I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Monday, 4 August 2014

Hertford (Lee Navigation) – Sunday 3rd August

Another day off – I could get used to this!  Dot and Gordon had Dot’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons to visit today and the sun shone for them :-)

Sunday along the river has been busy – lots of walkers and river users.  It’s been a lovely sunny day with a breeze so much cooler which I think has brought people out.  Muffin loves it as he sits in the middle of the towpath expecting passers by to make a fuss – and they usually did!

Market Square
Parliament Square
In the afternoon we took ourselves off for a wander around Hertford.  I had read that during the Great Plague of London in 1665 the Parliament of England temporarily moved to Hertford. This is why the main square in the town, Parliament Square, is so named, although it is a twentieth century creation. In the middle of the square lies the war memorial for those who died during World War 1 and which features the counties emblem of a Hart, a male deer.

The Salisbury Arms Hotel
The Green Dragon Hotel

 McMullens Brewery is a big player in Hertford - it was founded in 1827 by Peter McMullen and since then has continued brewing in Hertford without a break. In 1891 a new Brewery was built in the centre of Hertford along with the first well which was ‘sunk’ to a depth of 140 feet. It took nine days to complete the job and cost £93-18s-8d! Since then two more wells have been sunk going down some 250 feet, maintaining their own unique supply of natural water for their brewing operations.  Two town establishments belong to the McMullens and are very interesting.  The original Green Dragon Hotel was established before 1621 but it burned down in 1903 and was rebuilt in 1911. The hotel survived for another fifty years before finally closing in 1952/3. The Green Dragon Hotel once had 25 rooms and was described in Kelly's Directory in 1912 as having 'first class accommodation for cyclists & motorists'. It also advertised 'catering done; billiards, stabling, garage, motor pit, etc.'.   The Salisbury Arms Hotel's history dates back into the 18th Century when the building was known as The Bell with McMullens buying it in 1891.

The Gatehouse
The rock concert in the back garden
It was then on to the castle where a rock festival was taking place.  We could hear it from the boat but fortunately it’s only an afternoon/early evening do!  It was a free event with donations to a local charity so we thought we ought to give it a visit.  The rock acts were only given 15 minute slots which was just as well as some of them really weren’t very good!  There were stalls and stands all around the side with the stage under the castle.  I found a stand giving massages and as I have been having problems with my neck I had a 15 minute session for £5.  I’m not sure if it’s done any good yet! 

We bought ice-creams and the man gave Muffin a small one!  Muffin had never had anything like that before as we don’t give him titbits and he was so gentle licking the ice-cream out of the cone very slowly and when he had got every bit out he ate the cone!

We then wandered through the park and all the little rivers that seem to flow through Hertford.  It is certainly a very watery town and lovely with it.

In the evening we had a BBQ with Dot and Gordon.  We had been wanting to have one for ages but could never quite find the right place.  We did have a lot of passers-by commenting on how nice it looked – it was too!

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