The Road Through Harpenden

by Chris Reynolds



When there was a major entertainment such as a fair, show, or horse race, people would travel along the road to attend - and so would the tradesmen planning to provide the services. Then, as today, the mobile caterers turned up. However there were no disposable plastic cups or plates and they would need to take the china and glassware needed. In 1905 the crockery came to grief on Bernards Heath.

A SMASH. Mr Thomas Slater, of St Albans, was one of the refreshment caterers at Harpenden show on Wednesday and the cartage back to St Albans of a van load of the utensils, including a large quantity of china was attended by a serious mishap. His own horses and vans being engaged, he hired another horse and van in St Albans. The outward journey was accompanied without accident, but when the top of the hill on the Harpenden-road, just outside St Albans, had been reached, the horse became very restive and, getting out of control, dashed along the road and on to the grass at the back of Heath Farm with the result that the van was overturned and there was a great smash up of the crockery which it contained. So great was the crash that it is said it could be heard for half a mile. The accident took place at about 9.30, and it was not long before a considerable crowd had collected. Mr and Mrs Reynolds and Mr and Mrs S. Hall were among those who were alarmed by the report of the breaking china and, going with several of the Heath Farm employees to the scene of the accident, rendered welcome help. The breakages include five hundred cups and saucers, the loss, which is not covered by insurance, being computed at from 8 to 10.

Herts Advertiser 19th August 1905

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