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‘COMPULSIVE COLLECTOR’: Genealogist collects postcards exploring Shenley’s rich history

 Published on: 15th March 2024   |   By: Sophia Sheera   |   Category: Uncategorized

A genealogist and self-described “compulsive collector” is creating an archive illuminating Shenley’s past.

Georgina Marks has only lived in Shenley for five-and-a-half years, yet she has already collated an impressive archive of historical photos and maps.

Before moving to Shenley, Georgina lived in Stanmore, where she started a similar local history archive. Upon relocating to Shenley to be nearer her daughter, Georgina donated her entire Stanmore collection to her neighbours and started her archive afresh in Radlett.

Her collection includes photos of a variety of places of historical interest around Shenley, including the former mental hospital, Ridgehurst House, and the former Black Lion pub. Some are postcards she bought online and some have been downloaded from the internet; she even went to the London Metropolitan Archives to look at their records of the Shenley Chapel.

Georgina said: “Walking around a place and coming across beautiful old buildings makes you wonder about their past.

“I don’t think it happens until you get a bit older – but once you start looking, it’s hard to stop!”

Alongside archiving Shenley’s rich history, Georgina researches family trees and has even had some of her genealogical work published.

She said: “Funnily enough, I hated history at school! It was taught terribly in the 1950s and 60s – all dates and not much else. It’s the personal connection that gets me hooked on these projects.”

Hanging on Georgina’s living room wall is a custom-made jigsaw based on an ordnance survey map, with Georgina’s own neighbourhood at the centre.

She explained: “My daughter-in-law ordered it for me for Christmas. It came with a paper copy of the map to help me put the jigsaw together, but I didn’t even [need to] look at it.”

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