Stevenage Clock Tower
A new monument for a new town
By Stephanie Houlding
Whilst completing a public history assignment, I asked people at work, who grew up in the local area if they had any memories or ideas of local histories. One that I became aware of was the Stevenage Clocktower and the Queen’s visit in 1951.
The first New Town
After the Second World War Stevenage in Hertfordshire was the first, out of twenty-nine, ‘new towns’ to be built. This moment was commemorated with the building of the clock tower and with the subsequent Queens visit (20.04.1951) to the new town square, Queensway.
A scheme to alleviate overcrowded urban areas
The building of Stevenage’s new town was the beginning of a scheme to alleviate overcrowded urban areas as well as replace the thousands of destroyed and damaged housing that occured during the Second World War.
[Editorial note: H.M. Queen Elizabeth II visited Stevenage not in 1951 as stated, but in April 1959, as pointed out in comments below. See Queen Elizabeth II visiting the New Town in April 1959 for a photograph and personal memories of the visit.]