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    FAO: RADSB - Straw Plaiters and the Nickey Line

    Posted by Gut City Hatter on 10/9/2019, 23:28:57

    As a born-and-bred Hempsteadian, I have always been interested in the (hi)story of the Nickey Line, which used to run between Boxmoor (to the south-west of Hemel) and Harpenden. When checking its background on the Interweb today, I was surprised to find that the route was originally used (at least in part) to supply the straw plaiting industry in Luton.
    Have a look at the following websites: I'm sure you will find them interesting, and possibly worth a cross-reference on the Straw Plaiters website (which I very much like, BTW):
    http://www.nickeyline.org/the_nickey_line/nickey_line_history/
    - or (for lots of nice old photos, loads of historic maps, plus much more fascinating history, on a very detailed site which it's really worth looking at) try spending some time with: http://www.nickey-line.co.uk/index.html
    Have fun, and keep up the good work!

      Re: FAO: RADSB - Straw Plaiters and the Nickey Line

      Posted by RADSB on 11/9/2019, 9:39:09, in reply to "FAO: RADSB - Straw Plaiters and the Nickey Line"

      Thanks for this GCH. Very interesting. I always wondered where that old line just north of Harpenden went. It does a big u-turn to get to Hemel. I'll take a long look in the next few days.

      In the early 1880's the club was referred to as Boxmoor more often than Hemel. It explains why Wanderers and Excelsior played them often - rail travel was the best way to get anywhere....and the reason why football really took off.

        Re: FAO: RADSB - Straw Plaiters and the Nickey Line

        Posted by Sendero Luminoso on 11/9/2019, 7:06:15, in reply to "FAO: RADSB - Straw Plaiters and the Nickey Line"

        Going down that rabbit-hole has made me late for work now Gut! Lot's of childhood memories of the Nickey Line in and around Hemel.

        The pics of the open days in the early 70's seem familiar and think I might have gone along as a youngster and may even be in one of the shots. Will have to reference with my Dad...

          Re: FAO: RADSB - Straw Plaiters and the Nickey Line

          Posted by Suffolk Punch on 10/9/2019, 23:43:40, in reply to "FAO: RADSB - Straw Plaiters and the Nickey Line"

          This is indeed true. The original turnout onto the main line faced north towards Luton, and through trains ran from Hemel to Midland Rd. This arrangement only lasted about ten years, when a new turnout facing south allowed trains to run into Harpenden instead. The connection from Hemel linking the line to Boxmoor wasn't built till much later.

          Yawn... bed methinks.

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