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    The plaque on the clock is Lewis Silkin (Minister of Town and Country Planning in 1946).

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The Events

In 2013 a small group of local people involved in the Stevenage 60th Birthday celebrations agreed to get together and plan for the town’s 70th Birthday since its designation on 11th November 1946 as the first of Britain’s post-war new towns.

Our aim was to act on E.M. Forster’s dictum in Howards End: “Only Connect!” We saw early on that the celebrations in this year should be community-led, by local people in arts, culture, sports and community groups, with business and council partners supporting us where appropriate.

Our celebrations get going in June, with Stevenage Day and the Arts Mini Festival, and run until two major events in November, the Town Fireworks Display in Fairlands Valley Park and the Finale Show with young people in the Leisure Centre.

The main themes of our celebrations reflect the experiences and changes in Stevenage, from its ancient market town origins to the thriving high tech community we live and work in today:

  • Arts and Culture in all its diverse forms
  • Local Heritage and History: local people, places and stories
  • Local voluntary and community groups
  • Sports, leisure and recreation
  • Industry, business and work
  • Stevenage’s special place in national and international development history: as London’s satellite, the garden cities and other new towns of Hertfordshire.

What has been created in just 70 years by successive generations more than matches the new town vision of those early planners and pioneers in the immediate post-war austerity era. As the town’s motto has it, and as we shall see over the coming months: “The heart of a Town lies in its people.”

If you would rather access the Stevenage Festival programme for a printable list of the events, you can download that whole programme from here and print off the sheets you require (Warning - the file is quite big - approx 10Mbytes).

*** NEWS: ***There's been an article in the Stevenage Comet about the Oak festival, if you would like to view it click here.