Animal Crackers

Crowds of children enjoy Hatfield animal event


On Wednesday August 1, White Lion Square, Market Sqaure and The Arcade transformed into an urban farm for Animal Crackers. Children got the chance to meet all kinds of farm yard animals from Ark Farm inluding ducks, donkeys, sheep and a Shetland pony. They also learnt about what food the animals eat and how they're looked after. There was also falconry displays, donkey rides, small reptile handling, children's activities, and a fun fair. Local animal charities including Herts and Middlesex Bat Group and the Wildlife Trust were there providing information on topics such as animal welfare as well as providing activities for children.


 Resident enjoying the Animal Crackers event in Hatfield Town Centre. Picture: WHBC

Councillor Bernard Sarson said: "Animal Crackers once again proved to be a really popular event."


Visit for a list of oter activities taking place.
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Easter Egg Hunt
This year's Easter egg hunt winner has been announced!
In first place is Taylor Ward, 9, whose egg-cellent prize is a family ticket to watch a film of his choosing at CW Entertainment.

In second place is Alicia Shepard, 6, wh won two tickets at RollerCity at CW Entertainment. In third place in Tommy Edwards, 7, who won a luxury Easter egg from Amelie Chocolates.

Alicia said "I did the egg hunt with my nanny and it was great!"

Rachel Richardson, Events and Egagement Officer at WHBC, said "This year's Easter egg hunt was our most popular yet, with three times as many entries as last year, and it was fantastic to see so many children and families taking part. I hope all the winners enjoy their prizes!

"It's set to be another busy year in the Hatfield town centre events calender, with plenty of events taking place soon, including World Culture Day on Saturday 23rd June and Animal Crackers on Wednesday 1st July."

To find out more about upcoming town centre events visit

Pancake Day

Hatfield Town Centre had a flipping good time today, thanks to a pancake day celebration held near White Lion Square.

WHTimes Article. Publicshed 13th February 2018. By Mia Jankowicz.

Local businesses and shoppers alike got competitive in the council's pancake race and  "flipathon".

Adult and child duos were egged on from the side lines and raced with their frying pans down the arcade in pursuit of a £20 prize voucher.

Oliver Farr won the children's race, and Bebo cafe's employees JJ and Alex were victorious in the flipathon and the adult pancake race respectively.

Councillor Bernard Sarson, executive member for business, partnership and public health, said "I'd like to say a big thank you to all the residents, visitors and businesses that took part in our Pancake Day competitions, it was great to see so many people gathered under the arcade in Hatfield despite the wet weather.

"This event kick-starts another busy year in Hatfield town centre events calendar, with the annual Easter egg hunt beginning on Friday March 30, lasting for 2 weeks.

"If your child would like to part, just pick up an activity card from White Lion House or participating town centre shops".


L-R: Jack, Andy and Izzy from Hatfield Library, Councillor Sarson, Jake from Energy Fitness, and Alex and JJ. Picture: supplied by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

Christmas Carols

Residents enjoy ‘wonderful’ carol singing event in Hatfield

Around 200 people flocked to the event yesterday (Wednesday) in White Lion Square, where a four-piece live band performed from 12pm to 1pm.

Councillor Bernard Sarson, executive member for business, partnerships and public health, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people from the Hatfield community come together, singing Christmas carols and enjoying the festive displays in the town centre.

“Around 200 people attended the event which is fantastic.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to King’s Community Church for conducting the carols, and to Simmons for providing drinks and mince pies to attendees, and once again wish everyone in Welwyn Hatfield a merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy New Year.” 

The Hatfield Christmas carol singing event. Picture: WHC

The Hatfield Christmas carol singing event. Picture: WHBC

The Hatfield Christmas carol singing event. Picture: WHC 

Christmas Window Display Competition

Blissful Christmas display takes home Hatfield’s best-dressed window title

The mayor awards first prize to Lynn Stevens, whose snowy display impressed the public. Picture: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council                                                                           

The mayor awards first prize to Lynn Stevens, whose snowy display impressed the public. Picture: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

Amid a flurry of window snow, tinsel and sparkly lights, the winner of the council’s competition for the “best dressed window display” in Hatfield town centre has been awarded.

Pet spa and pet supplies shop Pedigrees 'n' Pooches came second. Picture: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council 

Pet spa and pet supplies shop Pedigrees 'n' Pooches came second. Picture: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Gaining 95 votes - nearly a quarter of the 409 cast - Bliss Beauty Therapy at 12 The Arcade took the title today (December 20) for the second year running. 

Bliss’s owner Lynn Stevens was presented with a trophy by Mayor Lynne Sparks.

Lynn said: “I love making the most of Christmas and decorating the shop window so everyone in Hatfield can enjoy the festive season.

“The lights on the arcade canopy really add to the festiveness this year!”

Third prize went to charity shop Barnardo's. Picture: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council 

Third prize went to charity shop Barnardo's. Picture: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Out of the 20 shops that took part, second place went to Pedigrees ‘n’ Pooches which gained 70 votes.

Barnardo’s came third with 62 votes, and Willow was fourth with 52 votes.

The mayor said: “Well done to Bliss Beauty Therapy for winning the best dressed window competition once again.

“I hope that visitors to the town centre have enjoyed all of the festive windows on display whilst doing their Christmas shopping. “I’d like to thank all of the shops that took part for putting in so much effort when putting together their displays.”

Boutique charity shop Willow was awarded fourth place. Picture: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council 

Boutique charity shop Willow was awarded fourth place. Picture: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Councillor Bernard Sarson, executive member for business, partnerships and public health, said: “This year’s competition was met with great enthusiasm by both businesses and visitors to the town centre.

“The displays were even bigger and better than last year’s, and they have all really helped to brighten up Hatfield during the festive season.”

The other shops entering the competition were: Fit4Less, Hatfield Library, Tasty Vapes, Cakehut, The Continental Barbers, Best One, Calamity Comics, Mather Marshall, Peacocks, Duhok Barbers, Scope Charity Shop, Poppins Café, Pizza GoGo, Gift Hair Collection, Debra Charity Shop, and Jo’s Hair Salon.

Voters in the competition entered a draw and the winner won £50 in Love2Shop vouchers. 


Bob Wilson Opens Willow Shop in Hatfield

Arsenal legend Bob Wilson unveils new Willow shop in Hatfield

Arsenal legend Bob Wilson and his wife Megs have unveiled a new charity shop in Hatfield.

Willow, founded by the pair in memory of their daughter Anna, provides Special Days for seriously ill people aged between 16 and 40.

The new store was unveiled in Market Place over the weekend – with eager shoppers queueing well before the doors were flung open.

It will be the charity’s fifth shop in Herfordshire, but unlike the others, it will be a discount boutique charity store.

A Willow spokeswoman said: “Bob and Megs Wilson gave an emotional speech, thanking the public and local business community for their very generous support, and the shop team for the extraordinary number of volunteer hours they have put in.”

Megs also shared that their daughter Anna, who was the inspiration for Willow’s Special Days during her own battle with cancer, used to work in the Hatfield Dental Centre within Market Square, so the new shop holds a special poignancy.

The spokeswoman added: “They then spent time with shop staff and public alike, with Bob greeting the Arsenal fans amongst the shoppers.

“Willow’s chief executive officer Jonathan Aves was honoured to officially welcome the mayor Lynne Sparks to the shop for a tour.”

She also urged anyone interested in volunteering at the store to call 01707 259777 or email 

Bob and Megs Wilson cut the ribbon to officially open the new Willow shop in Hatfield. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Bob and Megs Wilson cut the ribbon to officially open the new Willow shop in Hatfield. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The Willow Team in Hatfield. Picture; Karyn Haddon 

The Willow Team in Hatfield. Picture; Karyn Haddon



Pedigrees 'n' Pooches Open in Hatfield

New pet shop comes to Hatfield town centre

A family business that can transform your pooch has opened up in Hatfield town centre this week.

Vikki Pearman, 41, of Cotton Field, and her husband Trevor have moved their business Pedigrees ‘n’ Pooches Pet Spa from Cole Green in WGC to Hatfield.

The shop, which offers dog grooming, pet supplies and microchips, opened on Monday and is based at 13 Market Place next to Appleby’s.

Vikki said: “We wanted to expand our business and we needed more room.

“Everyone who has popped in so far has been so lovely and we look forward to our future here.”

In 2016 Vikki was named ‘creative stylist of the year’ at the English Groomers Challenge in Kent, after painting her pet poodle purple with a design inspired by ‘Game of Thrones’.

The couple’s two poodles Apache and Lacie are often in the salon with them helping with the work load.

The new pet shop in Hatfield town centre. Picture: Vikki Pearman. 

The new pet shop in Hatfield town centre. Picture: Vikki Pearman.

Vikki & Trevor Pearman with Lacie 

Vikki & Trevor Pearman with Lacie


Christmas Light Switch On

Hatfield was illuminated over the weekend as residents gathered to enjoy an array of festive activities.

Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.


Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.

The lights were switched on on Saturday, with this year’s theme being Beauty and the Beast.

The festive fun began at 2pm in White Lion Square, and a line-up of singing and dancing talent entertained throughout the afternoon. 

Santa himself attended, to meet and greet children with his real-life reindeers.

As well as watching the town light up, local band Swanvesta Social Club, performed on stage in the build up to the big switch-on.

Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.


Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.

Councillor Bernard Sarson, executive member for business, partnerships and public health, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who came to watch Hatfield town centre illuminate at this year’s Christmas lights switch-on.

“It was great to see so many people there, getting into the festive spirit and enjoying all of the Christmas entertainment.”

Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines. 

Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.

There is also a Christmas window display competition currently running in Hatfield.

You can vote for your favourite until Friday, December 15, by collecting a voting form from reception in White Lion House or from any shops that are taking part in the competition. 

Voting can also be done online at

Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines. 

Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.

Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.


Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.

Big Summer

An estimated five thousand youngsters from across Welwyn Hatfield flocked to take part in the borough's first ever Big Summer programme.

The two weeks of August were jam-packed with activities to suit all ages and interests - including sports, dance, and music.

A total of 20 local partners put on around 90 activities over the fortnight, which were held at various locations across the borough.

Highlights included: Animal Antics in White Lion Square, Mobile Mini Golf in Market Place, and Skate Fest in Hatfield town centre.

Councillor Tony Kingsbury, Executive Member for Policy and Culture, said: "Big Summer was all about showcasing the mix of fun things to do, right here in Welwyn Hatfield.

"It was important the activities appealed just as much to older children and teenagers as they did to young families and, who knows, we may have inspired some next generation athletes, artists or musicians!

"Big Summer would not have been possible without the support of our fantastic local partners who, despite not always having the Great British weather on their side, really got into the spirit and made it such a massive success!"

The summer holiday fun continues throughout August with Play Rangers and children's activities at the Jim McDonald Centre. For more information, visit the council's website:

The animal crackers event in Hatfield's White Lion Square last year.


Animal Crackers

The Animal Crackers event gave youngsters the chance to meet all kinds of farm animals, including ducks, sheep and donkeys – all from Ark Farm.

They were also taught about how they are looked after and what food they eat.

Borough councillor Tony Kingsbury, executive member for policy and culture, said: “Once again, this was a really popular event in Hatfield town centre which was both fun and educational for children.

“We’ve still got plenty of activities taking place throughout August, including the last few days of Big Summer, activities at the Jim McDonald Centre and the Water Day event at Mill Green Mill and Museum on Wednesday, August 23.”

The free event was part of the Big Summer line-up taking place across Welwyn Hatfield until Monday, August 14. For the full list visit
Hundreds enjoy Hatfield’s World Culture Day

Hundreds flocked to the Hatfield World Culture Day event on Saturday in White Lion Square, where residents sampled cuisine from across the globe while soaking up arts, crafts and photo booths.

They were also treated to performances from artists including The Voice contestant Lawrence Hill, FK Dance Academy and The Cotter School of Irish Dancing.

Welwyn Hatfield Indians, Stage Call and the Open Heavens Christian Centre Youth Choir also wowed residents on the day.

Councillor Tony Kingsbury, executive member for policy and culture, said: “A huge thanks goes to everyone that took part on Saturday: the singers and dancers, the stall holders, the food vendors, and all the residents who came down to support the event.

“It was great to see Hatfield town centre bustling with music, arts and cuisine from all over the globe.

“People turned out in their hundreds to enjoy five hours of multicultural activities and celebration.

“We are a borough that embraces diversity and world culture, and Saturday’s event showed that Welwyn Hatfield is a vivacious borough to live in with plenty of different activities to get involved in.”

‘Freakshakes’ arrive in Hatfield thanks to new bakery

Bhavesh Vasoya, 33, of Meadow Croft, and his business partner Dushar Shah opened their new shop Cake Hut, in The Arcade, on Saturday, June 3.

The bakery which makes and sells trendy ‘freakshakes’, customised cakes, ice cream, and healthy smoothies is the duo’s first business venture.

Bhavesh, who previously worked for Tesco in Shire Park, said: “We wanted to open this shop in Hatfield town centre as Hatfield has been my home for the past ten years and we know many people around here.

“Before we opened people had to travel to London to get themselves a freakshake which cost £9 in the big city. I wanted local people to be able to experience trendy food for a much cheaper price so our freakshakes are £4.50.”

A freakshake is a high-calorie, mega milkshake. The creations combine ice cream, chocolate bars and entire slices of cake.

The father of two added: “It is really important for us that our businesses stay in Hatfield as we want to bring exciting things to our town.

“I have two children and there needs to be more things in this town for children to do.

“We have many business ideas but if the Cake Hut does well, the next mission is to open a bowling alley in the town or somewhere in Hatfield. We are looking at good locations for one.”

At the official opening of the store, Lynne Sparks cut a ribbon on Saturday.

She told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “It’s a lovely shop, with lovely local people running it.

“They have amazing cakes, including eggless cakes, a lovely range of gelato, coffee, and more. The prices are very good too.

“I think they’ll do really well in the town, not just with their range, but because of their long opening hours too.

“There’s something for everyone. I look forward to visiting often.”

The Cake Hut is open from 8am until 10pm Monday to Friday, 8am until 10pm on Saturday, and 9am until 5pm on Sunday.

The popular independent cafe Bebo is also aiming to open this autumn at 17c Town Centre – the unit facing White Lion Square, next to Halifax bank.

Hatfield’s food bank for struggling people has relocated in the town centre.
The Manna Food Bank, operated by Open Heavens Christian Centre, has moved from 5A Town Centre to 62A, and is open on Fridays between 1pm and 4pm.

Food bank administrator Cathy Serra said: “There are a lot of really desperate people who come to us, and they have been getting lost because we need to get it signposted.

“Even though we have told the agencies where we are they still get lost.”

Cathy also said anyone who wanted to help the food bank could volunteer to collect and work in the warehouse, or organise fundraising activities.

Accepted donated food includes canned meats, tuna and salmon, jelly (no glass), canned stew and chili, tea bags, coffee (ground, no beans), canned vegetables, sugar and tinned baked beans.

They also accept canned fruits, pasta, cereals, rice, powdered milk, spaghetti and baby formula (Enfamil/Similac).

Hatfield Leisure Centre teams up for Move More scheme with Macmillan

People who have undergone cancer treatment are being encouraged to sign up to a free fitness and health programme in conjunction with Hatfield Leisure Centre and Macmillan.

As part of the Move More programme in partnership with Macmillan, people are able to refer themselves during their cancer pathway to the scheme which offers free fitness sessions, one-to-one support and advice and following reviews and feedback.

Commenting on the scheme Karol Butrimas-Gair, General Manager of Hatfield Leisure Centre said: “We would love to hear from people who have undergone treatment for cancer to come forward and get the full benefit of the Move More programme with Macmillan.

“We started this a year ago and currently have 20 people on the scheme which is delivered by a qualified cancer rehabilitation instructor. It is so rewarding to see people undergo these sessions which take into account any side effects they may have from treatment such as fatigue or movement issues.

“The scheme is open to people of all ages and all levels of fitness and we have seen it make such a positive difference to the people of Welwyn-Hatfield and the surrounding area.”

Those who sign up for the scheme are booked in for consultation to find out about their treatment and its side effects and are then given 12 free sessions which could include use of the gym or the pool, depending on their individual needs. There are then the options of further reduced rate sessions and follow ups at three, six and 12 months reviews and feedback to their health care.


Rhys Ratcliffe, Move More coordinator for the Herts region said: “I have been working on this scheme for almost a year and it provides great support. Cancer can leave people with a black hole in their lives as after treatment many people feel there’s no incentive and no focus to do anything.

“Move More allows people who want to take back control to do something for their own health and they can set up a programme with our help which can be tailored to their own specific needs.”

More details can be found at:

Exciting times ahead for Hatfield
Popular local deli-café, Bebo, has announced plans to open a branch in Hatfield town centre. It’s the latest in a long line of new retailers, with demand for units now outweighing supply. It’s another success for the Corporate Property team, which has worked hard overseeing the investment programme to make Hatfield more attractive to retailers both large and small. 

Bigger plans are also on the horizon with a planning application being prepared for a multi-storey on The Common car park. This is part of the work identified by the Hatfield 2030+ partnership to release important space in the town centre for residential-led redevelopment. And a planning application is also being processed to transform the eastern entrance and develop Numbers 1 and 3-9 Town Centre into new residential and retail units. Watch this space!



Hatfield litter poster competition winner

A big congratulations to Harry, aged six, who is the winner of the Hatfield litter poster competition.

Here is a picture of Harry collecting his prize from Mayor Councillor Pat Mabbott and another of his winning poster. Well done Harry!




Hatfield Town Centre Pancake Race

Employees of Hatfield town centre businesses took part in a lunchtime pancake race under the arcade in White Lion Square this pancake day.

The winner was Chris Jefferys who works at Wrights Estate Agent in Hatfield.

Receiving his £25 gift voucher prize, Mr Jefferys said: “I’m a bit worn out but it’s fantastic to win.

“Thank you for the voucher.”

Presenting the prize, mayor Patricia Mabbott said: “The competitors did really well in the race but it was about more than that – we wanted town centre workers to come together, have some fun and see the benefits of living and working in a vibrant town centre that is open for business.

“Congratulations to Chris for winning the hard-fought race. He’s no doubt tired from winning the pancake race but on the flip side, he has won a £25 gift voucher.”

The race was well attended by Hatfield town centre business, including staff from Hatfield Library, a very keen and fierce male competitor from ASDA, and Eric Van Genderen – the owner of recently opened Calamity Comics, who was the runner up.

Eric said: “I’m a bit tired now. I got off to a false start, dropping the pancake at the initial flip on the start line.

“But I have to say that Chris is a worthy winner.”

Councillor Bernard Sarson, executive member for business, partnerships and public health, commented: “It’s been a great day for everyone and I hope that people enjoyed meeting fellow town centre workers.

“We all know that competition is a healthy thing in business – but this time it was just a good bit of fun.

“I’m just glad that the weather stayed fine for the event.”

Hatfield visited by European delegates to talk social inclusion

The delegation of visitors arrived in Hatfield on February 8, as part of the EU Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership with Hatfield charity Kaleidoscope Enterprise.

The partnership called ‘Innovative Quality Mentoring for Inclusion’ paired our EU neighbours with the charity in order to better understand the community context we operate in and the nature of exclusion and deprivation.

The council was represented by councillor Bernard Sarson and partnerships officer Lester Vaughan, who guided the visitors around Hatfield Town Centre and gave talks about the council’s community strategy for tackling deprivation and social exclusion.

Councillor Bernard Sarson, executive member for business, partnerships and public health, said: “It was a real pleasure for me to show our European neighbours the initiatives we have in place to deal with exclusion and deprivation.

“It is important to share knowledge and teach and learn from other countries.

“We have come a long way in our regeneration of Hatfield and we continue to do everything we can to prevent exclusion and deprivation.”

Moreen Pascal, leader of Kaleidoscope, said: “The best thing about the day was being able to view Hatfield’s not-for-profit sector through the eyes of strangers.

“I think it reinforced our view that the sector is full of clever, passionate people and organisations who are busy doing things that are very worthwhile for our community, despite financial and social challenges.”

One of the Romanian delegates commented: “I was most impressed by the authenticity of the people that hosted us.

“The diversity of settings, and seeing people in their own place, has added to the depth of the exchanges.

“Each visit has hit a cord relating to my own activity in Romania.”

The day concluded with a dinner held at Hatfield Rotary Club.

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