Centenary Ideas

 

Click on the headings below to see all the 300+ plus suggestions submitted by Welwyn Garden City Residents. We invite all the groups and individuals who proposed these events to start planning now! Perhaps yours is on the list?

We can provide some support, publicity on the website, and of course, you may choose to promote your event with the Centenary Foundation logo.

Do let us know how you will celebrate the Centenary Year.

Suggested Events and Ideas

Other Garden Cities

  • Invite representatives from Garden Cities overseas to come to the town to celebrate the centenary. (Create a Signpost pointing to overseas towns such as is found in Wekerle, Hungary)
  • Some link up with other Garden Cities worldwide
  • Town twinning with WG village in Japan (outskirts of Tokyo)

1920/2020

  • What was invented in 1920?
  • Who was born in WGC in 1920; be 100 in 2020
  • Young people who will be 20 in 2020 and born in 2020
  • Research 1920 inventions and patents
  • What other events occurring in 2020

Others

  • Hawthorne open broadcast theatre – Olympic big screen for main days
  • Photo montage – similar to Sainsburys, re-use if possible
  • Celebrity James May – Airfix – Playdough
  • A Community Lunch down Parkway (Perhaps aimed at older folk and served by youngsters from the town).
  • Promote WGC as a tourist destination
  • Colour Run 5k – Orlando Citrus Bowl Florida
  • Lego model of WGC
  • Giant models (torched) celebrate end of winter and arrival of spring with spectacular pyrotechnics
  • Poetry in Motion – for Transport for London
  • Light Festival similar to Durham’s held Nov 2013
  • Invite Question Time
  • Invite I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, Radio 4
  • Invite the News Quiz, Radio 4
  • Invite Jack FM
  • Special Edition Royal Mail Stamps designed by Ronald Maddox, local artist
  • Lasting memorial in the Garden City after 2020, eg a garden; trees planted; a wood; a sculpture
  • Investigate Kickstarter website which is used to gather donations for projects like the centenary.
  • Sponsorship needed to generate funding support
  • Fundraising Challenges
  • Youth Theatre, Barn Fundraising
  • Companies
  • Sponsorship to fund local events
  • Sponsorship from house builders

Companies

  • Simmons WGC centenary flour or loaf, make special cakes for sale
  • Local car garages to supply 1920 car parade (Bentley)
  • WGC Railway station – refreshed planting reflecting the Garden City; to a plan produced by the students of Capel Manor?
  • Seek secondees from employees to manage/be part of events
  • Approach employers – survey on why attracted to WGC
  • Travel links – work with Govia to spruce up station; introduce ‘special’ fares
  • What about plans for a bid business improvement of district – potential funders and funding

Heritage

  • Heritage used to encourage investment
  • Rejuvenate town centre
  • WGC companies – museum pieces past and present
  • Approach major employers past, present Cereal Partners, John Lewis, etc
  • Shops in town centre to display picture of original shops
  • How use the centenary to promote our national and international profile
  • Understanding of heritage and impact on the community ie aerospace, shredded wheat and pharmaceuticals

Events

  • No car Sunday
  • 2020 apprentice – take man (youngster?) today who will graduate in 2020
  • Young people entrepreneurship programme #dragons apprentice
  • Inter company cricket match on campus – game each week over summer
  • Commuters to get involved
  • Howard Centre – static displays, other displays by bands etc
  • Must have’ celebratory pack to incl badge, heritage map, balloon, postcard, crayons etc
  • Fair Trade town ‘Council to work with all outlets to combine resources and create exhibition / sales opportunity
  • Commemorative ‘coin’ a la the Golden Jubilee

Juniors

  • Involve primary schools. Note that if we start with them now, we can continue into their secondary schools
  • Generic materials for all local primaries to access historical material
  • Every school child to plant a bulb in a mass planting, possibly in the green space in front of Campus West or down the Parkway. The
  • Dutch Nursery and/ or Digswell Nurseries to be approached for sponsorship.
  • Each school to have a garden or vegetable plot
  • School children to plant a bed in the Parkway
  • Childrens youth and families worker employed to work in church and in schools for inter-faith (Wendy Lidgate already has links with schools) Joyce Nicholson

Seniors & University

  • Education should include university, but most students at UH for 1-4 years. Acitivites need to fit with that timescale. Working with different courses at university creative arts, event management, design, not just geography and planning. Need to link into what students do for their studies, not optional extras
  • How do we encourage young people to stay here and make a difference? Housing? Jobs? Getting involved in how the town is run.
  • Oaklands fashion students – clothes for the next 100 years
  • Secondary schools – weave into history lessons; practical projects eg gardens, sports; thinking of the future; Handside Schools partnership (incl Stanborough, Applecroft, Lakeside) garden projects and photography project
  • Use Herts Univ and Oaklands College – marketing, graphics, media depts to produce stuff!
  • Former pupils returning to their old schools inspiring sixth formers

Museums

  • Involve Mill Green Museum
  • A Pop-Up Travelling Museum

Events

  • School competition for battery or human powered vehicles
  • Pioneering electric car racing / pre slot racing, using a rail, drawings exist of cars / track etc. They are simple engineering projects ideal for secondary school to recreate perhaps with each school competing on their track in their cars

General

  • Head of Stanborough (Peter Brown) will act as focal point – he is chair of WGC Schools forum
  • Study visits – to learn about Garden Cities / sustainable urban developments in other places – what about abroad
  • Interest younger audience about the future – a heritage/ nostalgic focus would put many younger people off
  • Involve U3A
  • Education/ learning in WGC today and in 100 years time – time capsules
  • Ballet / dance in education
  • Approach schools for their ideas eg recreate 100 years ago / 100 years ahead
  • Inspire young people to learn more about their local heritage; ‘soft tangible things’ are as important as memorials
  • Design logo which could be used on button badges (partner with schools)
  • Schools project ‘Why I like living in WGC’ essay or picture
  • Lingua Franca for younger people is the Internet, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Use of these essential to engage with young

Buildings & Town Infrastructure

  • Stop continuing to build large extensions being built on small houses – original concept of housing mix being destroyed.
  • Build an aerodrome (x2)
  • Extend fountain – colours etc
  • Refurbish and upgrade the footbridge between the station (Howardcentre) and Hydeway
  • Campus roundabout – join up all 3 pedestrian crossings with wide paths
  • 20 mile an hour speed limits in town centre
  • More pedestrianised roads in town centre
  • Whole of town centre pedestrianised
  • Clean up the historical monuments – Faldo tree (plaque) and Adonis etc
  • Make it impossible to mount kerb- white bricks
  • A proper footpath / cycle path around lakes and wheelchair route (x3)
  • Fill in the potholes
  • A bandstand
  • An additional prominent feature for the town centre to complement the Coronation Fountain
  • New town signs at entrance to the town.

Events

  • Bentley cars in WGC – Birkin motor company in Broadwater Road constructed 5 team cars; 4 raced and still exist. Recreate Birkin’s racing car / Le Mans. Connect them together for an event including vintage historic car parade and veteran, say pre-war emphasis. Possible sprint around Parkway like the 1929 WGC Festival motor cycle race. Display cars and navigation rally ending in Parkway or on the campus.
  • Have a welly day to remember the early days!
  • Open house in WGC landmark buildings
  • Historic cars on the campus as per Hapenden’s Classics on the Common

Royalty

  • Seek Royal visit, identify early as diaries are usually 5 years ahead

Schools & Youth

  • Stanborough school has a good photo archive which could be made available

Businesses & Homes

  • Use Ken Wright’s mobile photographic exhibition
  • Explore where Sainsburys pictorial boards are/re-use
  • Heritage event – encouraging shops and restaurants to dress as 100 years ago and sell goods from 100 years ago in Howardsgate.
  • Special trains non stop to key destinations

General

  • Who is the heritage for? Is it like London’s open house? Stimulate debate among local people – or like Heritage opens days – visitors?
  • Letchworth linked into heritage open days and gained substantial natural media profile and media publicity
  • Improve access and condition of archive material – digitising and conserving – work in Letchworth has opened up access to collections
  • Involvement of incoming communities – Welsh 1935, Jewish Quaker and the newcomers
  • Flags along Parkway
  • Permanent heritage centre / tourist information centre as STARTING POINT for visitors
  • Subject to finance, can we roll back some of the neglect and decay of recent years – make it look like it used to (Malcolm Cowan)
  • Recognition of other organisations that may be or have already celebrated their centenary WGC Football Club centenary is 2021 (Karen and Les)
  • Heritage weekend – guided heritage walks
  • Create items that represent key aspects of the town that can be sold as souvenirs
  • Explore how religious /quaker roots of WGC wish to participate
  • Refurbish the 2 display boards in Howardsgate and the one in Woodhall and perhaps to display posters of WGC past and present. (Complex discussions about these and 2 more are already taking place).
  • Approach and involve Womens Institutes
  • Approach Letchworth Garden City – encourage exhibs/ joint events
  • Heritage Fair at Howard Centre (Welwyn Hatfield Heritage Trust)
  • Approach Liberty for a ‘WGC’ inspired print
  • Recreate Town Directory (names and addresses of residents in 2020)
  • Permant legacy

Events

  • Garden Festival/Flower Show
  • Garden Festival prizes in which each Ward to be judged by Councillor then Grand Final to be judged by someone from Gardeners
  • Question Time? (R4)
  • Garden Competition by Ward /Area
  • Open Gardens Day – NGS special event
  • Britain in Bloom – arrange for WGC to participate from 95th anniv
  • Schoolchildren’s garden design/planting competition
  • Show garden at Chelsea Flower Show
  • A centennial lecture by celebratory gardener
  • Gardeners Question Time to be held in WGC
  • A plant or shrub with a commemorative name

Town Enhancement/Heritage Schemes/Gardens/Landscape

  • Heritage / Show garden possible with monument
  • Wildflower Area (ask Tom Stewaer Smith to assist)
  • Landscape / Planting schemes at Stanborough and Panshanger Parks
  • Neighbourhood / Local Community improvement projects
  • Planting by young people – school or club involvement
  • Garden for the disabled (eg Sensory Garden)
  • WGC Station garden
  • Heritage garden at Shredded Wheat site
  • Involvement of Capel Manor and Brickwall Nursery

Trees

  • Urban Arboretum
  • Tree plantings by Area / Community
  • Map of Heritage Trees
  • Tree Trail
  • Fruit trees in residents gardens / community orchard

Vegetables

  • New Allotments
  • Community Vegetable Garden / Children’s vegetable garden

Art

  • Welwyn Garden City Art Week (x2) – open houses like Oxford and around
  • A major art exhibition (Utopia / Letchworth)
  • Art exhibition could feature local artist Faith Shepherd (1920- 2008)
  • Appoint an official photographer to capture the journey in a book or website
  • Approach Digswell Arts Trust
  • Commission sculpture by local sculptor or member of Digswell Art Trust
  • Exhibition of sculpture installed round the town
  • Design and make centenary quilt

Music

  • Music and singing – try to engage all schools to widen participation with a view to creating the WGC Youth Orchestra and Choir(s) with Gala performances in 2020 and to create a music legacy for future generations
  • Approach contemporary composer to write a piece of music about WGC (x2)
  • Massed choirs event to commission newly commissioned piece
  • WGC Song written by ? performed by community choirs
  • Big Gig!
  • Involve local singers and pop artists – the Eurovision entry is being sung by a WGC man
  • Male voice choir concert
  • Bell ringers to mark opening of 2020 year
  • Mini Glastonbury – a festival in a day!
  • Music Festivals: Welwyn Garden Concert Club, Jazz Club, Campus West
  • Music and dance – centenary concert at the Hawthorne theatre; choir and brass band concert in possible bandstand or in the new Centenary Hall
  • Dance display on The Arena
  • Centenary Concert
  • Pop Gig – Perhaps a competition for young local bands followed by a gig at which the winners play (and perhaps a mainline act).

Culture

  • A Garden Card’ bit like Zebra card where you get a discount off all paid events over the year
  • Use Campus West for what it was designed for
  • Get Morris dancer groups to a day of dance
  • University of Herts to be invited to make a film of the season
  • Amateur Morris dance competition
  • Better cycle access to the town
  • Sports/Arts/Musicians/Choirs/Churches – all to be approached. A piece of music especially written for WGC.
  • Update/ upgrade community facilities eg The Gosling
  • Dance Festivals
  • Don’t forget the old peoples homes – we have to go to them!
  • Architectural photo trail quiz

Drama

  • Outdoor theatre in original auditorium in Sherrardswood
  • Commission a community play to tell the story of WGC’s first 100 years to travel around the town’s schools etc
  • A stage show to attract youngsters
  • Commission a pagent or play
  • Commission a local playright to write or adapt a play eg Glyn Maxwell
  • Barn Theatre – heritage display
  • Open Air theatre or cinema (x2)
  • Involve the theatre groups (Could apply to music as well).

Events

  • Olympic year in 2020
  • Beer Festival in period dress
  • Fireworks (x3) / laser show
  • Have events all round town not just in town centre
  • Moonlight torch parade through Sherrardswood
  • Carnival procession incorporating music and visual arts travelling through town on floats
  • Street parade/ street carnival
  • Event on campus
  • Involving ‘playday’ at Stanborough Park
  • Christmas Lights switch on!
  • Tea Dance
  • International Food Festival
  • Film Festival
  • Summer Fair including lots of stalls for local clubs to display their wares.
  • A family fireworks display to be reinstated over Stanborough lakes
  • Seek a big community venue eg Centenary Arena
  • Reinstate water jets in the lakes – last spotted in 2005
  • Ferris Wheel at King George V playing fields
  • Devise a town trail with pavement markers, as per Baldock, Dijon
  • A festival to be held in Stanborough Park
  • Invite media presence eg Songs of Praise; Down Your Way
  • Invite local celebrities eg Barry Norman
  • Film Society to present film programme
  • Centenary Ball to be held (Tewinbury/ marquee on Campus?)
  • Cake Baking or Decorating competition
  • Invite Adrian Searle (The Guardian Art Editor and son of WGC) to critique Oaklands College end of year art exhibition or similar
  • Comedy Club night featuring David Trent, son of WGC (Edinburgh Festival 2013 ‘This Is All I Have’

Water Sports

  • Build a swimming pool in WGC, not just a fun one but something multi purpose like Hatfield
  • Recreate outdoor 50m pool at Gosling
  • Dinghy regatta
  • A regatta involving the local dinghy racing club
  • Duck racing on lakes (x2)
  • Build a raft race on lakes
  • Dragon racing on lakes

Cycling

  • Festival of cycling – use of velodrome still one of the best velodromes in the UK. Bring cycling fun based events to the town centre.
  • Welwyn Wheelers one of the oldest clubs in the WGC movement
  • Renew cycle track and stadium facilities – build new loos
  • Cycling – adults and children – 100 event
  • Road cycle race (with Welwyn Wheelers)
  • Womens Cycle Tour – future plans
  • Cycle access around Stanborough lakes
  • Kids bike race – Parkway
  • Cycle race around town centre for kids
  • Host cycle races (on closed roads)

Golf

  • Golf on original tournament course for juniors
  • Golf match on the original course layout
  • Golf Clubs – WGC, Mill Green, Panshanger – challenge
  • Golf tournament between WGC juniors (under 18s)
  • Initiate an annual golf match between 4 well known (local?) professionals the WGC Cup/ Trophy

Team Sport

  • Welwyn Rugby club
  • WGC FC centenary football match (x3)
  • Recreate football/ table tennis/ darts etc matches between teams at present companies (G Simpson)
  • Local sports teams to host exhibition matches against ‘celebrity’ teams (Ted Wells)

Individual Sport

  • Horse chariot races
  • Motor cycle races
  • Host a marathon (on closed road) and a fun run and a half marathon
  • Tennis – involve Dellcott, Orchard (x2)
  • Human powered car race
  • Person and Electric car race

Community

  • Inter-garden city sports competition /tournament (x2)
  • Build a new pathway around lake like Hillingdon leisure, flat and separate areas
  • Walk/ cycle/ roller blade / running circuit around Stanborough lakes as per Hillingdon (and Letchworth’s £1m greenway)
  • Look at Minneapolias lakes USA leisure activities
  • Have table tennis tables and chess etc in grass in parkway
  • Miniature Speedway
  • High ropes park!
  • Running track around town like Manchester
  • BIG sports day held in Parkway for all WGC youngsters (G Simpson)
  • Race circuit on Parkway for vehicles of different ages – cycles, motorcycles, cars of veterans, Edwardians, vintage etc
  • Skyride on closed roads
  • Aerobics display on The Arena
  • Sons and daughters celebrate
  • Running around town
  • Multi sports event
  • International sporting event like Tour De France (x2)
  • Healthy towns (Nick Long)
  • Approach Finesse Leisure – free use of facilities (similar to celebration of 10th anniv)
  • Create a lasting memorial that majority with enjoy eg play area; outside gym (as per St Albans – Verulam park)
  • Gosling sports park mulit-sports event
  • Celebrate our famous sporting sons and daughters – Nick Faldo, David James, etc
  • Inter school soap box derby
  • Drag/go cart races Parkway
  • Gosling Stadium – Marathon through the town passing as many key locations as possible.

Others

  • Clash with Olympics? Logo looks olympic themed
  • A hot air balloon race starting from Stanborough park
  • A spectacular aviation themed display

Events

  • Carnival/ torch relay lock down (?)
  • World record size trampoline and bouncy castle
  • Treasure Hunt – theme being history over 100 years
  • Oaklands College media dept make documents and videos
  • World record Guiness – picnic / biggest cookie
  • Competition for the schools in WGC to design a ‘memorial’ of the event

Personalities

  • Prince Harry and George visit
  • Prince Harry to open official ceremony
  • Celebrities Blue Peter / Dumping Ground filmed here
  • Aleisha Dixon
  • Jake Wood
  • Rupert Grint!
  • Simon Pegg
  • Lisa Snowden
  • David James

Social Media

  • Town Centre app for events
  • Snapchat
  • Photo bombing
  • Flash mobs

Music & Dance

  • Dance Competition – Diversity
  • WGC Got Talent
  • Strictly in WGC – famous dancers
  • Teens concert gigs – 5 year time – id (identify?)
  • Choir – more music in schools – Gareth Malone visit
  • Band/ Choirs / orchestras in all schools – competition

Facilities

  • Skate park – portable or new one built

Sports

  • Roller skate race round Parkway

Art

  • Art/ sculpture by kids in public places
  • Kids design playground competition and built it
  • Kids graffiti in town