This film is part of Free

Focus on Hoddesdon

Ray Young is your guide in this candid film about Hoddesdon - showing shopping precincts, historic buildings, garden centres, outdoor markets and flared trousers

Amateur film 1976 10 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


Ray Young's film begins with an historic clock tower surrounded by a modern shopping precinct and flats. More housing is seen and, in the distance, Haileybury College. We see a large garden centre, several churches and many old coaching inns, while at an outdoor market shoppers search for bargains. In a park we see an historic Jacobean gate-house as well as anglers by the River Lee. After visiting the town’s bypass and an industrial estate we end up by Ray Young's photo shop.

The many ancient pubs and inns that feature in Ray Young's film hark back to the time when Hoddesdon was an important coaching stop on the route from London to Cambridge - with around 35 coaches passing through the town every day during the 18th century. The Grade I listed Jacobean gate-house seen in the film is all that remains of Rye House which was said to be the headquarters, in 1683, of a conspiracy to assassinate Charles II while he was enroute to London from Newmarket races. However, because of a terrible fire which destroyed half of Newmarket, the races were cancelled and the King returned early, and safely, to London. The attack, planned for the 1st April 1683, never took place.