The closure of a much-loved shoe store, tributes to Graham Taylor after his death the week before, the funding of a new rail link and the drama at Watford as an actual grenade is discovered were among the stories making headlines. one of the newspapers in the Watford Observer five and ten years ago this week.
‘End of an era’ as shoe store closes after 50 years
A shoe store that has served generations of customers for 50 years has closed its doors for the last time.
Gordon Scott in the intu center is one of the most established stores in town – its monkey shop window has been a feature of the town since the 1960s.
But due to falling trading, the firm – owned by Jones Bootmaker – closed its Watford branch for the last time on Saturday.
This means that 17 staff members have lost their jobs.
Manager Sue Allard told the Observer the lease had ended and would not be extended.
She said: “I’ve been here for 21 years and I’m obviously disgusted to see him go.
“It’s the end of an era.
“I will be very sad to leave, we have had many happy years here.”
Artist’s impression of the Health Campus
Concerns grow over Health Campus project prioritizing homes over hospital upgrades
Concerns are growing that the Watford General Hospital redevelopment project is being overlooked in favor of new housing projects under the controversial Health Campus scheme.
According to the latest Health Campus newsletter sent to local residents, “great progress” is being made on Trade City – the program’s first area of activity – with a view to opening later this year.
Two subdivisions totaling nearly 800 new housing units are also detailed in the letter, and qualified as “absolute priority”.
However, there is a noticeable lack of information about the hospital’s redevelopment, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by a worried Queens Avenue resident.
Valerie Blacklock said she was “appalled but not surprised” by the almost complete omission, although passing mention of a new multi-storey hospital car park was given.
Gade Valley District Councilor Alex Michaels, Alison Scarth, Graham Taylor and Andrew Scarth
‘He was a true parent who put his kids above everything else’: Ex-teacher pays tribute to Graham Taylor
A former deputy director and chairman of the board paid tribute to Graham Taylor.
Three Rivers Council chairman Andrew Scarth, who taught Taylor’s daughters Karen and Joanne at Queens’ School in Bushey, described him as a ‘true parent’ who always ‘put his children above of everything else”.
He said he was humiliated every time Taylor visited the school. Despite having a reputation as a “great football manager”, Mr Scarth said Taylor was always modest and happy to be photographed with the students.
He said: “No matter how Watford Football Club was going, Graham would always make time for his children.
“Even when Watford were in the FA Cup, he made sure to come to their parents’ parties.”
TEN YEARS AGO
Green light for Croxley Rail Link funding
Funding for the much anticipated Croxley Rail Link has been agreed after years of planning.
The proposal is to close Watford Metropolitan station completely, with the line being diverted from Croxley to Watford Junction. Between these two stops there will be two additional stations, Ascot Road and Watford Hospital.
It is hoped that the Croxley Rail Link will improve connections between Watford and London. The aim is to improve transport links, increase visitor numbers to Watford town center and boost the local economy. There will also be an additional station at Watford General Hospital due to the construction of a brand new health campus.
The new link will make it easier to travel in and around Watford while taking cars off the road, which should lead to less pollution! Another benefit of the proposed diversion is that an additional 2,700 homes will fall within an 800m catchment area around a station.
A mother describes the tragedy of finding a hand grenade
A mother has described how her family was dramatically evacuated when builders found a live hand grenade at a property on their Watford Street.
Jessie Chopra was at her home on Burton Avenue with her son and two young students who were being mentored by her husband when police knocked and told them to leave immediately.
The 43-year-old explained how she gathered the household together before getting into her car and driving away safely.
She said: “The officers just said ‘get in your car and go’ – they kept telling us to get out of the house. The next door neighbors have two young children and they were putting on their coats but they had a harder time getting away quickly.
“We didn’t panic, but when we were parked on Durban Road West, we saw the bomb van go by. At that time, it was quite exciting.
Bungalows for war-wounded receive protected status
A set of Watford bungalows, which were built in the 1930s to house injured veterans of the First World War, have been recognized with protected architectural status.
Cabinet politicians from Watford Borough Council voted unanimously to make Macdonnell Gardens in Leavesden a conservation area at a meeting.
Proposals to protect the 12-house development, off the A405, emerged after council carried out the Watford Character Area Study, which looked at the town’s architectural heritage.
Since its construction in the early 1930s, the enclosure has remained a place of refuge for disabled and injured soldiers and their families.