• Herbert John Brown - Historian,always known as Jack to family and friends. Enjoy his life memories
  • Jack & Eileen arranged first date was outside a sweetshop in Muswell Hill. They were together for over 7 decades

Welcome to H.J.Brown

The victorian Gamekeeper and many more wonderful memories

Herbert John Brown,always known as Jack to family and friends, was born in 1924 at Southwark,London ,where his father was a London policeman. Both parents came from Hertfordshire, his mother ,Emma Brown (nee Adams ) 1881--1974 came from Hertingfordbury, near Hertford. His Father was born at St Pauls Walden, but spent most of his young life at Cromer Hyde, where his father Alfred Henry Brown 1867--1943, was a gamekeeper for Lord Mount Stephen of Brocket .

Enjoy the memories of H.J. (Jack) Brown

The Chequers -Memories of The Chequers ( Crooked Chimney) featuring Ernest Brown my Uncle. Learn More

Alfred Henry Brown - 'Alfred Henry Brown was born at Basingstoke, Hampshire on April 3rd 1867Learn More

Herbert Brown. - 'My Father, Herbert Brown, was the second son of Alfred and Mary Ann Brown and was born in the left hand cottage that still stands outside the gates of St. Pauls Walden church, Herts. Learn More

Mary Ann Adams - Mary Ann Childs was born at Hertford Heath, near Hertford, the seventh child of James and Mary Ann Childs.Learn More

May Hawkins - When she was about five years old she and her brother Percy joined her older brothers at Lemsford school, about two and a half miles from home. Learn More

Mary Ann Brown - 'Mary Ann was the eldest daughter of George and Ann Abbey and was born at St Pauls Walden, Herts., on June 3rd 1873 where her father was a gardener.'Learn More

Victorian photographer - One day, about 100 years ago, a Victorian photographer set up his apparatus in Hertingfordbury, a village just outside Hertford, and the few people about paused to see what he was up to, or came out to see what was happening.Learn More

Blind Dates - When the public telephone service was first introduced it was inevitable that men and women would get to know each other over the phone and occasions would arise when they wanted to meet in person. Learn More

Z Batteries - Those of us that still recall the London Blitz will remember gazing up at the night sky full of bursting anti aircraft shells and getting some satisfaction that we were hitting back. Learn More

AThe coming of the teenagers - As I write these notes in 2006, the news and television programmes are full of the problems of teenagers. They spend too much, smoke too much,behave badly,complain they are bored and have nothing to doWhen we were young and so different, and wonder how it all happened.Learn More

How 'Jack met Andy' and his friendship with LLHG



In the 1990s he had an article called "Life in a Victorian Gamekeepers Cottage " published in the Hertfordshire Country Magazine and this encouraged him to do more, so that future generations of his family would know what life had been like in the "old days". When Jack found the website www.lemsfordhistory.co.uk he resolved to try and get his article included for the interest of readers, they responded by not only including Jack on the website but building him his own website. That was the start of a beautiful friendship' Below are some of my favourite articles

Life of a Victorian Gamekeeper

This memory is the start of my friendship with Jack. I knew of the article as it was published in ‘Hertfordshire Life’ and was a cutting in LLHG archives. Jack contacted me via our website to ask if the article was of interest. I responded by producing a website for Jack called ‘HJ Brown Historian’. It contained many stories of Jack’s family and life. The article starts ’Now that we are in the 21st century, it falls to those of us in our later years to try and remember and record the stories that our parents and grandparents told us about their lives in the days of Queen Victoria, before the turn of the 20th century.’

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Lord Mount Stephen

LLLHG has a great interest in Lord Mount Stephen and Jack gives his unique view on the life of the great man. Jack’s personal touch brings the article alive. His grandfather worked for him and his Dad was taken under his wing. Jack writes ‘On a personal note, my Father suffered from deafness when he was young and when Lord Stephen, who himself suffered from deafness in his old age, heard about it he arranged for an operation by a specialist which was a complete success. No local history of the Lemsford era would be complete without some reference to Lord Mount Stephen, who leased Brocket Hall and Estates from the Cowper Family in 1893 and lived there until his death in 1921’

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Memories of the London manual exchanges in the 1940s

Jack once again uses his personal memories to build an image of what life was like in the 1940s as a GPO engineer. The personal touch come through with Jack’s conclusion. ‘Most exchanges had a good and friendly atmosphere, in spite of the almost Dickensian approach to discipline, and many friendships were made that lasted a lifetime including a young lady called Eileen. ‘I called the manual exchange and asked to speak to the Testing Telephonist (TT) who had the job of dealing with service enquiries. When I asked if they were busy, she light heartedly replied that “she” wasn’t! As you can imagine, one thing led to another and we arranged to meet outside a sweetshop in Muswell Hill.’ This is how Jack got his nickname Jack ‘I know how to give a girl a good time’ Brown. She must have liked what she saw as they married and were soul mates for over 7 decades until Eileen’s in 2015.

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Dad’s Post Office Army

Jack brings alive the real ‘Dads Army’ taking the part of Pike in his memories of WW2. He confirms the truth of the brave boys at home who were our last line of defence ‘ Many people who watch with amusement the antics of Mr Mainwaring and the Home Guard might not realise that in the last war, the Post Office had its own Home Guard Battalions, whose escapades sometimes were just as hilarious as the TV classic. On the telephone side each exchange or group of exchanges formed companies and every night there were two or three home guards on duty at each building. As the war ended the Home Guard faded away like the old soldiers many of them were. Goodness knows what would have happened if Hitler had invaded! But anyone taking part will remember those days with a chuckle.’

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LLHG Friends & associations are happy to Support Jack in publishing his memories.

LLHG works within the parish of Lemsford

Lemsford Local History Group works within the parish of Lemsford, serving Lemsford Village, Stanborough, Cromer Hyde and Brocket Hall. We have made many friends like Jack including our neighbouring history groups Ayot, Welwyn and Wheathampsead. We also have associations with St John’s Church Lemsford, Brocket Hall and the Brocket Babies and Lemsford Seniors and fully support the Lemsford Fete with our annual display