New Hitchin Historical Society book features work of late president

PUBLISHED: 07:01 25 October 2018 | UPDATED: 07:27 25 October 2018

Three years after her death,Hitchin Historical Society's Scilla Douglas has been commemorated with new book, Discovering More About Hitchin. Picture: Hitchin Historical Society

Three years after her death,Hitchin Historical Society's Scilla Douglas has been commemorated with new book, Discovering More About Hitchin. Picture: Hitchin Historical Society

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A new book featuring the work of a former president of the Hitchin Historical Society has officially been launched.

New book, Discovering More About Hitchin, was launched at the British Schools Museum. Picture: North Hertfordshire Museum New book, Discovering More About Hitchin, was launched at the British Schools Museum. Picture: North Hertfordshire Museum

Discovering More About Hitchin has been three years in the making, and was based on the work of former Hitchin Historical Society president Scilla Douglas, who passed away in 2015.

A society spokesman said: “It was the book that Scilla dreamed of producing.

“After the publication of Discovering Hitchin in 1995, which she edited with Pauline Humphries, she realised there was more to be written.

“There were ideas and unused material, some of which has ended up in other books produced by the Hitchin Historical Society in the years since.

“The first book had focused on the suburban areas of the town, but there was so much more to find out and write.”

The new book incorporates topics and a title that Scilla had passed on to others in the historical society, of which she was a member from 1977 and in that time also held committee member and chairman roles.

Her work in the new book was once again edited by Pauline Humphries, alongside Bridget Howlett – both worked alongside Scilla on books for 20 years.

It launched on Saturday at the town’s British Schools Museum.

The cover features houses built, but since demolished, on Stevenage Road where “Hitchin New Town” – as it was known –was developed in the 1820s and 1830s.

Chapters deal with various topics including how land around the ancient town had been bought for investment by the family of a code breaker for King George III, eventually providing the site for development of the Bearton area, and gives answers to many questions about where people now live.

The historical society’s Mike Clarke, who organised the launch, said: “Scilla’s mission has been completed. She would have been especially pleased that 14 authors had collaborated, some of them in print for the first time, to produce this new work.”

The launch was attended by more than 200 people, including Scilla’s sisters and her son, who were pleased that she has been remembered in this way.

The book is currently stocked by Hitchin Initiative, Merryfields and Eric T Moore Books, and is also available from the Hitchin Historical Society – email sales@hitchinhistoricals.org.uk to get yours.

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