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John Betjeman in his poems Group Life: Letchworth and Huxley Hall painted Letchworth people as earnest health freaks.One commonly-cited example of this is the ban, most unusual for a British town, on selling alcohol in public premises.

Some of the artefacts are now on display in North Hertfordshire Museum, in Hitchin.

These systems were never fully implemented, in Letchworth, Welwyn or their numerous imitators.

A competition was held to find a town design which could translate Howard's ideas into reality, and September 1903 the company "First Garden City Ltd." was formed, Richard Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin were appointed architects, and 6 square miles (16 km²) of land outside Hitchin were purchased for building.

This ban was finally lifted after a referendum in 1958, which resulted in the Broadway Hotel becoming the first public house in the centre of the Garden City.

Several other pubs have opened since 1958, but to this day the town centre has fewer than half-a-dozen pubs – a remarkably low number of a town of its size.

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