This website serves Smallford residents and provides information about Smallford’s past, present and future. Smallford and its surrounding areas are steeped in history, including the aerodrome at Hatfield, De Havilland’s airplane manufacture, the world’s first jet airliner (the Comet) and much more.
Welcome to the Smallford Station & Alban Way Heritage Society homepage. On this site you will find all the latest information about the society, workshops and associated activities in one handy place. If you’d like to get involved or find out more, click the button below!
Smallford Residents’ Association announcements and information will be posted on this website. Please check it frequently for important news and updates. Here, you will find information about planning proposals, objections, and much more that concern the local community.
We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are confident the project will support many local people in following and developing their interests in a wide range of areas – e.g. researching, interviewing, creating videos, designing exhibitions, developing a website, writing stories. We are particularly excited at the thought of finding people who recall the station and branch line when they were operating and capturing their memories for posterity!Jeff Lewis
Latest Smallford News
Latest news for the local community of Smallford
In 1901 was the first evidence of a school teacher, an author, a carman, bricklayers, woodman and an electrician. So the range of occupations was widening, and therefore the skill levels of a proportion of them. Some labouring occupations became more specialised:...read more
In 1891 the many straw plaiters and hat makers had gone – not a single one left; women instead became dressmakers, housekeepers and farm servants instead. The latter were probably employed in the dairy parlours on farms which had turned from mixed to dairy farms....read more
In 1881 one occupation was suddenly absent: one of the last turnpikes to be closed was the Reading and Hatfield Trust at the end of 1880, responsibility for maintenance now being vested in the Highways Board. So, the Simpkins family were out of toll collecting work....read more
By 1871 there was an increase in the number of (Brazilian) hat makers, possibly indicating a more mature market for these products. As with straw plaiting, whereas previously only the wives were identified with the activity, now the daughters were active participants,...read more
In 1861 only two or three plaiters and hat makers are mentioned. Although this does not mean that others were not carrying out this work, but there may have been a reason to keep the information to themselves. Several women left the occupation column blank. A...read more
In 1851, the census was more specific about some occupations and we can obtain a clearer idea of the nature of work in the parish. The general term Labourer was replaced by a more specific agricultural labourer. That still covered all who were casually, seasonally or...read more