Bush Hall

By David Gildea

I remember living in Bush Hall Cottage as it was then known, I think about 1954-56. I went to the private school in Bush Hall for a while. Across the lane was an old house occupied  by Mr & Mrs Titmuss. I spent a lot of time over there; it was an old water-driven mill as I recall built over the River Lea. I used to fish behind the mill in the river. Oh, what happy memories. That mill is never mentioned now in all that I read about Hatfield and I wonder why.

I know the house that I lived in was renovated, as I visited it in 1989 to see Mrs Titmuss and my old school, which by then was a hotel. I swear the hotel still had some of the same beds used for boarders upstairs in the cheap rooms!

I was only in Hatfield for a few years but it left a lasting impression. I was a choirboy at St Etheldreda’s Church and, after I left the private school, I went to the old school behind the Church. I think Mr Padget was the headmaster. When my father died suddenly, my mother moved me to Sussex and then to Liverpool, where I lived until emigrating to Canada, but I still have fond memories of Hatfield and especially the Mill Green area.

This page was added on 25/01/2012.

Comments about this page

  • I lived in the stable cottage behind Bush Hall School from 1957 to 1963 as my late first husband Michael Hutchinson was teaching there. Three of our children were born there and I certainly remember Mr and Mrs Titmus. Mr Titmus looked after our furniture removal when we left after the school’s closure. For some time I had acted as the matron to the boarders and remember quite a few of the boys’ names: Pieter and Nicholas Dixon, Malcolm and Melvyn Caton, David Crouch, David Goss, Robert Stephen Thurgood, brothers Willoughby, several Wright brothers/cousins (called Wright Major, Wright Minor and Wright Minimus), Sheriff and others.

    By Monika Butler (19/10/2018)
  • To Neil Toplis: been out of touch with this site for a while, just saw your reply. Your grandmother, Mrs Titmuss, used to babysit me on occasion; she was a wonderful lady. I had the great pleasure of writing to her many times after I had moved to Canada and, in 1989, had the great pleasure of meeting her again and introducing her to my family. It was something I will never forget.

    By David R Gildea (28/09/2016)
  • Hi everyone, I was looking for anything about Bush Hall as a private school. Because I was sent there about 1962-3. I have a lot of interesting memories of the place! For instance, I used to ask my parents if I could board at the weekend because we had so much fun in the grounds. The headmaster was having an affair with the French teacher who often left the class to meet up with her. We crept out of class and caught them! Many more more memories if anyone out there interested?

    By Rick Newton (19/08/2015)
  • Hi, my old email address is no longer valid, the new one is. Chrisangus1950@Gmail.com. I remember Mrs. Titmuss very well she used to give me some of her elderberry wine to taste and biscuits when I called round from across the road. A kind lady.

    By Christopher Angus (07/03/2014)
  • Hi David The old house you refer to is called Turbine House and Mr & Mrs Titmuss were my Grand Parents, although the house belonged to Lord Salisbury and was given to them to live in as they had both worked on the estate. I loved staying with my Grandparents in that mill and catching ‘tidlers’ as we called them in our fishing net

    By Neil Toplis (28/12/2013)
  • Hi David, so surprised to see your comments about Bush Hall! I too lived in the cottage you call Bush Hall cottage, though I never knew it had a name. I am a little hazy on dates but I was at the school from its inception as it was run by my family. Prior to living in the cottage I lived in two other places on the property. one being the gate house or lodge now long since knocked down, I have lovely memories of fishing for roach on the bend in the river behind the Titmus Mill. I have a lot of bad memories from my childhood as well, so again like you my time there definately shaped my life to a large extent. Though I guess that is true for many of us .If you or any one else would like to contact me about our time there please contact me at cangus@live.co.uk. All the very best, Chris Angus.PS I rember being scared of that shelter in the back garden, its still there as far as I know, now with huge trees growing on top of it, so it must be really old.

    By Chris Angus (25/04/2012)

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