Friday, 3 November 2017

Where has Hatfield Aerodrome gone?

I never have enough time in hand when I visit Hatfield. My first contact with the town was as a van boy for the sausage and pie manufacturer, Brazil's of Amersham in the late 1960s. I was the salesman's runner and we regularly delivered food to what was by then the canteen of Hawker Siddeley. The name originally associated with Hatfield is, of course, De Havilland, for it was they who built their private aerodrome and works here in the 1930s. During World War 2 the Mosquito bomber was built but the most famous development must be the design and manufacture of the world's first jet airliner, the De Havilland Comet.

Wetherspoon's new pub on the former Hatfield Aerodrome site.
Opposite our hotel in Comet Square there stood a modern public house. It is unusual in that Wetherspoons built it in 2015 and I thought that this company specialised in converting existing buildings rather than building new ones. The original Harpsfield Hall was part of the farm which De Havilland purchased and converted into their aerodrome – the hall being demolished to make room for the runway.  

Just down the road is the police station. It is an art deco building in keeping with the style of the original buildings on the aerodrome.  Some sources state that this was the former canteen. So, is this where I delivered my sausages and pies 47 years ago?

I don't know. I do know that on my next visit I will make the time and follow the Hatfield Aerodrome Heritage Trail which explores the university campus.

No comments:

Post a Comment