Beds, Herts & Bucks

UK's 'oldest' roundabout in Letchworth gets film maker revamp

Councillor Peter Burt (third left) at UK's first roundabout
Image caption Councillor Peter Burt (third from left) hopes the new-look roundabout will become a tourist attraction

A 100-year-old roundabout, believed to be the first in the UK, has been given a makeover courtesy of a film company.

Vegetation on Sollershott roundabout in Letchworth Garden City, had to be removed for a stunt in the forthcoming film, The World's End.

Blank Pictures Ltd on behalf of producers Big Talk and Working Title provided the £2,500 for its replanting.

North Hertfordshire District Council said it had "been brought back to a very good condition".

Letchworth was the first garden city to be built after Ebenezer Howard, outlined his vision of communities that combined the best aspects of town and country living in 1898.

Work began in 1903 on the master plan developed by architects Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin.

The roundabout on The Broadway, believed to have been built in about 1909, is cited as the first "gyratory traffic flow system" in the country by the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation (LGCHF).

'Tourist attraction'

The World's End, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, was filmed in locations in Letchworth last autumn and is due to be released in August.

Details of the stunt have not been revealed by the producers.

The council worked with the LGCHF on the replanting, which includes over 800 flowers and shrubs, such as geraniums and foxgloves.

Image caption The original plants, seen here in 2012, were removed for a stunt in the film, The World's End

The plants were all selected because they were popular when the roundabout was built,

Councillor Peter Burt said cold weather had delayed the work, but it was "already looking like it will be worth the wait".

"It looks really good, it's been grassed up, the plants are in and they will grow during the summer," he said.

"It will look even better in the years ahead once the plants have had a chance to develop."

Mr Burt added that he hoped it would become a tourist attraction and that people would want to come and see it as part of the "film experience".

"Hopefully it will help trade in the town as well," he said.

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