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9th November 1690 Highway Robbery

On November 9, 1690 near South Mimms, several highwaymen stopped a London-bound convoy and robbed it of the £15,000 in taxes it was carrying from the Midlands. During the holdup the highwaymen waylaid other passing travelers, plundered them and tied the victims to nearby trees.

Despite some arrests and the threat of execution by hanging, bands of highwaymen continued to target travellers in the area. One of the most famous of these highway crimes occurred on the summer evening of August 23, 1692. John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, veteran of the battles of Sedgemoor and Walcourt, was riding in his coach attended by an escort of dragoons along the St Albans Road (he had an estate in St Albans). The coach carried a treasure chest packed with gold and silver coins. A band of perhaps 40 highwaymen ambushed Marlborough and his retinue. In the ensuing melee with the dragoons, as many as 10 highwaymen were killed. The bandits nevertheless managed to relieve the duke of 500 guineas. The ringleader of this and other escapades in the area was ‘Captain’ James Whitney.

Whitney was born into a poor family in Stevenage in about 1660. He started work as a butcher’s apprentice in Hitchin, and later became the landlord of the George Inn at Cheshunt (some sources report the name of the establishment as the White Bear or the Bell). His position as a publican put Whitney in contact with a stream of colourful characters, and highwaymen were among his patrons.

The business however proved unprofitable, and some of his criminal friends tried to convince Whitney to join their ranks and ‘take to the road.’ Tempted by visions of adventure and riches, the landlord ultimately agreed. Whitney’s cleverness, and perhaps his penchant for fancy clothes and manners, soon had him promoted to leader of his own gang, and he came to be referred to as ‘Captain’.

The size of the band varied, and Whitney periodically broke up the group and operated alone – the latter a tactic intended to confuse the authorities. The number of Whitney’s gang is reported to have been anywhere between 30 and 80 men. He is thought to have had 50 by 1690 when he targeted the coach at Wash Lane in South Mimms carrying £15,000 of tax money.

James Whitney was arrested and sent to Newgate prison. He was eventually caught and hanged at Tyburn for his crimes in 1693.

Youth Art Competion

SMPC doesn’t have an official logo, so we are inviting all children and young people to design a logo for South Mimms Parish Council. Entries should be sent to Mrs Toni Johnson c/o St Giles School, Blanche Lane, South Mimms by the end of term, or emailed to southmimmspc@gmail.com by the end of July. GOOD LUCK!

Community Projects

South Mimms Parish has received a few thousand pounds in CIL Funds from Hertsmere to use specifically on community infrastructure projects within the Parish.

These funds are for projects that enhance the fabric of the Parish. An example might be new benches and flower troughs outside the village hall to create an outside meeting spot, or some outside exercise equipment in a public space.

If you have any ideas for a project big or small please email me at southmimmspc@gmail.com with some basic details of what, where and a rough idea of cost if you can.

Natalie Gettings, Clerk

Election Results

On Tuesday 11th May Hertsmere Borough Council formally release the results of the elections for South Mimms Parish Council.

The new team are:

Cllr Chris Myers, who is also a Hertsmere Labor Councilor and has been one of our Stand-in Councilors, Cllr Toni Johnson, Cllr Seth Thomas and Cllr Mark Hedison, all of who now join Cllr Cathy McCaffrey who was co-opted onto SMPC as no requests for election were received for Mrs Harverson’s seat. These positions will stand for two years until the next full cycle of elections.

Acceptance papers and a AGM to elect a chair person will be held as soon as more than 6 people can meet indoors, but no later than the end of June.

New Co-Opted Councilor

Ms Cathy Mc Caffey has been selected to fill the position of Co-opted Councilor, following the resignation last year of Mrs Harverson. Hertsmere Borough Council didn’t receive any letters requesting that this position be taken to election, so co-option for this seat was necessary.

Cllr Mc Caffey’s appointment will be ratified at the next SMPC meeting and will be for the next two years.

Elections Update

On Thursday 6 May 2021 residents in Hertsmere will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them in Borehamwood Kenilworth, South Mimms, Shenley and Aldenham Parish Councils; Hertfordshire County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

THERE ARE FOUR SEATS UP FOR ELECTION IN SOUTH MIMMS.  IDEALLY WE NEED AT LEAST A DOZEN RESIDENTS OF THE ELECTRAL WARD OF SOUTH MIMMS TO PUT THEMSELVES FORWARD, SO THAT RESIDENTS HAVE A CHOICE. TO BE ELEGIABLE YOU MUST BE A RESIDENT OF THE CIVIC PARISH, BE A UK CITIZEN AND NOT HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD.  If you decide to apply please remember this is a four year commitment and although these are unpaid roles you will be required to sign an agreement to uphold the standing orders of the council, which includes conducting yourself in a manor becoming of the role and acting in the best interest of the whole parish. This will be particularly important given the plans for new housing in the area.

Any residents who have questions can also contact their local elections team on 020 8207 7481 or email elections@hertsmere.gov.uk.

While local elections are not until May, Hertsmere already making plans to help you stay safe while casting your vote. There are a number of ways to have your say in the May elections – you can vote in a polling station, by post, or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf, which is known as a proxy vote.

Sam Langford, Electoral Services Manager for Hertsmere Borough Council, said: “The elections later this year are very important – they’re an opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect day-to-day life.

“We’re thinking about these elections now so that, however you choose to cast your vote in May, you can do so safely. We’re putting arrangements in place to help you stay safe at the polling station; you can expect many of the measures you’ve become used to in shops and banks over recent months, such as hand sanitiser, floor markings and face masks. But you also have the option to apply to vote by post or by proxy.”

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission said: “The choice on how to vote at May’s elections is yours – you can have your say in person, by post or by proxy.

“If you’re thinking about voting by post, you can apply now. This will make sure your application is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly. It’s easy to apply and you can find out how by visiting the Electoral Commission website.

“You need to be registered to vote in order to have a say at the elections – the easiest way to register is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Residents can visit www.hertsmere.gov.uk/electionnotices to find out more about the elections on 6 May 2021. The page will be updated with new information as it becomes available.

The local elections team can be contacted on 020 8207 7481 or email elections@hertsmere.gov.uk.

Find out more about voting and registering to vote at www.hertsmere.gov.uk/may2021elections

Casual Vacancy on SMPC

A casual vacancy has arisen on the Parish Council following the resignation of Cllr Harverson, as no requests for a by-election for this seat were received by Hertsmere Borough Council.

Anyone wishing to be considered for this voluntary role should contact the Clerk on southmimmspc@gmail.com before the end of the year.

There will be an interview process in the New Year, conducted by the existing Councillors.

Please note this is not the Chairperson position as that is currently held by Cllr Spencer. This position will come up for election again in two years.

Chairman’s resignation and Handover

With the appointment of a new temporary Chairperson in Cllr Antony
Spencer at last week’s meeting. The resignation of Yvonne Harverson has now finally been accepted and processed. With this a permanent vacancy has arisen at South Mimms Parish Council.
A written request from 10 electors in the parish must be received by
Hertsmere Borough Council by Friday 27 November to trigger a by
election. If no request is received then the vacancy will be filled by
co-option.  Due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic and 
emergency legislation that has been passed, the by election will not
take place until 6 May 2021 if it is required. 
The full election notice is available to view on the borough council’s website www.hertsmere.gov.uk/electionnotices.

Any queries can be raised please email me on
– southmimmspc@gmail.com

Natalie Gettings – Clerk

Remembrance Sunday 2020

Sadly this year, with the second national Covid-19 lock-down, we are unable to have our usual acts of remembrance. Poppy Wreaths are still being placed on the War Memorial but these will be done individually, not as a public event.

As South Mimms is part of Shenley Ward we are sharing here a link to the Shenley Parish Council website as they have made a video and will also be streaming a church service.

Whilst we can not gather together to remember our local fallen, their names will be read out on Potters Bar Radio and are listed below.

” Let us commemorate and commend to the loving mercy of our
heavenly father, the Shepherd of souls, the Giver of life everlasting,
those who have died in war for our country and its cause. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: age shall not
weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun,
and in the morning, we will remember them. ”

Those from  South Mimms who gave their lives in the 1st & 2nd World Wars

Alfred ALLEN
Alfred CHILDS
Sidney CHILTON
Albert CLARKE
George CLARKE
Arthur DAGLEY
Charles DRACKETT
William DRACKETT
James DRAPER
Frederick ELDERTON
George FORD
Kenneth HAMBLING
Mark HICKMAN
George JOHNSON
Frederick LONG
Edward MITCHELL
Edward SAINES
Charles SHILLING
Ernest WEBBE
Richard WHATELY
Edward ELDRED
Patrick GOOD
Joseph HICKS
Reginald LAMBERT
Ronald MOULD

Those from  Ridge who gave their lives in the 1st & 2nd World Wars

William Percy ELLIOTT
Frederick William HICKMAN
Arthur George HICKMAN
William Charles DORMER
Arthur DORMER
James Arthur LONG
Horace Edgar SIREY
Ernest George FITT
Henry WINTER
Cyril STOKES
Harry Douglas COPPS
George SKINNER
Joseph Charles EDWARDS
Herbert KENT
Charles ASTLE
Jack H GILLING
Thomas HENDERSON
Arthur STOKES

And buried in war graves in St Giles Churchyard.

A J CAMPBELL
Percy Thomas CURWEN
Thomas MOODY
Gordon Richard ISBELL
Ronald Arthur OXLEY
Sidney POWELL