Goffs Oak: Famous faces and fabulous fetes

PUBLISHED: 17:45 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:12 20 February 2013

Goffs Oak

Goffs Oak

Dedication to village life is paramount in Goffs Oak, as Damion Roberts discovers

SITTING prettily just to the west of Cheshunt is the picturesque village of Goffs Oak.
Perhaps best known as the birthplace of Posh Spice Victoria Beckham, the village now has a new famous name - Peter Moule. And although the name alone might not ring a bell, there is a chance you will recognise the face.
One thing you will definitely recognise though is something Mr Moule invented because in December last year the 53-year-old former electrician became the biggest ever winner on the BBC2 programme Dragon's Den.
He secured a 150,000 investment from the business tycoons for an electrical accessory he had invented called the Chocbox which protects cable connections and does away with electrical tape.
Since his win he has signed a multi-million pound deal with one of the world's largest electrical distributors
and is now reaping the rewards for his fine work. Away from the world of business though, Mr Moule is a councillor for Goffs Oak, where he moved to in 1990, and told Hertfordshire Life what he likes about the village.
'I enjoy the friendly village feeling with the rural aspect of many areas of the neighbourhood,' he says. 'I like the way that all the residents like to keep the village appearance to a very high standard and Goffs Oak has some lovely countryside with lovely country walks.'
Undoubtedly, Goffs Oak is the perfect place for a man who has hit the jackpot to unwind, but there is more to this little village than lovely countryside and country walks.
The village fete is a case in point, being an important and central aspect to village life in Goffs Oak. Just ask the Clark family.
In as early as March, 73-year-old Hazel was already typing out letters which she planned to hand out to the village's residents about the June event.
Her son Nigel was also working hard to put things in motion and her 78-year-old husband Donald was busy writing out lists of things to do - despite being sat up in a hospital bed waiting for an operation.
And if that's not a sign of how people in the village pull together for such a popular and important community event, the Clarks no longer even live in Goffs Oak. They spend their time living between Hertford and Devon.
But they remain loyal and in love with the village and the former neighbours they once lived amongst and sum up just what makes Goffs Oak so special.
'It was my husband Donald who is the original organiser of the village fete event,' Hazel said. 'It's been going for eight years now, although it did used to take place some 35 years ago before it began to dwindle out.
'It was resurrected again after the turn of the millennium. There are a lot of new houses in Goffs Oak in addition to the older ones and the idea behind starting the festival up again was to get everybody mixing together and it's worked out wonderfully well.
'Our main is that everybody should enjoy the day and enjoy themselves, and we think they do.'
The highlight of next month's village fete is, Mrs Clark said, the carnival. 'There is a loud speaker on it and when it goes around the roads those people who were not able to make it along to the fete come out of their houses and contribute to it and put a few pence in a bucket. This way, the fete comes to them and everybody is able to enjoy it.'
Among the roads the carnival visits on its trip around town are the long, green Newgatestreet Road, Robinson Avenue and the leafy Cuffley Hill.
The fete itself takes place this year on June 14 on the playing fields to the rear of the village's library, at the top of Goffs Lane.
It's not just the Clarks who are proud of the small but perfectly formed village. Ray Devonshire belongs to the Goffs Oak Community Association, which has been going since 1974 and which, Mr Devonshire says, is 'involved in everything concerned with Goffs Oak' and aims to keep the village picture perfect.
'We are a very powerful group, but this is because of the tremendous work which goes on behind the scenes,' said Mr Devonshire, who has lived in the village for about 40 years.
'Everyone works very hard to keep the area nice and we are proud of the work we put in and the outcome of that work which benefits the whole village.'
It's not all work though for Mr Devonshire and his community association colleagues.
When he's not busy working on behalf of the community Mr Devonshire likes to tread the grass and go walking, which he likes to do once a week.
'I like Wormley Woods, I go up there as it's dry this time of year. It's a Woodland Trust area, it's quite large and owned by Broxbourne Council and it's very enjoyable to spend time over there. It's very nice to walk through and quite a popular location.'
Somewhere for Mr Moule to think up some more wonderful inventions, perhaps?

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