Mill Green Police Vehicle Workshops
A short history of the workshops
Paul Watts with thanks to Robert Gill and the Our Welwyn Garden City website
The photographs are courtesy of the Herts Police Historical Society but most of the text was posted by Robert Gill on the “Our Welwyn Garden City” website.
In the early days of World War 2, it was realized that there would be a need for specific capabilities for airfield and road construction to meet the demand for more bomber and fighter stations. No 2 School of Airfield Construction was formed within the Royal Air Force No 24 Group Technical Training Command. This school was formed at a camp at Mill Green in 1942 situated between Ascots Lane, Hertford Road and Gypsy Lane. By 1943, the camp known as RAF Mill Green, had become the 5351 Airfield Construction Workshop.
Before the formation of the school, members of the RAF trained with a private firm, Jack Olding and Co. at no cost to the tax payer. Jack Olding had set up a company near Hatfield and was a main dealer in Caterpillar earth moving equipment and Deere tractors. Training took place on the Jack Olding site and on a piece of rough ground on the north side of the Hatfield to Hertford road.
RAF Mill Green closed in April 1948 when the depot moved to RAF Church Lawford near Rugby. The Mill Green site was passed to the Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield Development Corporation and was used to house construction workmen building the two towns. When the site was no longer required, the site was used as workshops.
It was around this time that they were allocated to the Police for the servicing of Police vehicles and the workshops would remain there until the new premises were built in 1959/1960 at their current site at Stanborough.