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Gavin Mills
Written by Gavin Mills 25th February 2016

From Herts to Dubai: we bring Eastern Promise to Hitchin, with our new branch

Here’s an odd question for you: what links a famous camel with a north Hertfordshire market town? Answer: our new Hitchin office, which bolsters our existing network of 12 branches across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire, not forgetting our London office.

So why the camel? And why is he famous? Good questions!

Well, no grand opening is complete without a special guest – and as we’re soon joining April’s Dubai’s International Property Show, we chose to launch the new office with a VIP that reflects our reach – which is not only regional; it’s international, and even a little exotic!

Yes, thanks to Kokoso the camel, Hitchin is now home to Eastern Promise as well as our new branch in Bucklersbury. Kokoso’s résumé includes TV advertising for dating website eHarmony as well as ferrying broadcaster Jeremy Clarkson. And by way of introducing ourselves – and Kokoso – to Hitchin, here’s five things about the town that we’ve discovered:

  1. Hitchin is a hailstorm hotspot. Or at least it was in 1697 when, according to archives, it was battered by the most severe hailstorm on record.1
  2. It schooled a famous pioneer of modern medicine,2 Lord Joseph Lister, who spearheaded the practice of sterile surgery.3 So significant was Lord Lister’s contribution, that Lister Hospital, in neighbouring Stevenage, honours his memory.
  3. The town is regularly recognised for its appeal as a place to live. Most notably, it came ninth in The Times’ Best Places to Live survey.4
  4. Kokoso the camel isn’t the only famous entity to grace Hitchin. The town is the birthplace of the BBC’s royal correspondent Jennie Bond,5 Olympic badminton medallist Gail Emms MBE,6 and TV treasure Valerie Singleton.7
  5. In Victorian times Hitchin might very well have been lavender capital of England. It was home to a booming industry in growing the fragrant plant, a trade which gradually died out in the early 20th century.8

Naturally, we’ve already developed a strong knowledge of Hitchin and the surrounding area beyond this trivia – but we’re always interested to hear from local people who appreciate the power of local knowledge. If you’re one of them, do get in touch – and look out for the pictures of our new branch, complete with A-lister Kokoso, on our social media channels…



  1. Tailor, Robert (May 1697), “Account of a Great Hailstorm”, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Great Britain); vol. 19, pp. 577-578