect a 1900s elderly person who knew this road well, would be terrified if they came back 100 years later.

    By David Abram (11/02/2015)