A poem by Isabel Beckwith

By Frank Cox

The locomotive depot c1928
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

This poem was published in Hatfield Rotary Club’s Magazine in 1990 and remembered by Michael Clark.  It was printed in  HLHS Newsletter in June 2004.It was composed by Isabel Beckwith who was born and still lives in Hatfield. For those of us who have spent most, or indeed all our lives in Hatfield, this poem will no doubt re-kindle many happy memories of the Hatfield that was, but I am sure the final line in the poem will be, to many, an apt description of their perception of Hatfield now.


Looking back on Hatfield, the town in which I grew,

I think of all the old things, and compare them with the new.

We had no Galleria and no Tesco super store,

But in the street where I grew up we never locked a door.

We didn’t have the ‘Social’ but no child was left alone,

And help was always close at hand, we didn’t need the phone.

Jack Oldings made the tractors, de Havilland the planes,

And oh, of course, in Beaconsfield they took care of all the trains.

We had a proper station and the buses all were green,

And the daffodils in Hatfield Park , made a most fantastic scene.

The engines on the test beds they ran both day and night,

And oh how very proud we were at the Comet’s first test flight.

It was really good to live here, though we were ‘out in the sticks’.

We didn’t have the Forum, but we could go to the flicks.

We had no dead Town Centre, it was just St. Albans Road,

Where they sold the things we needed though it wasn’t ‘A La Mode’.

We children were not angels, but we daren’t be very bad

‘Cos anyone who caught us would Go and tell our Dad.

It can’t be quite the same now, with so many on the dole,

But how I miss the good old days when Hatfield had a soul.

This page was added on 07/06/2011.

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