With so many places called Hatfield there are too many clubs, companies and institutions using the name to list them all. This is just a small sample.
Boodle Hatfield – British legal firm that traces its origins back to 1722, when Robert Andrews worked as a legal clerk and estate manager for the Grosvenor family. According to their website, Edward Boodle joined the firm Andrews started in 1767. George Frederick Hatfield joined in 1898 (when it was known as Boodle & Co, having earlier been Boodle & Partington). That same year it became Boodle, Hatfield & Co (and became Boodle Hatfield in 1986).
Dalzell Hatfield – publisher based in Los Angeles and New York in the 1930s.
Hatfield Colliery / Hatfield Main Colliery – Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England. Hatfield Main Colliery Company founded in 1910, with first shaft being completed in 1916. Merged in 1967 with Thorne Colliery (although they had first joined underground in 1958). Merger dissolved in 1978 (but remerged in 1986). In 1993 work ceased as operations were no longer financially viable. The following year the Hatfield Coal Company was formed and production started up (but Hatfield and Thorne were separated again). The site was used for the film Brassed Off in 1995 but the company went into receivership in 2001. Production stopped in 2004. In 2006 Powerfuel Plc founded with the intention of developing a coal-fired power station and carbon capture scheme on the site. However, went into receivership in late 2010 and in the current turbulent financial conditions its future is uncertain.
Hatfield Credit Union – a mutual (ie. owned by its members) finance organisation founded in Hatfield, used a red-painted DH.88 Comet Racer as its logo. Although still operating from Hatfield, it expanded its operations in 2008 to cover other parts of the county and changed its name to HertsSaver Credit Union (and appears to have dropped the Comet racer logo).
Hatfield College, Durham – part of Durham University (third oldest in England).
Hatfield Flying Club – originally started and based at Hatfield, Herts by de Havilland (later Hawker Siddeley / British Aerospace) workers. Following the closure of the Hatfield plant and airfield in the early 1990s it moved to Elstree Aerodrome, Hertfordshire. The club is formally incorporated as a company (Hatfield Flying Club Limited), and currently operates its own aircraft, a Piper PA28-180, G-ONET. Previously operated a Cessna F150H, G-AVVX and a Cessna F172M, G-BEBI.
Hatfield House and Hatfield Park – ancestral home of the Cecil family in Hertfordshire (this branch of the family ennobled under the name Salisbury; senior line under Burghley). Built on the site of the Bishop's Palace (which was the childhood home to Edward VI and Elizabeth I, a single wing still stands) and completed in 1611. Used as a setting for many film and tv productions, and for annual cultural events like Living Crafts, Folk by the Oak, Hatfield Country Show and Battle Proms.
Hatfield House, Northampton, Massachusetts – part of Smith College, a women's college founded in 1871 (at a time when educational opportunities for women were limited). This Hatfield House dates back to the 19th Century but was apparently moved from its original site on the campus in the early 20th Century to make room for the Neilson Library.
Hatfield Polytechnic – originally developed to supply skilled workers to the local aerospace factory (de Havilland / Hawker Siddeley / British Aerospace). Became the University of Hertfordshire in 1992, expanded rapidly, and has had a significant impact on the fortunes of Hatfield, Hertfordshire ever since.
Hatfield's Restorations – according to the company website, its origins date back to a company founded in 1834 by John Ayres Hatfield. However, it was his nephew Henry John Hatfield who later took over the reigns of the company (J Hatfield) and was granted a Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria in 1882. Apart from restoration work at Windsor Castle (the family were also apparently later engaged to work on bronzes for the Louvre in Paris), the company appears to have made a name for itself with its display cabinets. Bonhams, the famous auctioneers, record the sale of a display cabinet by H J Hatfield & Sons, Ltd for £9,000 (also see Hatfield Cabinets). The company is still trading today as restorers with premises in South London.
HMP Hatfield – Her Majesty's Prison (HMP) Hatfield opened as a borstal (a corrective facility for disruptive youth – named after Borstal in Kent) in South Yorkshire in 1950. Later became also became a Young Offenders Institution (YOI). Merged with nearby HMP & YOI Moorland in 2002.
RAF Hatfield Woodhouse – RAF station built on Hatfield Moor, South Yorkshire. Opened in 1940 but name changed within months – to avoid confusion with the airfield at Hatfield, Herts – to RAF Lindholme. The last RAF link with site reportedly ended in 1996, and has since been used for a prison. However, it gained lasting fame for the Lindholme Dinghy / Lindholme Apparatus / Lindholme Gear that was devised there during WWII. Basically, it consisted of a spare dinghy and four other containers with survival gear linked in a long line by rope or cables which could be airdropped to downed airmen in the sea. Once the search aircraft located the victims it dropped the container into the sea ahead of them so it drifted towards them. The dinghy would self-inflate and pop out of its container after water dissolved a soluble plug. The contents of the other containers, evolved over the course of the war, contained items like food, water, warm clothing, distress signalling gear, water-proof suits, and even cigarettes. Its 1948 triumph, when RAF Lindholme beat 215 other stations to win the RAF Unit Gardens Trophy, is less well known.
Back to: Features on Hatfield27 August 2012