Transatlantic relations

Cedars Park has a longstanding relationship with Waltham, Massachusetts, United States.

The town of Waltham, US was established in 1634 by settlers from Waltham Cross, England.

In 1930, Joseph B Franklin Esq, the Chairman of Cheshunt Urban District Council (covering Waltham Cross), visited the American Waltham for an early celebration of the tercentenary of the town's founding. He was gifted an Amur cork tree, which was planted in Cedars Park on his return home.

AMUR CORK TREE
PHILLODENDRON AMURENSE
COMMEMORATING
VISIT OF
JOSEPH B. FRANKLIN ESQ.
WALTHAM CROSS HERTS ENGLAND TO
WALTHAM MASS. U.S.A.
MASSACHUSETTS BAY TERCENTENARY
AUGUST 1930

Plaque (no longer in park)

This was followed up in 1941 with additional gifts from America to England of a mobile canteen worth $1500 ($21,000 today) to the (at the time) joint towns of Waltham Cross and Waltham Abbey. The current location and condition of the mobile canteen are unknown.

WALTHAM (MASS.) TO WALTHAM (ESSEX)

Residents of Waltham, Mass., U.S.A., have decided to show their sympathy with their namesake town, Waltham Abbey, Essex, by providing, at a cost of 1,500 dollars, a mobile canteen for the use of the joint parishes of Waltham Abbey and Waltham Cross. Further practical help is also promised.

The American Waltham, a town of about 50,000 inhabitants, takes its name from this Essex locality, from which many of its original settlers came. The news of the gift was read by Mr J. B. Franklin, J.P. who ten years ago, when chairman of the local Urban Council, visited America as the guest of Waltham, Mass., on the occasion of that town's tercentenary.

Some years ago the American city presented an Amur cork tree to Waltham Cross, and this rare plant, the only one of its kind in this country, is flourishing in the Cedars Park, Waltham Cross.

A prominent American Walthamite, writing to Mr J. B. Franklin, says: "We Americans admire the gallant fight you Englishmen are making for the cause of democracy."

English newspaper article, 9 July 1941
Officials at the cork tree, 1980

After the tree died from storm damage, the American Waltham kindly donated a new one in August 1980, which later died.

A new tree was planted in recent years, but unfortunately it was severely ring-barked in 2019 (likely by muntjacs) and, although a mud plaster successfully extended its life, it died in 2020.