Howard Garden Social Centre in Letchworth is celebrating its 70th anniversary with an extra special Christmas Fayre this weekend.

The Centre first opened in September 1953, costing £3,000 to build and equip with the money coming from grants and fundraising by nearby residents.

Seventy years on, it is still committed to its mission of providing older people in North Hertfordshire with food and friendship to help overcome loneliness.

The centre continues to be an independently-run charity, and its trustees are hoping that the fayre will raise money to help them continue their work.


Taking place on Saturday, December 9, the Christmas Fayre will run from 10am to 2pm with a variety of craft stalls, tombolas and a raffle with prizes donated by local organisations and supporters. Teas, coffees and cakes will be served in the dining area with its picturesque view of Howard Park.

Indeed, the location of the centre had struck observers as early as 1956 - the Garden City Collection includes a poem about the centre from that year, written by the anonymous N.M.W.

The Comet: A poem dedicate to the Howard Garden Social Centre three years after its opening.A poem dedicate to the Howard Garden Social Centre three years after its opening. (Image: Garden City Collection)

Looking ahead to the centre's anniversary celebrations, Hilary Kemp, one of its trustees, said: “ We’re excited about the Christmas Fayre – it’s an event that our members look forward to, and it’s been part of the Centre's community life for decades.

"This year we want to make it extra special. We want to invite everyone to visit and experience the warm welcome that awaits at our 70 year old Letchworth charity."