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Why we love Little Berkhamsted

PUBLISHED: 13:19 23 November 2010 | UPDATED: 18:08 20 February 2013

Sandie Ash thinks her village is ‘a gem of a place’

Sandie Ash thinks her village is ‘a gem of a place’

This picturesque village is bursting with rural charm and community spirit, as Louise McEvoy discovers

SITUATED about five miles from Hertford, Little Berkhamsted is nestled in beautiful countryside and attracts visitors from across the county due to its scenic and tranquil setting.
Today, Emmie Murphys Village Store is the only shop in the village, there is one pub the Five Horseshoes as well as a village hall, a childrens playground and a green which is used by Little Berkhamsted Cricket Club.
St Andrews Church stands in the centre of the village, with history showing that the first recorded Rector was appointed in 1227. One of the 17th-century doors bears a hole which is said to have been made by a bullet during the Civil War.
An imposing landmark is Strattons Folly, a Georgian prospect tower built in 1789 by a John Stratton.


I love every part of it


WHEN she moved to Little Berkhamsted she had only planned to stay a few years, but 20 years on and Sandie Ash still lives in this gem of a place.
Sandie, who is chairman of Little Berkhamsted Recreation Committee, says, I absolutely love the village and I have been really happy living here. I love every part of it. I couldnt believe there was such a gem of a place when I moved here.
A lot has changed because we have lost our farming, the houses have changed, and we are growing by the minute. There was a time when people grew things in their gardens and you could swap apples for pears, but I think everything has a circle and that way of life could come back.
Sandie has been a member of the Recreation Committee, which organises events and raises money for the community, since she arrived in the village. I think as a community we need to work together, and we need new people to come up with fresh ideas, she says. Little Berkhamsted is unique, and we have to work hard to keep it as it is.
I love the village and I would do anything for it, she adds. I think anyone who comes here loves it. Its quite magical as a place because we are in the true countryside but we are so near London.
Every year Little Berkhamsted residents take part in a charity pantomime in the village hall, which this year is Aladdin and will be held on December 17 and 18. Sandie, who acts as director, says, We have been doing a pantomime for about 10 years and its something people really enjoy. We have to create everything, including the stage. Directing is about people and making them feel comfortable and making sure theyre having fun. Call Sandie on 01707 875221 for tickets.


I love the atmosphere


MOTHER-OF-TWO Claire Malshinger has only been the general manager of Little Berkhamsteds village pub, the Five Horseshoes, since August but says she already feels at home.
I love the atmosphere of the place. Little Berkhamsted is very welcoming and very friendly, and I feel like I have been here for years, she enthuses. Its a very traditional English village, and the pub has such a lovely setting because its opposite the cricket green.
The Five Horseshoes is a family-orientated country pub which, as well as passing trade, attracts customers from all over the county. We have a wide-ranging food menu which uses seasonal produce, as well as curry, vegetarian and fish nights, explains Claire.
The Five Horseshoes also holds regular fundraising events, with staff this year dressing up to represent one of the seven deadly sins each day for a week over Halloween. Its very much a community in that we raise money to support the village and make sure we can maintain village life, Claire explains.


We love the cricket


FOUNDED in the 1800s, Little Berkhamsted Cricket Club was
loaned the villages green after the land was presented for recreational purposes in 1924.
There are currently about
25 club members who play in Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League on Saturdays and social cricket on Sundays.
Peter Turnbull has been secretary of the club for more than 10 years and says, We think we started playing in the early 1800s, but the first scorecard is 1883. Its a family club and we have successfully reared several generations. We are always looking for new members, and all are welcome. Its a good way of keeping fit while doing something you enjoy, and its a very pleasant way of working up a thirst on a Sunday afternoon!
If you would like to join the club, or for more information, call Peter on 01707 645975.

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