Lecture: Industrial Letchworth: The First Garden City, 1903-20

at Zoom

Speakers: Philippa Parker and Janet Capstick

This lecture and a book of the same name grew out of a successful exhibition staged in October 2015 by the Letchworth Local History Group. It will highlight the range of early industries in Letchworth Garden City and emphasise the fact that the principal aim of the Garden City was to attract industry and provide a much better living environment for its workers than the often, miserable conditions in the great industrial cities.

Philippa Parker has lived in St Albans (off and on) since 1963 and from 2014 in Letchworth Garden
City. She joined SAHAAS as a schoolgirl in 1973 and took part in five seasons of excavations at
Gorhambury and, more recently, helped to run the Clock Tower. A former librarian at the National
Army Museum, she researches and publishes on Hertfordshire local history and on George Bernard
Shaw.

Janet Capstick has lived in Letchworth GC since moving there in 2009. Her interest in the history of
the garden city comes from living in an early garden city cottage built for industrial workers. She has been an active member of the Letchworth Local History Research Group since 2011 as well as the Garden City Cottages Group. These are both resident-led interest groups that have undertaken a
number of local research projects about Letchworth. Over the past four years, working alongside
Philippa Parker, Janet has been busy helping complete the history group’s book about Letchworth’s
early industrial pioneers. Janet runs her own upholstery and period furnishings business.

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