Hemel Hempstead is a thriving town for business and these days has a mixture of heavy and light engineering companies and has attracted many IT and communications companies due to its closeness to London. There are some big names who have a presence here and these include:
As you can see, some big names have put their faith in Hemel Hempstead. However, it is also known for some other rather more unusual things that you probably didn’t know. For example, the town is famous for roundabouts. No, not the children’s TV programme but an actual roundabout where traffic from six routes will meet.
Hemel also claims to have built the first purpose built multi-story car park in Britain. A strange claim to fame but a fact, nonetheless. The town was also home to one of the first community-based television stations, West Herts TV which went on to become Channel 10.
Not far from the rather bizarre Magic Roundabout is Hemel Hempstead’s tallest building. The Kodak Building is 22 storeys high and has now been converted into flats. From there you could probably spot the Heathrow Airport’s holding area known as the Bovingdon Stack. It lies just west of the town and on a clear day, you can spot several aircraft circling in their hold positions.
Hemel Hempstead made the news back in 2005 for the biggest explosion in Europe during peacetime. A series of explosions and fires rocked the Buncefield oil depot. The terminal where the fire started was the UK’s fifth largest oil products storage depot and had a capacity for 60,000,000 gallons of fuel. The explosions measured 2.4 on the Richter scale.
Some famous faces hail from Hemel too, including Sir Roger Moore, most famous for his roles as The Saint and James Bond. During the 1960’s he lived in the town. More recently we have seen a lot of Max Whitlock on the television due to his amazing success at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. He was born in 1993 and lives in the town. David Walliams used Gadebridge Park to film his Christmas programme Mr. Stink.
Robert Snooks, the last highwayman to be executed and buried at the scene of his crime lies in Hemel. He lived between 1761 and 1802. Richard Field was a theologian born in 1561 who is associated with the founding of the Anglican Church was born in Hemel Hempstead. Guy Burgess, who died in 1963, went to Lockers Park School in the town. He was famous for becoming a Russian spy!