17 May

Let’s move to Hertford: if it’s cool enough for George Ezra…

A picturesque commuter town (with a fine collection of toothbrushes)What’s going for it? Hertford is a gentle place of small pleasures, like its greatest son George Ezra. Everyone fancies a bit of George – even if it is just singing karaoke drunk at a ’Spoons on a Friday night. Likewise, only the harshest of hearts could savage Hertford. It might not be where you want your life to end up, but there are worse places. Its grand Saxon street pattern sprawled across the confluence of four rivers, its castle grounds and handsome centre of Georgian townhouses draped in creepers, and half-timbered salmon-pink cottages, speak of a time when Hertford was a big kahuna. Local lore even suggests this is the burial place of the Holy Grail, lurking somewhere in mysterious tunnels beneath the streets.These days, though, Hertford is comfortable with a more sedate lot in life, a picturesque commuter town for those priced out of Edmonton. The museum has the largest collection of toothbrushes in the country (plucked from the Addis factory when it closed). Enjoying a pint on the riverside terrace at the Woolpack; small pleasures. That’s not to say Hertford can’t cut some rug when it wants to. Look at the 1970s theatre and arts centre, poised for reinvention by zippy architects Carmody Groarke, as avant garde as anything one could find in, ooh, St Albans. Continue reading…

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