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Topics - JM

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Attached below is an extract from a document at The National Archives at Kew entitled, "Hatfield and St Albans Railway Journal". (RAIL 295 (1, 2, 3, 4)).

In the extract from June 1864, there is mention of, "Advertising" in both the "Daily Telegraph" and "Railway News".  Does anybody already have - or can anyone obtain copies of those magazines/papers from that date, whereby we may be able to find the aforementioned advertising?

The advert should relate to the Hatfield and St Albans Branch Line.  In what capacity, I do not know.  For example, it might be an advert offering jobs on the railway line, or construction or perhaps simply advertising it's existance.

Would be interesting to find out!!

Attached is the 1889 GNR Memorial from the inhabitants of Smallford asking that two later trains be stopped at Smallford.  This document is available to view at The National Archives in Kew (RAIL 236/722/21).

Here is the download link for all the images in full resolution:  download RAIL 236/722/21 (12 images, ~15MB)

Below are preview images that have been reduced in size.

I have (finally) finished editing all the photos taken at HALS.  Due to their size in full resolution, the links below are zipped collections of FULL SIZE images.

The following preview images below are more web-friendly but do not provide the level of detail you can see in the full resolution zipped files above.

Hello again (!),

Most of you will be aware that Historypin held a 'train the trainers' session at the University of Hertfordshire a couple of weeks ago.  The aim of that session was to teach us how to use Historypin in order that we can then spread the word and help others to use it also.

"What is Historypin?" I hear some of you ask...
Historypin is a website that allows you (a user) to put a picture on a map.  The clever bit is that it that you can then give it a bit of history, such as the circumstances surrounding the photo or subject of the photo and of course, most important, add a date when the photo was taken.  The idea is that over time, an accumulation of photos of one place will occur which will then enable people to view that one place and how it has evolved over time.  For instance, you might look up Oxford Street in London and see that it has many photos from similar angles taken over many decades, making it plain and easy to see the changes that have accompanied time.

"Why does Historypin concern us?"
Our project about Smallford Station already has several photographs taken throughout the years of the station at various times, e.g. whilst still in use, to after the tracks were taken up and most recently as a ruined platform along the Alban Way.  Historypin is a good tool which allows us to 'pin' photos to a [Google] map and, as aforementioned, add a date to each photo.

"You've mentioned a lot about photos, what about pre-photography imagery?"
Historypin was based upon photography, primarily with the advent of mainstream consumer cameras being readily available in the last century.  As such, the website currently caters best for actual photographs of places.  However, there is no reason why you can't pin an old painting to the map, from the age before photography.  Unfortunately, at the time of writing this, the timeline only goes as far back as 1840 but this is set to change.  Likewise being able to overlay old maps is something the Historypin team are working and may become a future possibility at a later date.

"How do I pin something?"
This is probably best answered on the Historypin website rather than me explaining it here, but in short you upload a photo/file/picture/image to Historypin.  Once uploaded, you are then prompted to complete some information about it, such as give it a title, a description, any copyright information etc.  Finally, you are asked to pin it to a map.  You can search for a place or simply drag the map until you find what you're looking for.  As it is based on Google maps, it works in the same way with the same controls, the only difference is you need to drag the little photo pin to the place you want it to be.

"Anything else?"
In short, yes.  There are a few other things that Historypin can do such as it enables you to overlay an old photo over a google street view image, making old streets almost come to life, given enough old photos from the same date.  The best examples of this are usually in places like a grand event in a city where there would have been tonnes of photos taken from every angle on the same/similar dates.  Resultingly, this allows Historypin to act a bit like a historic Google Streetview, from a time long before Streetview existed.

If anybody would like more information about Historypin or how to use it, please don't hesitate to ask!

You can see the Smallford Historypin on our website here:

If you have photos you would like to get onto the Smallford Historypin, please PM me via this forum (under my username to the left) or "contact us" via the website and I will do my best to help.

Smallford Station Project / Smallford [Station] Logo
« on: April 11, 2013, 03:47:34 pm »
Hi All,

As many of you will no doubt have seen already, I have designed a logo for the Smallford Station project.  Thoughts are welcome, but there are lots of little geeky elements incorporated within the design that I've hidden within as follows;

• Overall shape (circle with bar through the middle) representative of the classic station signage still used in rail transport today.
• Embellishment to the left and right of the middle bar are the [stylised] profile of train wheels.
• The train depicted at the top is loosely based upon the same sort of style as trundelled past Smallford Station.
• The lower part is styled on an old steam train wheel, you can just make out a cam hanging down beneath the bar.
• The font used is Gill Sans which is steeped in railway history and still used to this day in the London Underground for example.

Hope you all enjoy the logo and by all means, please let me know your thoughts and compliments/critique.


Smallford Station Project / Visit to HALS - What did you discover?
« on: March 21, 2013, 12:04:32 pm »
Good seeing everyone at HALS yesterday.

I think it's worthwhile, while still fresh in our minds, to summarise what we each found as I for one was pre-occupied with what I was doing and as a result did not necessarily know what others were discovering in parallel.  So, in order to cross reference information, it's worth writing it all down in one place.

To start off... on the subject of when Smallford [of today] became known as Smallford I came across a very old map which predates Ordnance Survey, the 1766 Dury and Andrews map, which showed what we now know of as Smallford, as "Four Wants" - in a nearby field (near where Boissy Close is situated nowadays) there is the word "Small Foot" - perhaps a map makers error for "Small Ford"?  Unsure...

Moving forwards in time, to the Tithe period, the Tithe maps clearly show an area marked as Smallford down by Colney Heath Lane where there still stands Smallford Farm and Smallford Cottage.  Where Smallford is now, it is referred to as "The Horseshoes".  Likewise, early Ordnance Survey maps show comparable markings, placing Smallford quite a bit away from where it is now accepted to be.

Looking at old Colney Heath newsletter/bulletins, there was a map drawn in 1993 by Kevin Fahey which shows Smallford as being in the middle of some fields located just south of Hollybush Hall.  The map has a few sources, all of which are mentioned in the front cover of the newsletter and I will attach them when I have gone through the photos.  From memory though, one was an old Ordnance Survey map, and ownership of all the local fields which is also shown on the map, comes from the old Tithe records.

Furthermore, also written in the bulletin is the following text, "Horseshoes Village - The settlement probably grew up after the road was turnpiked in the eighteenth century but in 1348 reference was made to 'the way which leads from St Albans to Hertford called Le Longelane'. Later, in 1437, the junction was called 'Smallfordwent' - crossroads leading to the small ford."

An interesting point to note, nowhere that I have seen has there been any reference (other than modern, post 1990) to the term "Horseshoes Village" - instead it has always been "The Horseshoes" on old maps etc.  presumably, as it was not considered a village at all as it was just an area of fields.

I will try to upload some photos of maps etc. as soon as possible once I have gone through them.

Has anybody come across "Four Wants" before, or does anybody know what it might have referred to?

I look forward to hearing about everyone elses' finds.

Smallford Station Project / Forthcoming visit to HALS - 20 March 2013
« on: March 12, 2013, 12:13:31 pm »
Hello all,

I thought it might be an idea to discuss what topics/archives everyone was hoping to look at so as not everyone is looking at the same things at the same time, or ordering to view the same document as someone else might have already done.

I was hoping to look at anything to do with the construction of the Station (if at all possible) - I write this before having had a look at the archive search online though.

What is everyone else hoping to look at?

Smallford Station Project / Smallford Station Map
« on: February 25, 2013, 01:25:23 pm »
This is a stitched and edited photograph of the Smallford Station map, from The National Archives in Kew.

I have stitched the map together digitally, as it is a very wide map which folds into a book.  I have also colour enhanced it to show up the lines better as the lighting at Kew is not brilliant for taking photos; the actual paper is a more yellowy colour, but the lines and red/pink ink are as original.  The document reference number is RAIL 796/100 which can be freely seen at The National Archives.

Also attached is a closeup which I have digitally cleaned up to show specifically the Smallford Station part of the map.  Of particular interest, the crossing out of the name "Springfield".

Thoughts and comments invited!

Update: Just updated with the other half of the map - it folds out all the way so is quite large!  The 2nd half continues from Smallford to St.Albans and has the title and date for the document.

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