Some Wheathampstead houses with a history - Follydene

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Contribution by Graham Lines June 2012

I lived at this house from 1946 to1955. It went by the name of ‘Follydene’ during the time I lived there.

I remember it as being a butchers shop run by a Mr and  Mrs Jimmy Whyte. The door to the shop being in the middle of the house where there is now a small window. I know we owned the property so I suspect the ‘Whyte’s’ lived elsewhere or moved out as we moved in. It was not long after we moved there that the shop became a confectioners run by a family by the name of ‘Egleton’ who lived at Marshalls Heath Lane. I recall the shop as being split in to two parts, the right hand side selling sweets, papers etc. and the left side was an area reserved for charging accumulators. Folks without electricity used accumulators, a type of battery, for running their radios. These would require constant charging for which the shop provided the service, but suffered tremendously from the smell of acid. The house had a cellar, which I guess is still there and an inside toilet but no bathroom. Bath night was the steel tub, which hung behind the door in the outhouse and placed in front of the open fire on Saturday nights. Not an event I looked forward too! Neither was the emptying of the sewage pit at the end of the garden. (I guess this is no longer there!!)

                The house stood next door to an Engineering company called CGL Ltd, the initials being those of the three partners, Chivers, Gosnold and Lewis. (My apologies if the names are spelt incorrectly but it was some time ago). The wall of the factory formed a boundary to the garden as the photos following show. I believe one of the reasons we moved back to St Albans in 1955 was due to the compulsory purchase, by the local council, of the land where the factory stood for the building of the houses which are still there to this day.

NB The photo above was taken in February of 2006 when I visited there and introduced myself to the current occupier. The first I had been back since 1955.

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Well know photo of the ‘Folly Boys’ off to the war, with the house in the background

Photos of the rear of the property from about 1950. The photos clearly show the wall of the factory running almost the full length of the garden.  Pictured are Paul and Graham Lines




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Photos of the Methodist Chapel I attended between 1949 and 1955 while I lived at ‘Follydene’. Photos taken Feb 2006

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