The Fall and Rise of Bircherley Green

The view from our back bedroom window is not the most scenic.

Basil Fawlty summed it up perfectly:  ‘Well, may I ask what you expected to see out of a bedroom window on Folly Island? Sydney Opera House, perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically … ?’

Until last Monday we could just make out the top of the first floor of Waitrose. Of course this has now been demolished but one building remained, the goods lift tower as below.

The goods lift attached to the car park

Then we looked out of our living room window Monday morning and it had disappeared to show a blank horizon.

Look, no lift shaft!

I can live with this and will be able to for a few more years.

Once the building work progresses the view across the Lea Navigation will be changed in a most dramatic way and possibly forever or at least for the rest of my lifetime.

This is how the view from our bedroom window might look in a few years time.

Bircherley Green apartments fill the horizon.

I may have got the dimensions wrong; or the height or the shape but the apartment block will be built and this is certainly an approximation of how things will look.

This is just one block; the other one will be further down to the right directly opposite the end of Riverside where it meets the Old Barge. I don’t think that this sits well within the Hertford Conservation Area but that argument has been raised and lost, a long time ago.

By John Barber

John Barber was born in London at the height of the UK Post War baby boom. He had careers in Advertising, International Banking and the Wine Industry before becoming Town Centre Manager in his home town of Hertford. He has been writing professionally since 1996 when he began to contribute articles to magazines on social and local history. His first published book in 2002 was a non-fiction work entitled The Camden Town Murder, a hitherto unsolved murder case from 1907.