Talk:Hemel Hempstead

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Shabby?[edit]

I don't think areas being 'shabby' and 'run down' is a fact, to be honest. It's a subjective opinion, and as a Hemel native myself I don't consider it to be any more true of Hemel than most other places you could name in the UK.

That might be true, but it doesn't make it less of a fact. I lived in Grovehill from 1973 - 86, and my parents still live there. There is no doubt that some areas did become shabby and run down, and still are. The link between that and the council changes in the early 80s is also clear - almost overnight council workers stopped maintaining communal areas, spraying weedkiller on the paving, mowing grass and so on. It is still done, but now by private contractors, and far less often. In addition, there were many functioning play areas and parks when I was growing up there - they've now mostly been dismantled and are no-go areas surrounded by barbed wire. One area in particular - The Dell in Livingstone Walk was a great place to play when we were kids, now it's little more than a flytip covered in broken glass and used syringes. You might say this is a subjective view, but I think most people would agree that this is evidence of becoming run down. The comment is also directed at some of the more adventurous architecture - when they were new many of these houses impressed with their innovative design and layout, but the shift to private ownership has meant a drop in maintenance levels and some of the materials used have weathered badly. My parents' house itself is one such - when new in 1968 it was held up as a model of innovation, but in practice it requires frequent and expensive maintenance (major exterior work every few years) that is very hard to afford. Its "innovative" hot-air central heating system is also expensive to run and inefficient. The result of this is extensively spread over a number of estates - Grovehill and Highfield notably. Interestingly, the older neighbourhoods of Adeyfield, Chaulden etc used more traditional building approaches and have fared better. Housing built in the 80s at Woodhall Farm is also faring better, because it reverted back to more traditional designs. I think the statement as it stands is reasonably neutral and reflects the truth of what has happened to some areas since they were built. I wish it weren't true, but sadly HH is not the utopia it was planned to be.Graham 23:51, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

"Now it's little more than a flytip covered in broken glass and used syringes".

We have only your word on that. It could be false and therefore the basis for an unfounded POV which has no place in an article.

"In addition, there were many functioning play areas and parks when I was growing up there - they've now mostly been dismantled and are no-go areas surrounded by barbed wire"

And others have sprung up in their place. I can name two in the field behind my old house alone. I think you're less qualified to write this article than you think.

"Hemel Hempstead was the first town in the country to have a Town Centre Call Point System to get to the CCTV Control Department."

How do you know this isn't the case? You did leave in '86 after all.

I may have left in '86 but my parents still live in the same house. Since you're in the area why don't you go and check - I haven't been up there for about 18 months so things may have been cleaned up, but it didn't look too hopeful since it has been in that state for at least the last ten years. I'd check myself but I actually reside in Australia, so a quick trip is not really feasible right now. If I'm wrong I'll be more than happy to retract my statement, but since the problems appear to be somewhat entrenched, I'm not too hopeful. The area I'm thinking of in particular is the section of Livingstone Walk between Henry Wells Square and the main residential section - there was a major park there that is now closed and unquestionably surrounded by barbed wire. Further on is The Dell which when I visited last was strewn with houshold rubbish and used syringes. I don't think the evidence of my own eyes counts as 'POV'. As for the implication that I might simply be lying about this - why would I want to do that? These places are not the only examples - a tour of the area on foot will confirm what I'm suggesting. As for the CCTV info, it may be true, but it isn't actually very interesting, nor is it worded in a way which makes much sense. Read the sentence again - it does not tell you anything unless you already know what it's meant to be saying. If it can be reworded to say something interesting it might be worth keeping. (Since the UK now seems to be infested with surveillance systems, I don't think that singling Hemel out is really worth a mention).
However, this is all pretty much beside the point. The article as it stands now contains a very mild and to my mind, pretty neutral statement. The points you seem to be objecting to are those I made on this talk page, which are not part of the article. The intention of the statement in the article is essentially to point out that the "brave new world" of much of the experimental housing, etc has not quite lived up to the dreams of its planners - I think we can surely agree that that is the case? Hemel is certainly not unique in this respect, but it doesn't mean the article about the place should be whitewashed. I find it quite interesting that the traditional forms of housing and neighbourhood layout that were built in the 50s and again in the 80s seem to be fairing better than some of the stuff from the 60s and 70s. I also personally find it a bit of a shame because certainly those non-traditional styles are a lot more interesting architecturally. But for whatever reason they have aged rapidly, and I can tell you from first-hand knowledge that maintenance costs can be pretty steep because of the design and materials used. If the experiment is a failure then that is an interesting thing that should be mentioned. If it also puts aspects of Hemel in a poorer light than its residents would like, I'd say that's a shame, but live with it, or do something to put it right. I for one would love to see e.g. The Dell restored to its former glory and usage, but there seems to be no civic pride or feeling of shared responsibility among the residents, so I guess you get out what you put into it. Graham 01:21, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

"Since the UK now seems to be infested with surveillance systems, I don't think that singling Hemel out is really worth a mention."

I agree wholeheartedly. Which is why I'm wondering why you single Hemel out for having "run-down areas", which are a part of any town or city you will find on this planet. If you can find me an example to the contrary, I'll be quite willing to let this drop.

Thanks Lumos, far better.

It's not far better, it's just boring. Did you even take any notice of my reasoning above? Hemel can be singled out in some respects because it was very much an experiment in post-war housing design. Many new types of housing were prototyped in Hemel and maybe a few of the other New Towns. In the longer run (i.e. now), it seems that some of these interesting designs are proving to be costly to maintain and are not as long-lived as traditional building styles. I find that quite interesting, without making any comment whether this is good or bad. By whitewashing the article, you've simply succeeded in rendering what could be an interesting point just ordinary and boring. Just like the developers of the housing in the 80s in fact - rather than figure out what was wrong with the experiments and improving them, better to just give up and go back to the boring old same old. Oh well. By the time everyone has removed any and all implied criticism from Wikipedia articles simply because they can't stomach it, it will be a very boring piece of work indeed. Graham 04:48, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The criticism was neither 'removed' nor 'whitewashed'. It was simply placed in a better context.


Poor old hemel is getting quite a bashing. I spent 5 weeks there a year ago, in bitter winter, and yes the town seemed grey and staid, and I had cause to moan about the lack of this that and the other, but the people were really lovely, and any Hemel natives I met (and I stayed with a couple) were warm and friendly. And that makes a town too.

If you visit the town in say, May or June, on a sunny day, the sheer amount of green areas and parks really do give it a very welcoming and attractive appearance. A "city in a park" indeed. In particular the aspect of the town when entering from the north along the Leighton Buzzard road adjacent to Gadebridge Park, with the spire of St. Mary's and the rooptops of the old town beyond is really lovely. Despite my comments above (which others took issue with, misunderstood and bowdlerised the article accordingly, but which I nevertheless stick by) I do have a soft spot for the old place, and like most towns in Britain, it needs to be seen in spring or early summer to really look its best. Graham 22:47, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Notability[edit]

Lumos, old fellow, XX does not appear to fit criteria WP:("NOTABILITY"), notably in contrast to the other people on the Notable Peop;le section. Why do you think he should be inclided? Jabberwoch (talk) 19:33, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Bovingdon[edit]

"Bovvi" has been added as a neighbourhood of Hemel. Anybody agree with me that it's not? I see it as a separate village within Dacorum, like KL, Chipperfield, etc Folks at 137 18:06, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Agree, I've moved to to nearby place list. Lumos3 18:22, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Notable Hempsteadians[edit]

Dave Vanian (real name David Lett), the lead singer of the Damned, was born and lived in Chaulden. Commnent by User:Martintoovey ( please add 4x ~ characters after you post to sign a comment)

I have added him Lumos3 14:33, 8 March 2006 (UTC)


Some of the 'notable' residents don't seem very notable to me – doesn't this section warrant some aggressive editing?Tomintoul (talk) 15:44, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Notability is set out at Wikipedia:Notability (people). Those included only as redlinks suggest they should be treated as not notable. The issue for those with WP biographical articles elsewhere and listed on this settlement article is reliable evidence that they are connected to the location; not just in a trivial or minor way but something that is sufficiently distinctive / unique to that location that it would normally also be relevant to include in the WP article about them. If there is no reference on the article about the person then a reliable source appended to the name would suffice pro tem. Tmol42 (talk) 16:16, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Marianne Faithfull - Hampstead or Hempstead[edit]

The independant newspaper reported Hemel as her birth place in an interview recently, but most sources say Hampstead. Which is correct? Lumos3 17:14, 20 May 2006 (UTC)


Origin of name[edit]

Anyone claiming tha the name comes from the Dutch word for Heaven or that it was once a centre for the growing of cannabis should provide some solid external references to support this. Lumos3 21:08, 18 June 2006 (UTC)


Finally found a citation for the source of the word hemel - its a web reprint of a newspaper article... [1] Is it entirely appropriate to put obviously racist comments on this page regarding the dutch and the growing of cannabis?

See also the section on the wiki article regarding naming of hempstead in new york

A serious citation of your claim would be welcome , but this isnt it. There is no mention of hemel = heaven in either of them. Lumos3 17:36, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

The article says that the root for "-stead" is reflected in the German Stadt, but in fact a more direct relation is with the German Stätte, which simply means "place." Nonstopdrivel (talk) 01:10, 9 May 2020 (UTC)

Does Hemel/Bovingdon have a lot of aircraft noise?[edit]

I need advice from someone local to Hemel and I thought there'd be knowledgable people here. I want to move into a flat in Bovingdon and the area was quiet when I saw it but I keep reading about the "Bovingdon stack" with many planes circling overhead; does this mean it can be a noisy place to live?

Thanks - Lisa 172.161.64.247 01:23, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Not especially, no. In fact, it's very rare that you can hear them at all.

The planes are at a fairly high altitude, Tring and Berkhamsted are affected by noise from Luton Airport.

Bit off topic! FYI, the "stack" is more obtrusive visually at Bovvi than noisy. However, there's a frequent passage of light aircraft, helicopters passing the local air beacon. Traffic in the High Street can be busy at rush hours and access to the station via Box Lane can need patience. Hope this helps. Folks at 137 22:09, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Things have changed. In the early 70s when cheap charter flights out of Luton started to become really popular, those aircraft did cause quite a noise problem. The types in use then (Boeing 720s, early 737s, etc) had much noisier (and smokier!) engines than modern jets, and coming out of Luton they were still at only a few thousand feet over HH. While there are still many jets today coming over HH out of Luton they are far quieter and are hardly noticeable. Heathrow flights have never been as obtrusive anyway. 203.87.74.230 (talk) 01:36, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Bennetts End POV[edit]

Is there any evidence for Bennetts End being "popular with the asian (sic) community"? I see no more Asians in that part of the town than anywhere else. I'd suggest it be deleted. 62.105.190.81 19:45, 17 September 2006 (UTC) Chris

I have removed the commnet as POV Lumos3 10:35, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Isn't it funny?[edit]

That most pictures of the town on the net etc. are of the old town, the more picturesque part of the town, well one of the few parts that are worthy of attention. heaven forbid we show people what the town is really like.

Can only assume from your lack of activity that you are either an idiot with nothing productive to actually add, or just lazy. Either way this article appears to be better off without you.

Why don't you add them then? Instead of a cheap dig, why not back yourself up with some evidence? 77.221.184.226 20:09, 27 June 2007 (UTC)Chris

Geography and name..[edit]

Thanks for drawing attention to the superseded name for the old town: couple of points regarding "Hemel Hempstead (known locally as "Hemel"), lies in a shallow chalkland valley" – isn't it known locally as 'Emel? Also, from memory, the new town is largely on hilly ground around the valley rather than in the valley itself. ... dave souza, talk 09:37, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Have made some changes , what do you think? Lumos3 14:05, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Looks an improvement to me, it's a long time ago but I do recall driving down the hill to the octopus roundabout from 'Olstmere End school. 'Owever, "Hemel" is probably fair enough. Ta, .. dave souza, talk 14:42, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Pie in the Sky[edit]

I know for a fact that Pie in the Sky was filmed in Hemel Old Town, and it even says so on the article for Pie in the Sky. Seeing as it is one of the few notable televsion pointso f interest around Hemel, should this be included in the article? - Weebiloobil 11:10, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Climate section?[edit]

Why is there a section on climate?Laconic Loiner (talk) 15:00, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

See guidance on writing about Settlements at Wikipedia:WikiProject UK geography/How to write about settlements#Geography Climate is a topic listed in the guidance for inclusion in articles about settlements.Tmol42 (talk) 15:08, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, but does it need to be so prominent? Most towns have this a bit lower down the page.Laconic Loiner (talk) 16:08, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
It happens the Geography section where climate sits has been put at the top of this article when its normally a bit further down. I think the climate box can also be set by default to hidden, not sure how to do this though If you look in edit mode second row provides instructions although normally these boxes are not set as 'collapsed'!Tmol42 (talk) 16:48, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Unless anyone objects I will move this between 'New Town' and 'Neighbourhoods...' and hide the climate data, as I don't feel it adds much to the article. Looking at the guide on settlement articles a lot of the rest of the article could do with a bit of a restructure too...Laconic Loiner (talk) 17:24, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Lockers Park School v Lockyers Park School[edit]

Lockers Park School is in Hemel, Lockyers Park Middle School is in Dorset. Are we sure that all the notable people went to the Hemel school? If so, correct the school name! Folks at 137 (talk) 10:02, 21 September 2010 (UTC)


Europe's largest peacetime explosion?[edit]

Isn't this of a bit sensationalist way to title the buncefield fire? Largest peacetime explosion? This isn't The Sun. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 212.69.38.15 (talk) 11:56, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Infobox Image[edit]

I think the infobox image focuses on a tiny picturesque corner of the Old Town. As such it is a rather distorted "Olde worlde" point of view of the town which is unrepresentative. I have tried to provide a more realistic image which is a view of the modern town centre with the old town beyond. I think anyone visiting Hemel will recognise this more than the other image. Both images are here.

Lumos3 (talk) 09:56, 28 January 2013 (UTC)


Good decisionTomintoul (talk) 11:16, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

commerce, industry and agriculture[edit]

Correct me if i'm wrong but doesn't Hemel have an Amazon warehouse? I read that somewhere. If it's true then does anyone else think it belongs in the 'present day' section of 'Commerce, Industry and Agriculture'? MIVP - (Can I Help? ◕‿◕) (Maybe a bit of tea for thought?) 22:44, 12 April 2013 (UTC)


True it opened in December 2012 on the Maylands Business park right next door to the Buncefield oil storage terminal. I will amend the article. Lumos3 (talk) 10:53, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

POV in lead image.[edit]

Should the lead image reflect the modern Hemel Hempstead and show it nature as a large 21st century new town , or focus on quaint aspects of the old town ? This is an encyclopaedia and reflection of reality must trump spin. We are not a travel brochure . The old town is a nice photogenic district but it is only a tiny part of the town. I have restored the Marlowes image , which captures its nature today, but am open to other suggestion that reflect the modern state of the town. Lumos3 (talk) 09:30, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Picture of Old Town gives completely false perspective. Marlowes is much more appropriate.Tomintoul (talk) 10:28, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Coordinate error[edit]

{{geodata-check}}

The following coordinate fixes are needed for


24.132.241.170 (talk) 16:19, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: To save others wasting time the Co-ordinates are OK. Tmol42 (talk) 17:42, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

add Harry Winks[edit]

Harry winks. Tottenham Hotspur player played for england u21s played for tottenham many times and scored on his premier league debut — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:C7F:1408:1B00:640A:B7DB:281:11F (talk) 19:07, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

Merge[edit]

Discussion is against merging
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

i have suggested that Lockers Park School should be merged here as a non-notable primary, as per WP:SCHOOLOUTCOMES. Any comments appreciated. CalzGuy (talk) 16:49, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

I have done the same at Westbrook Hay School. CalzGuy (talk) 18:21, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
Strong oppose Lockers Park School is an important school which has educated among others Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Guy Burgess and Keith Joseph. It really needs an editor to expand it and explain how it generated so many famous names. It would not be possible to do justice to this school in the article on Hemel Hempstead. Dormskirk (talk) 07:49, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
Unfortunately notability is not inherited. So it doesn't matter who went to school there. The school itself needs to notable, outside of its students. At present it solely consists of a History section and then a list of former pupils, all of whom are also list in Category:People educated at Lockers Park School. It's just duplication. It would be quite possible to merge the current History section into Hemel, without skipping a beat. Generally primary schools don't survive WP:AFD. See WP:SCHOOLOUTCOMES. CalzGuy (talk) 09:36, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
Opppose for Lockers Park. Notability through long history (140+ years), and historic estate (Lockers Park). The published history also suggested independent notability of the school itself:
Barden, Ruth J.D. (2000). A history of Lockers Park : Lockers Park School, Hemel Hempstead, 1874-1999. [Truro]: R.J.D. Barden. ISBN 0953745104.
Klbrain (talk) 07:22, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Oppose also for Westbrook on the grounds of historic house (17th C) and history not covered elsewhere on Wikipedia and too extensive for the Hemel page. Klbrain (talk) 07:49, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

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The image in the lede[edit]

There is a temptation to place a picturesque image of the old town at the head of the article. While this may be appropriate if we were trying to attract tourism to the town, we are an encyclopedia trying to describe the world accurately as it is. Hemel Hempstead is, today, a post war new town. The modern town centre view of the Marlowes represents this. Pictures of the Old Town high street are pleasant to view but they are a romantic misrepresentation of the town. There is space to describe the old town, perhaps in more detail, in the article. Lumos3 (talk) 10:59, 3 April 2019 (UTC)

You are absolutely right, Lumos3. This unrepresentative image has previously been added and removed.Tomintoul (talk) 13:15, 6 April 2019 (UTC)

Pronunciation[edit]

@AmazingJus: Greetings from your New World counterpart, the reason I changed it is that ⟨ᵻ⟩ is not supported by {{IPAc-en}}, it renders as ⟨ɪ⟩. Esszet (talk) 18:49, 10 October 2020 (UTC)