Dacorum author 'over the moon' after road in Northchurch named in his honour

You can find Hedgehog Way in the new development in Northchurch

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 11:31 am
Updated Friday, 29th October 2021, 12:49 pm

The road in a new development in Northchurch has been named in honour of a local author.

Northchurch Parish Council asked for potential names for roads in the new development, off Durrants Lane, and after hearing about Bert Hosier from Mary Casserley, the chairperson of Berkhamsted local history society, they named one road Hedgehog Way.

Bert Hosier, 93, has lived in Northchurch all his life and in the 90s he wrote a book called Hedgehog's Northchurch: A Personal History of a Village in Hertfordshire, it was published in 1994.

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Bertnext to Hedgehog Way, holding a copy of his book.

As a local historian, in Hedgehog's Northchurch Bert sketches the history of Northchurch, records with affection tales and reminiscences of Northchurch characters, and ponders on the changing way of life and the growth of the village.

As a sharp-eyed countryman, happiest out-of-doors, he expresses his contentment in walking over Northchurch - Berkhamsted Common, observing vegetation and wildlife, and enjoying the rhythms of the seasons.

The book was re-published in 2000, with a new cover to give to children at St Mary's School.

Bert said: “For years before the publication of my book, I submitted articles for Northchurch St. Mary’s Newsletter, under the pen name Hedgehog.

Bert with grandson Ben and his book, Hedgehog's Northchurch: A Personal History of a Village in Hertfordshire

"Hedgehog is a name given to anyone who was born and bred in Hertfordshire. I’ve lived in Northchurch nearly my entire life, having moved from Aldbury in 1935.

"I’m absolutely over the moon that a road has been named in my honour, and together with a hedgehog on top of the Northchurch sign, a memory of me will always live on in the area!”

Bert's grandson, Ben Champniss, took Bert to Hedgehog Way on Friday with his son Freddie.

Ben said: "Mary gave the council a brief history of my grandfather’s involvement with local history. The Parish Council chose to name one of the roads in honour of him.

Hedgehog on top of the Northchurch sign

"One of the roads development is called Hedgehog Way and we went to visit it on Friday. It was really nice, and we took my son with us too.

"Hedgehog Way was suggested in recognising my grandad's writing name and his book.

"In 2000, the book was re-published with a different cover and given to children at St Mary's School.

"I’m very proud of 'Hedgehog', and it’s an honour to call him my grandfather."

Bert, his grandson Ben, and his great grandson Freddie at Hedgehog Way

Mary said: "Northchurch Parish Council contacted me and asked if I had some name suggestions for roads for the new development.

"I contacted Bert, who has been my friend for many years, and is the local historian, and between us we came up with quite a few names.

"I sent the list to the council and in the second paragraph I added that many of the names had come from local historian Bert Hosier and I mentioned him and his pen-name - Hedgehog - and gave a brief history of my grandfather’s involvement with local history.

"During lockdown we saw the houses being built and when they were all done and the road signs were being put in, my mum noticed that one road was called Hedgehog.

"It was great that they had done that, it called also be for the animal, so that's how they have got around it, but it's a great honour for Bert.

"When I told him he was shocked too, but was really happy. I'm glad his grandson has taken him there to see it."