In December 1948, a man was found murdered just inside the allotments opposite the ruins in Cottonmill Lane. The man was Steven Varley, a 52 year old who worked as a shop steward at de Havilland’s at Hatfield. The full story can be read in Appendix 2 of Sopwell: a history and collection of memories or in the Herts Advertiser from December 1948 onwards. The case attracted the attention of Chief Detective Inspector Robert Fabian of Scotland Yard and Dr Keith Simpson an eminent forensic pathologist, but it was never solved.
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