Watfords main newspaper an important resource
Cliff Davies commented
I was born in Watford and played in Watford Silver Band for many years in the 60s and 70s. I would love to be able to find photos of the band from before that time to the present.
Sally Panayiotou commented
My father was a press photographer on the Watford observer for many years Mike Dellow he took many photos of the club and Elton John as well as local scenes and new stories it would be nice to kept our local history preserved.
Printed my wedding photo in 1971!
Sue Ahrens commented
There's so much interesting history in this area that can be signposted by even the smallest newspaper article from times past. Would be very useful to have it all digitised.
Living in Watford from the early 1950's, I well remember the Town Hall roundabout before they moved it. Can't recollect whether it was nearer or further away. I can recollect, not far from a pub called the OBH, or almost opposite the Royal British Legion Club, was the bus stop for the 346 travelling towards the Herebreaks. I also recollect looking towards the roundabout to the left watching to see when the bus was coming. If I remember correctly there was also a fire-station right in the far centre of the original roundabout. It was said at one time, you could reel off all the names of the pubs, from one end of the high street to the other, from the Arches to the Town Hall. The Swan, the Railway, and the Three Tons, to name but a few. I too, can remember both Clements and Cawdells. Cawdells being on a corner to the original market, whereby I would be taken to see Father Christmas and ride the sleigh...ah, all great memories. I have to end on this note, it was a sad day when they demolished the entrance bridge to Cassiobury Park, again I have many memories of the riding the miniature train. As for the slaughter house; I am pretty certain it was the lower end of Vicarage Road, over the bridge - I remember father telling me of it.
More memories of the Odeon and Gaumont cinemas, the famous singers and groups of the 1960's all appearing together, just 2 shillings and sixpence to get in. Johnny Kid and the Pirates, Freddy and the Dreamers, Skeeter Davis, to name but a few..
I remember the factory catching fire! We saw the smoke away across Watford from the infants playground at Cassiobury School. My mother was on playground duty and remarked to another teacher that it was in the direction of my father's workplace - minutes later a solemn junior came over to tell me and my sister he'd see my father going up in the smoke. Little horror!
I remember the Shoe Polish Factory in Grantham Road at the bottom Water lane and Park Avenue being on fire that took an age to put out, it was on my way home from School, also the Train Derailment on the Viaduct at Water Lane. Also, there was Pie Dynamics at Park Avenue I think it was on the junction of Otterspool Way when the Harrier Jump Jet came outside and hovered as they made something that controlled something inside it that was great and very noisy to see. Mary Peters opening the Hartspring Sports Centre which I think is a housing estate now.
How things change, not necessarily for the better.
Living in north Watford from 1952 to 78, I have fond memories of factories such as the British Moulded Hose. Not a nylon stockings factory as its title may sound, but an asbestos factory which I remember one day caught fire when I was in the playground of Park Gate School. Other well-known factories I remember were the (B.A.O) British American Optical company just a short distance away which made reading glasses. Next door was a biscuit factory, its name of which (I am not sure of its spelling), went something like De-Beaukaliers. I remember a friend of father's bringing us the odd large tin of the most delicious wafers you ever tasted. And not forgetting Yeatmans, where an aunt used to bring us small jars of jelly with fruit inside. Sadly, none of these factories any longer exist. And of course everybody who had a family member either working for Odhams or the Sun Printers, would automatically get themselves in too. Sadly the Sun printers was left as just a wreck of a building, at the lower end of Whippendell road.
I was born in Watford in 1934 and went to school at Callow Land and Alexandra Secondary Modern. We lived through the war years in Elm Grove. I used to work in Trewins all day Saturday then go to the market and buy mum a bunch of violets. I loved the markets hustle and bustle. My parents moved to New Zealand in 1952 because they were sick of the rationing. In 1991 my husband and I moved to Australia. My fondest memory of Watford is biking all over, swimming and picnicking at the aqua drone, Ricky, and lovely walks at Chenies. My father worked at Benskins for many years. I have always been proud of Watford and hold very fond memories of my first 17 years of life there. I only wish I could go back to visit, but old age has caught up with m
I well remember my school days at Watford Chater Junior School from 1957 to 1964, getting sick from drinking to much school milk, as class milk monitor with my friend Victor Oliver. Getting a splinter in my bottom, and having to wait for Miss James to come and remove it in the shelter sheds, after everybody had gone home. The lunch time acted out wars in the playground, some children had large Union Jacks so they could lead the battle charge. I remember attending Victoria Secondary Modern School on Talpits Lane, West Watford, before leaving for Australia in October 1965. I remember my art teacher Mr, Williams asking me why I had drawn an airline docked at the airport. I said I am going to Australia. He replied, oh no you're not, stop telling tall stories. I well remember the gates at Casiobury Park and buying a 99 ice cream at the entrance. I remember kissing a Linda Furnace, when I first started secondary school. I have fond memories of Watford. I have since lived in Croxley Green Linksway 1976, visited Watford again in 1993 and again in 2007, so many changes over the years of memory. I was born in King Street Hospital in October 1953. I moved to Watford from School Lane Bushey, with my family at 2yrs old in 1955 to Whippendale Road, West Watford, then a move to Hagden Lane, West Watford in 1961; until my father was offered a work contract in Australia with E.M.I Electronics. I will always have a soft spot for my home town of Watford. No more 321 and 385 buses in that dark green colour unfortunately. I would love to hear from other ex pat Watfordians. I now reside in Melbourne, Australia. Best wishes to all Watford people
Hello. This isn't a memory but I'm looking for someone very special that my mum lost contact with back in 1981; his name was Merrick (I think surname was something like Dowel). Merrick is a very rare name and he was meant to have worked in a pub or something like that. If anyone has any information please could someone email me on email@example.com I would really appreciate the help. Thank you to anyone who has taken time to read this.
Hi, I am desperately looking for old photographs of north Watford, particularly around 1975 onward, I looking for areas like Bruce Grove, St Albans Road or around these areas. Please could someone get in touch. Thank you.
Jake Lowe commented
I visited Stanborough Park School this Summer for the first time in over 20 years. The old school was knocked down and rebuilt about 15 years ago. It's a lovely school with still lovingly maintained grounds.
You don't mention how long ago you attended. I remember it from the 1960's. ALOT of the land behind the school (and the student/ staff accommodation on it) was sold to build private residences.
My church (Seventh-Day Adventists) who own the school, once owned land which extended from Stanborough Pk School all the way up to where Waitrose used to be at the top of Bushey Mill Lane/St Albans Rd junction. Over the last 100 years bits have been progressively sold off
Ian Kirby commented
My father was manager of the Co-op Funeral service which used to be the site of the Angel Inn and we lived in a maisonette above the premises. At the back were two branches of the river Colne - a fast flowing millstream where I used to catch crayfish and see kingfishers and a slower branch that iced over in winter where I skated in Winter. I attended Stanborough seventh Day adventist school and later Rosary Priory where my best friends were Lesley Parrish, Amanda Cook, Sally Tedd and Gillian Benton. I remember the stench of the gasworks, taking metal scraps to Ausdens next door for pocket money, going to dances at the Top Rank (once the Odeon and later Sainsburys)and taking my dog for walks across Watford Fields and through the park at the back of the Wheatsheaf pub. I attended Watford Tech college and George Stephenson where I befriended Peter Jones and Peter Jennings. Would love to share memories with anyone who remembers me.
Used to go to The Trade, Top Rank, Clockhouse, New Penny & Pickwick club in the 60's and early 70's before I left blighty to go to NZ and Oz. Wound up in Perth, Western Australia and am still there. Knocked about with a guy called Barry Machin who was better known as Harry Munchkins before he took off to Torquay. Harry now lives in Melbourne in Oz and I've caught up with him a few times. Read on another site that Roy Rumble passed away in his early 60's and would like to hear more about him if any one knows ?? Also stayed in Bushey with an old mate Ray Lancashire (from S. Oxhey) in 2012. Ray took me around a lot and I was amazed how much Watford had changed ! Remember Mick Tuffy and Ian castle (Ibo) from Harrow, Gerry Farrell from Burnt Oak, Johnny Williams and Mick Cummins from Watford and many others whose names I cant recall. Would love to hear from anyone from that time, particularly anyone who may remember me. I came from Carpenders Park. Best Wishes to all
Lived in Watford 1948 to 1953 on Westfield Ave I remember going to a film I seem to think a Mario Lanza one with my sister & lots of other children then all crossing the road to a party at a pub opposite. I have pictures of us all crossing the road including one of my Dad holding up the traffic & two pictures of us enjoying the party sat at long tables
I'm looking to find any information on behalf of my mother, Jenny Sturgess who lived in Garston, went to Francis Coombe school and was the cousin of the Tickner family.
Her parents were Michael (Mick) and Yvonne Sturgess (nee Perry) and they lived on Harris Road in Garston at the time of her birth in 1966 until shortly after her dad's death in 1973.
Michael worked for Shell Mex and BP based in Hemel and died in January 1973 driving his petrol tanker for Shell in Ealing we believe.
Michael lived in Devon Road Watford and there may be links to Derby Road.
Yvonne had family that lived on Gladstone Road, again, surname Perry (Albert and Dorothy; Albert may have worked for Benskins Brewery). Yvonne then moved to Poole, Dorset and died there also.
Bryan soper commented
I was born in 1961 at Sycamore Close off Park Avenue Bushey, my first school was Highwood junior my teacher was Mrs Brickhill, funny how you can remember someone's name over 50 years ago. My mates I used to play with where my neighbour Andy Mills, last known to be living in New Zealand, and Gordon Fallon. I bumped into him up in Norfolk not so long go. we would play in the golf course woods I think it was Bushey Hall Golf Club, I know it was opened by Queen Victoria and used to be a lot bigger than when I used to play in it. Opposite the Otter pub was the back entrance to what we called the American school, it was a school for the children of American Servicemen. I don't know where they would have been based but we would go there occasionally, that was a spooky place to play in. The other people I remember where Gary Flood, The Shinkwins and the Perkins brothers and Tony Robinson and a few more. Mentioned in one of the memories above is the Top Rank Nightclub. I used to go to it when it had changed to Bailey's Night Club. What a great place that was and saw some fantastic groups and people up their. My whole week was about Friday and Saturday nights up at Bailey's. I never was a dancer but loved and still love Disco. It was looking for memories of Bailey's that bought me to this site.
We moved to Watford in 1943. My war time memories are of night after night in the shelters, the "doodle bugs" and the boys playing Germans and soldiers on the bomb site next door. My special memories are of Cassiobury Park where we used to watch the barges on the Grand Union Canal, in 1947 tobogganing down the "Pudding Bowl" on the golf course.My great friend and I would explore the old Mill - said to be haunted, ride to the Bluebell woods at the end of Cassiobury Drive - avoid the RAF camp and the guard dogs - and before we moved away in 1952 cycle to Hunton Bridge with my brother and his friends to train spot
Add more series of the papers past articles