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Bengeo is situated on a hill overlooking Hertford, with amenities including a post office, primary school, pubs and two churches. It also boasts two football clubs and a cricket club. Louise McEvoy takes a closer look...
AS well as celebrating his 78th birthday, Bengeo resident Derek Rogers has raised a glass to having his first book published.
Blackmores Treasure is a childrens adventure story which touches on the English Civil War, and was written in direct response to his granddaughters assertion that this war was boring.
It took about a month or so to write the book, he says. It was quick because youve got to react when grandchildren say something. I tried to do two things inform children about history and use a word on every other page that they wouldnt normally come up against. Im making them think. I have a theory that if you live in a country you should know a bit about its background.
Derek, who was a marketing director for a number of national newspapers before he retired, has lived in Bengeo for more than 40 years. When we moved to Hertfordshire in the early sixties there were a lot of people in Bengeo with children with nothing to do, he remembers. Children have great brains and we need to engage them. Four or five of us got together and said we would form a football team, so we did Bengeo Tigers and it went on from there and is still going. We did the same with the nursery school. Im a great believer of if you want anything done, do it yourself.
Asked about Bengeo as a place to live, Derek, who has four children, explains, Bengeo has undergone an explosion in terms of development. It was at one time a quiet village on top of a hill just outside Hertford. Now its a serious-sized town. But, he adds, There are a lot of amenities and its a wonderful place to live.
A place to flourish
THE headteacher of Bengeo Primary School, Debbie Purrett, has been in post for a year and says, without hesitation, that the best thing about her job is always going to be the children and the way you watch them blossom, develop and grow. She continues, My own children came here and nothing gives me greater satisfaction than knowing they have gone on to be successful.
The ethos of Bengeo Primary School, which has 467 pupils currently enrolled, is to develop the whole child, says Debbie. As well as providing an education, we try to really embed good values and confidence. The staff and pupils work together and show respect for each other, and the staff really value the children. Its a very good school with polite, well brought up children.
Pupils are encouraged to take part in sport to keep fit and healthy, and over the years certain children have excelled in that area. Competent musicians have also emerged from the school, with an interest in music fostered by regular lessons and opportunities to learn instruments.
Summing up her role, Debbie concludes, My job is to provide an enriched education where all the children can flourish in their search for excellence.
Anyone for cricket?
ESTABLISHED in 1875, Bengeo Cricket Club shares its ground on Boundary Drive with Bengeo Trinity Football Club.
The cricket clubs secretary, Matt Seeley, has been a member for 25 years and can remember when his interest in the sport was first sparked. My parents lived on nearby St Leonards Road and as a youngster I used to rush out and watch a game. Eventually I got invited to play and, as more of my friends came to watch, we started a junior section. That was in the early 80s and it ran for about 10 or 15 years. We were probably a victim of the success of other clubs, such as Hertford, but also the amount of regulations that were introduced.
Bengeo Cricket Club has about 15 core players and was promoted to Division Three of The Herts and Essex Cricket League this year. We play on a private ground which has been left in trust to the village for sporting activities, explains Matt, one of the trustees. Members have a club night every Monday, from Easter until mid-September, when groundwork is carried out and some practice may take place. Cricket is played on Saturday afternoons, from May until August, and an annual dinner is held in November.
The club is always looking for new members and, if you are aged 16 or over and are interested in joining, you can visit www.bengeocricketclub.hitscricket.com