Hidden Hertford was established in 2008. It was formed following an approach by Hidden Britain, itself a section of Visit Britain. The aim was to bring Hertford to the attention of a wider public by promoting social, historical and architectural features that were largely unknown or ignored.
Initially this was not supported by either Hertford County Council or East Herts District Council as their remit is ‘strategic’ so the idea of launching a heritage tour with its own website was really a personal crusade alongside my existing role as Town Centre Manager.
Myself and a colleague raised substantial funds from various sources such as the National Lottery Awards for All, Action for Market Towns, Grown in Herts and the East of England Development Agency.
The money was used to fund new information desks for Hertford Museum and education days and support for exhibitors on our Farmers Market.
We also ran trips along the River Lea, stalls at local agricultural shows and rural walks covering local farms and afternoon teas.
The most interesting aspect was the innovative audio/visual tours of Hertford
A photographic tour of Hertford was overlaid with descriptions of buildings and other interesting heritage locations written by myself and recorded by a BBC trained commentator. These were combined into both
an audio file and AV file that could be downloaded on to a suitable device. The commentary was also translated into French, German and Polish. Both MP3’s and ipods were made available for hire from various points around town.
Unfortunately Government cuts meant that the scheme could not be expanded the way we would have desired and it was closed down. However some of the original material remains. The AV tour is very out of date now as many shops and locations have closed, changed name or no longer exist.
The AV Tour was designed to be viewed on iPods. I have since recovered the individual files and published the original AV Tour which can be viewed on YouTube.
This runs for 20 minutes. It is exactly how it was envisaged but some landmarks mentioned no longer exist such as Woolworths, the Sportsman public house and Sovereign House.
The full audio/video tour is too large to embed here but the audio tracks can be downloaded. The first three chapters can be heard from this page.
The full version – 20 minutes – can be purchased through Paypal.
It is possible using Google maps for you to also experience the flavour of this tour.
The original A Walk Through Hertford map is also available as a pdf file to download which also offers a visual guide to the town. It is offered ‘as was’ as much of the accompanying information is now redundant.
This is based on the original tour with street maps to guide you around and colour photographs throughout. There is also added material such as vanished pubs based on the Alternative Hertford Pub Crawl and a brief guide to some of Hertford’s best known ghosts.
The full AV tour is also available in French, German and Polish. If you would like an alternative to English please email me.
More articles on Hertford:
Hertford the county town, Folly Island, Hidden Hertford, Old Barge Pub, Brewing in Hertford, Easter, Fore Street, Eccentric Clergy, Hertford Library, Hertford 1861, Tunnels of Hertford, Sarah Stout, Closed pubs