The Hitchin Journal

The Journal is published twice a year. In A5 format and, consisting of around 28 pages, it contains articles on Hitchin’s history as well as members’ reminiscences, research, photographs and appeals for information. It also covers the impact of current events on the town’s heritage. It is an informal medium of communication and information between members.

It is sent free of charge to all Society members, and to non-members who contribute items that are included in any particular edition.

Contributors are free to express their views, which do not necessarily coincide with those of Hitchin Historical Society.

The Hitchin Journal has been published regularly since the Society’s founding in 1977.  Our late Secretary, Dr Leslie Mustoe and Simon Walker came up with the idea of reprinting some of them.  Following Leslie’s untimely death, Simon took on the project.

It proved a far more complex task than just re-printing the old Journals.  Pictures in the earlier editions were in black and white, for instance; and that means exactly what it says.  Not shades of grey.  Literally black or white.  It was a major task either tracking down the original images, or alternatives. 

And of course the text had to be recreated, a time-consuming task in its own right, and in some cases corrected or expanded.

The first volume, HITCHIN – Glimpses of the Past, sold out its first printing. So we printed some more, and at the time of writing we still have a few in stock.

Volume 2, HITCHIN – More Glimpses of the Past, was published in time for Christmas 2021.  There are still a few copies in stock.

Will there be a third volume?  Simon says that actually there is enough material for a further three volumes, and he has already done a good deal of work on them; but it depends on demand. 

Articles range from one or two pages to ten pages; here is part of the contents of Volume II:

  • May Days in the Past
  • Hitchin – Railway Town
  • Alternating Currents: Gas and Electricity in Hitchin
  • The Hitchin British Schools: Yesterday and Today
  • The Jill Grey Collection
  • F. W. Coopers, Butchers, Tilehouse Street, 1937-41
  • The Great Fire of Potton 1783 – The Hitchin Connection
  • Two Contrasting Hertfordshire Christmases circa 1840
  • A Hitchin Man’s Contribution to Victory in 1918
  • Where I Went to School in Hitchin
  • Tommy Chamberlain’s Shop
  • Hitchin in the Late 1920s to the Late 1940s
  • A Victorian Cottage in Hitchin
  • Past Into Present: Hitchin’s Old Dispensary and Report and Accounts, 1824
  • Hitchin: A Post War Recollection of the Post Office
  • A Relic of the Bancroft House School, Hitchin
  • Past into Present: Hitchin’s New Town Hall
  • Hitchin’s Lost Landmarks: Bowman’s Mill in Walsworth Road
  • Remembering 1945: Extracts from Hitchin Grammar School Chronicle
  • Transport in Hitchin in the 1940s – 50s
  • Hitchin: Childhood Memories of the 1920s and 30s
  • Malting And Brewing In Hitchin
  • A ‘Company Servant’ on the LNER in the 1930s
  • Russell’s Slip, or ‘The Slype’ – the Origin of the Name
  • Hitchin Thespians – a Century of Success
  • Shopping in Hitchin Fifty Years Ago
  • A Newly Found Well in the Hitchin British School Old Playground
  • Victorian Pubs in Hitchin
  • The Maples Hospital in WWI
  • Hitchin’s Town Halls – As They Were… and as They Might Have Been!
  • Frost On My Window Pane… and Downstairs As Well!
  • The Hitchin Physic Garden
  • Memories of an Evacuee in Hitchin
  • Who Was Who in 1916
  • Not Just A Dry Old List Of Names: a Look At The Registers Of Hitchin British Boys’ School, 1827-1877: parts I & II
  • Elizabeth Lane: the White Witch of Walsworth
  • Brickyards in Hitchin, 1891
  • Hitchin and District Archaeology, 1891: Antiquarian Notes
  • Journal of a Fireman
  • An Awkward Customer in Queen Street
  • Stained Glass Panels in Hermitage Road

 Both Volume I and Volume II are the ideal bedside companion.