Honour for Hitchin’s history stalwart

Photo of Scilla Douglas receiving her award from president of The Hertfordshire Association for Loca

Photo of Scilla Douglas receiving her award from president of The Hertfordshire Association for Local History Dorothy, Able Smith - Credit: Archant

A grandmother-of-nine has been presented with a county award in recognition of her contribution to documenting the history of her home town.

The Hertfordshire Association for Local History (HALH) presented Scilla Douglas with the Personal Achievement Award at a meeting at St Mary’s Church in Redbourn.

Having grown up in Hitchin, where she still lives, Scilla became involved in the Hitchin Historical Society soon after its formation in 1977 and has been a active member of the society for more than 30 years as a committee member, chairman and now as president.

As membership secretary she encouraged the growth of the society, which now has more than 400 members.

For the past 18 years Scilla has been joint editor for the society, editing 25 books and several smaller publications and Hitchin Initiative leaflets. In this time she has been able to support both experienced and new authors, and share her own research information.


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The 79-year-old has also been closely involved in many initiatives and events such as preventing the ancient road bridge over the River Hiz in Bridge Street from being demolished, and the removal of The Cabbies’ Hut from Hitchin Railway Station car park and its relocation to the Market Place.

She also volunteers at the British Schools Museum in Queen Street, Hitchin, turning her hand to any tasks which need tackling.

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Scilla said: “I am very grateful indeed and very pleasantly surprised to have been awarded a HALH Personal Achievement Award. Local history can be a bit of an obsession – something many of my family and friends would certainly agree – but it is a constructive obsession. I have enjoyed every minute of being involved in Hitchin’s local history over the past 30 years.”

The awards, which are presented annually, aim to publicly honour those who have made an outstanding and significant contribution to local history.

For more information visit www.halh.org.uk

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