A village education in Shenley
PUBLISHED: 17:07 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 08:57 21 February 2013
Louise McEvoy discovers the rural beauty and interesting history of Shenley and learns about the village through the eyes of a headteacher
SITUATED in south west Hertfordshire, between St Albans and Barnet, Shenley is an attractive, bustling and increasingly popular place to live.
John Dibdin has been headteacher at Shenley Primary School since 2005. The boys' school opened in 1841 and the girls' school opened in 1892 but Mr Dibdin explains, 'Shenley was a small village and only needed a little school but it has expanded from its Victorian beginnings.
'As the village has grown so has the school, which now has 340 children and occupies a much larger building complex. The school has great character and attractive grounds and is part of the Shenley Conservation Area.'
He adds, 'Our children are fantastic! They love learning and love coming to school. I love the atmosphere of mutual respect and enjoyment that can be found here, but most of all I love working with the children.'
Speaking about Shenley village, Mr Dibdin says, 'It has a lot to offer as it has rural surroundings that make for lovely walks or drives. The Orchard Tea Room is a relaxing stopping point for visitors to Shenley Park, where the cricket ground, orchards and walled garden are well worth a visit.
'The Cage by the village pond and the war memorial on London Road are interesting historical stopping points, and it's really humbling to see how many families were affected by the two world wars. There are also some lovely little woods and spinneys around the village that can be explored.' He adds, 'Shenley Cricket Centre is our main sports ground here and it is really stunning!'
There are four pubs in Shenley - The Black Lion, King William IV, The Queen Adelaide and The White Horse and Mr Dibdin says, 'I have only eaten in The White Horse, which was really good and very popular.'
ACTIVITIES, WALKS AND CYCLE RIDES
The Hertfordshire Cycle Loops leaflet shows four popular routes, including one around Shenley. Call Countryside Management Service on 01727 848168 for more details.
The Shenley Village Society leads a walk around Shenley on the first Sunday of each month. Visit www.shenleyvillage.org for more information.
Leaflets about Shenley Park are available from the Orchard Tea Room or can be downloaded from www.shenleypark.co.uk. The park has a range of activities and events on throughout the year.
Shenley Parish Council arranges a number of environmental tasks in the parish throughout the year. Volunteers welcome. Visit www.shenleyvillage.org for more details.