Hackspace Timeline

Early 2012 Hitchin Hackspace Founder Alex Palfreman-Brown thinks to himself one day. “Wouldn’t it be great if Hitchin had a Hackspace, a community workspace where people could meet, exchange ideas, learn and access tools to create new things or fix old things….” or something to that effect… “Make, Craft, Invent, Learn“.

13 March 2012 The first meeting of a group of like minded people; Alex Palfreman-Brown, Paul Cuthbertson, Rob Berwick and Richard Cowley, at The Victoria Public House to talk about forming a Hackspace in Hitchin.

April 2012 First Monthly Meeting of Hitchin Hackspace, as a group, at Triangle Gardens Pavilion in Ransoms Recreation Ground.

3 February 2014 At a post Hackspace meeting at The Nightingale Public House (now sadly converted to housing), using the blackboard by the pub dartboard, the construction of an upscaled BigTrak ( a 1980’s programmable electronic child’s toy truck), big enough for an adult to ride in, was proposed and the initial design sketched out. The idea of BigHak was born.

26 April 2014 BigHak makes it’s first public appearance at Newcastle Maker Faire.

29-31 August 2014 BigHak attends EMF Camp2014 at Hounslow Hall Estate, Newton Longville, Milton Keynes

30-31 August 2014 BigHak drives autonomously for the first time.

16 September 2014 Hitchin Hackspace approach North Herts District Council (NHDC) about taking on a lease for the derelict Bancroft Park Toilet block.

1 August 2015 Hitchin Hackspace compete in the Inter-Hackspace Robot Wars competition and emerge triumphant.

24 August 2015 The hackspace acquires its first piece of significant hardware with the delivery of their A3 Laser cutter funded, in part by NHDC Executive Council Member Judy Billing MBE from their discretionary fund.

10 May 2016 Hitchin Hackspace Ltd incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee. NHDC would not lease a building to an informal group so we had to set up a company.

9 February 2017 Hitchin Hackspace Limited signs the lease for the disused toilet block by Bancroft Park .

10 February 2017 Hackspace members finally gain entry to the toilets by unscrewing the padlock hasps to get into the building (we eventually collected the keys a few days later) and within a few weeks we’d had working parties to clear off the overgrown plants from the outside and begin to disassemble the interior.

13 February 2017 Hitchin Hackspace formally receive the keys to the building.

4 March 2019 First night in the new hackspace. No longer a derelict toilet. The workshop was still a work in progress, but the office side was open for Ransoms-like activities.

10 August 2019The Grand Opening: Alex goes on 3 Counties Radio (3CR) to talk about the new space. The leader of NHDC, and the manager of Hitchin BID, jointly cut the “ribbon” which was, appropriately for a hackspace, blue masking tape rather than a ribbon.

14 October 2019 Hitchin Hackspace host the first Repair Cafe at the space. Organised by Less Waste Hitchin.

16 March 2020 Hitchin Hackspace, in common with the rest of the country enters lockdown due to SARS COV2 / Covid -19 and following government restrictions.

28 February 2022 Monday Evening Open Nights resume within the guidelines for social distancing.

2-5 June 2022 Hitchin Hackspace attend the 2022 EMFCamp, at Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Herefordshire, taking BigHak out for a spin and to meet it’s adoring public.