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FIRST WORD


Your Summer Edition


Here’s a taster for what you’ll find inside your summer edition of County Life Magazine...


Our popular lead article, ‘Down Your Way’, features the pleasant market town of Hitchin. The artist and illustrator F L Griggs, who was born in Hitchin, described his home town as “One of the most beautiful small towns in England”, and who would doubt his description, even during today’s challenging times? The cobbled market place has an eclectic array of shops, including tea shops, restaurants and other establishments. It also boasts a wealth of architectural heritage, attractive streetscapes, the largest parish church in the county and the river Hiz, which wends its way through the town, and where locals and visitors alike can find solace relaxing on the banks of the river and within the relaxing grounds of St. Mary’s on a fine summer’s day.


Continuing on a theme, and with Hitchin very much the focus of attention, the account of one tragic event, which took place on the morning of 27 January, 1919, is recalled by author Paul Stickler. Taken from his latest book entitled The Murder That Defeated Whitechapel’s Sherlock Holmes, Paul’s article ‘Mrs Ridgley’s murder at the corner shop’, is a taster of his new book’s content. Just who killed Elizabeth Ridgley? Well, perhaps we will never know.


Our region has connections with many famous people. One modest mechanic had such vision, dreams and aspirations that, together with his partner, he became one half of our a very famous duo, whose names became synonymous with engineering supremacy, and luxury and status. Last year, 2018, marked the 155th anniversary of the birth of Sir Frederick Henry Royce OBE, co-founder of the famous Rolls-Royce company.


With crime rife during the late 18th-century, transportation to the colonies was the solution. Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire provided their share of 136,000 men and 25,000 women, transported to Australia since the first fleet arrived in 1788. Steal £1 and you could hang, but convicts were often reprieved and banished, seven years being the usual term, with women becoming assigned servants and men sent farming.


Enjoy your summer garden with the help and advice of the ‘County Gardener’. Having made the effort in the spring now is the time to enjoy the fruits of your labours.


In this issue’s ‘Great Days Out’ we return to Rye. “There is not in all England a town so blatantly picturesque as Tilling”. So said E.F Benson, of his home town of Rye, East Sussex, used by the author as the setting for his popular Mapp and Lucia novels. We also have a selection of events to inspire you, with the chance to win tickets to summer concerts being held at Audley End House.


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