Matt Hatton: Childhood Memories of the Gardens

First a toddler's special place with Mum, then a photographic project.

By Liz Warriner

Matt Hatton
Little Matt climbs the wall of Gadebridge Park
Mrs Hatton
"it used to get so cold in winter that that would completely freeze over
Matt Hatton
The scene is set for toddler Matt's games with Mum
Ray Swan
Bank Court
Ray Swan

Matt Hatton is well known as the supremo of Dacorum Radio.

He reminisces about the water gardens in his childhood.

Toddler Matt plays a game with Mum

“My Dad worked in Bridge Street, ..(Mum would) let me cross the bridge on my own, and then walk along the grass on the other side, so .. it was like her letting me having my little bit of independence… it was a lot safer then, .. so she felt that she could do this. I would walk along that side and then cross over the bridge with her, walk for a little bit and then she’d let me cross over again,and we’d do that all the way down until we’d get to Bridge Street where then we’d meet dad for lunch. “


“at Junior school, all  projects used to be about Hemel Hempstead. ..It was my town! .. I had read ..that (the gardens)had been designed .. in the shape of a snake and I tried to capture that in photography as well,… and one of the photographs I got was the frozen picture of the large part of the water gardens at the very end ….  it used to get so cold in winter that that would completely freeze over, and people would skate on there. Not me of course, I was always afraid of falling through.”

The Long Way Round

“My school was Mountbatten, and I lived in Highfield, it was a bit of a trek, and if I didn’t have a bicycle, I would er,catch the bus in town. I was supposed to get off at two waters and then walk up the hill to Mountbatten, but, no I didn’t of course, no. I would get off, around where the police station, cinema area was, walk down to the Gade, and walk along the Gade, and take as long as I possibly could..Just because it was so darned nice to walk along there.” 





This page was added on 05/02/2016.

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