St Albans' Own East End


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New district as Marshalls Wick becomes Marshalswick

A post-WW2 advertisement appeared in a journal for a Nash-built home and marketed through McGlashan & Co. These are the days before the 354 bus arrived, and the 341 bus waited in Sherwood Avenue for the return journey into the city.  What might be hidden behind the word etc in the advertisement?

House builders issued leaflets describing the features of the types of homes they were constructing.  It may have been called the Knightsbridge, conjuring up a feeling of space and classic design, but Laing's interpretation was a one-bed cluster home at Jersey Farm: a first-time buyer's lifeline.

Edward Carter had already realised that a diy shop was just the thing for a growing housing district, with his first shop at Beech Road.  He held marquee shows with practical demonstrations at St Mary's Church and grounds.  And he persuaded well-known radio and television personalities to formally open the events.  His Quadrant double-unit was at the front, later taken over by Timberland Hardware and Timber.

ABOVE: By 1959 the days of travelling shops were numbered.  The Quadrant was about to open.  Many retailers either added to their branch list or opened a shop here instead of the more expensive city centre.  Today it is not often you see the car park as empty as this.  A photo from the mid-1960s.

BELOW: The Quadrant when first opened in 1959, with some units still to open – and suitably sparse car park usage.

Courtesy Chris Carr

Today's car park is altogether busier, it is felt necessary to signpost The Quadrant over a wider area, and, not only are there more shops but other facilities too.

Two banks had branches at The Quadrant.  Lloyds has closed but Barclays trades on.  This archive photo, taken when the branch first opened is in typical house style for the period.

Courtesy Barclays Bank

This, admittedly, poor quality picture is nevertheless of importance to the development of Marshalswick.  Taken in the summer of 1959 a few weeks before the opening of Marshalswick Boys' School, it illustrates the premises still as a construction site.  Those early pupils will recall that it remained a partial construction site until the following Easter.

This was the sign for The Baton PH until its recent closure, but the original illustration was representative of a major-general's ceremonial baton resting on a cushion. The former pub is currently being redeveloped.  Does anyone have a photograph of the original sign? 

St Albans' Own East End