Work on Pond revamp finished as Watford Parade revamp nears end

Mayor Thornhill and pupils of Central Primary School celebrate applying the finishing touches.

Mayor Thornhill and pupils of Central Primary School celebrate applying the finishing touches.

First published in News
Last updated
Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Watford Parade's £4.3million revamp reached another milestone as elected mayor Dorothy Thornhill laid the finishing touches to the refurbished pond.

The pond is due to be refilled in the coming days and then efforts will be made to encourage the ducks to re-settle in the water feature.

The new pond features a bridge, lighting and granite steps and water filtration systems to cleanse the water, which used to be an algae green.

Three new fountains have been installed to further aerate the water.

Finishing touches to the pond were applied by the mayor and pupils of Watford Central Primary School on yesterday.

Mayor Thornhill unveiled a commemorative plaque and, with the help of a pupil, laid a symbolic slab by the pond’s edge. Pupils later released balloons around the pond.  

Mayor Thornhill said: "I’m delighted with the new look and feel of the pond, and the top of the town centre. The pond has changed many times during it’s history and was due an update. The children here today were very excited about our new events programme, especially the film screenings and ice skating.

"This is important because the improvements have been done to encourage more families into this part of the town centre during the day and early evening, providing a boost to nearby businesses."

The final works are being carried out on The Parade ahead of TV retail guru, Mary Portas, official opening it on Friday. The opening ceremony will usher in a year of cultural performance and events under the banner of Watford’s Big Event.

Jessica Hooper, deputy head of Watford Central Primary School accompanying the pupils, said: "It was wonderful to hear Mayor Thornhill talking to the pupils about how important it is for them to be an ambassador for their school, just as is it is important for her to  be an ambassador for the town. We are so pleased to assist the pond’s renovation and be a part of its proud history."

Construction of the pond has involved 2,000 tonnes of sand and gravel and 9,000 squared metres of granite paving. Two thousand metres of wiring has been installed to serve the pond and it’s lighting.

Watford Observer:

The water will be kept in place by a self-healing pond liner. The liner consists of two layers of canvas separated with a layer of clay, which acts as an adhesive in the event of damage to the canvases.

There will be new plants added to the pond and 49 trees have been planted in The Parade, to provide shade and fresh air.

The pond’s new bridge has illuminated hand rails and a wooden decked surface. Either end of the pond is a stepped seating area leading to the water’s edge, encouraging better access to the water.

 

Comments (17)

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2:36pm Tue 17 Jun 14

TRT says...

Oh yes. The ducks will definitely settle in a big, wide open area with a falcon circling overhead...
Oh yes. The ducks will definitely settle in a big, wide open area with a falcon circling overhead... TRT
  • Score: 8

2:37pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Dino1982 says...

Waisted money, what does she expect a pat on the back.
Lies about the allotments and waists money on a pond, that just need a make over or clean up!!!!
Waisted money, what does she expect a pat on the back. Lies about the allotments and waists money on a pond, that just need a make over or clean up!!!! Dino1982
  • Score: 0

2:54pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Hornets number 12 fan says...

I preferred the pond in the good old days when it has flower beds around the parade before the 70's 'orrible facelift!
I preferred the pond in the good old days when it has flower beds around the parade before the 70's 'orrible facelift! Hornets number 12 fan
  • Score: 8

3:08pm Tue 17 Jun 14

emmaella says...

What a waste about as useful as she is about as much use a a chocolate teapot ! Find her v v irritating she really needs to get a grip of whats really going on in Watford like people throwing fireworks in the street during the day frightening people with pets taking quiet walk with their pets and frightening old people when their celebrating a wedding in THERE WAY say no more..
What a waste about as useful as she is about as much use a a chocolate teapot ! Find her v v irritating she really needs to get a grip of whats really going on in Watford like people throwing fireworks in the street during the day frightening people with pets taking quiet walk with their pets and frightening old people when their celebrating a wedding in THERE WAY say no more.. emmaella
  • Score: 1

3:21pm Tue 17 Jun 14

WatfordBandB says...

Utter, utter lunacy. 4.3m and she has the cheek to smile. Look forward to seeing more money wasted...
Utter, utter lunacy. 4.3m and she has the cheek to smile. Look forward to seeing more money wasted... WatfordBandB
  • Score: 4

3:27pm Tue 17 Jun 14

TRT says...

"Mayor Thornhill... laid a symbolic slab by the pond’s edge."

That's exactly the kind of disgusting fouling that they're trying to prevent the night-time revellers from doing, isn't it?! Maybe she can be made to clean it up with one of those purple flag things.
"Mayor Thornhill... laid a symbolic slab by the pond’s edge." That's exactly the kind of disgusting fouling that they're trying to prevent the night-time revellers from doing, isn't it?! Maybe she can be made to clean it up with one of those purple flag things. TRT
  • Score: 5

3:42pm Tue 17 Jun 14

phil mitchel says...

How fitting that the Queen of Concrete celebrates its completion, from now on when I walk past it and see assorted trash, pewk and human excrement floating in it I will always be reminded... This is her Legacy.
How fitting that the Queen of Concrete celebrates its completion, from now on when I walk past it and see assorted trash, pewk and human excrement floating in it I will always be reminded... This is her Legacy. phil mitchel
  • Score: 1

4:09pm Tue 17 Jun 14

cameluk says...

Yes the pond needed a refurbishment

No it didn't need a bridge

How long before the fountains are turned off to save money

Don't like the paving

How long before its fenced off as too many people gain access to the water via the new seating area

How does planting 49 trees provide enough fresh air for anyone to notice

It cost far too much money

And we all know why families are not encouraged to that part of town in the late evenings

On a positive note, the pond got a much needed refurbishment
Yes the pond needed a refurbishment No it didn't need a bridge How long before the fountains are turned off to save money Don't like the paving How long before its fenced off as too many people gain access to the water via the new seating area How does planting 49 trees provide enough fresh air for anyone to notice It cost far too much money And we all know why families are not encouraged to that part of town in the late evenings On a positive note, the pond got a much needed refurbishment cameluk
  • Score: 4

9:08pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Nascot says...

Phil is strangely quiet. A story about WBC spending money AND the Mayor. Yet no comment from him. Maybe he is on holiday.
Phil is strangely quiet. A story about WBC spending money AND the Mayor. Yet no comment from him. Maybe he is on holiday. Nascot
  • Score: 1

9:20am Wed 18 Jun 14

The Rover says...

"Either end of the pond is a stepped seating area leading to the water’s edge, encouraging better access to the water."

Why do they want to encourage better access to the water? How long before a child falls into the water, or some intoxicated idiot falls in. How many times have you seen someone walk into a lamppost or trip on a curb whilst talking on a mobile phone? At least the old pond had a step to separate it from the pavement.

The pond was better before the refurb. Just need a good tidy up.
"Either end of the pond is a stepped seating area leading to the water’s edge, encouraging better access to the water." Why do they want to encourage better access to the water? How long before a child falls into the water, or some intoxicated idiot falls in. How many times have you seen someone walk into a lamppost or trip on a curb whilst talking on a mobile phone? At least the old pond had a step to separate it from the pavement. The pond was better before the refurb. Just need a good tidy up. The Rover
  • Score: 3

10:06am Wed 18 Jun 14

jimeva says...

TRT wrote:
Oh yes. The ducks will definitely settle in a big, wide open area with a falcon circling overhead...
JR wrote:
The ducks moved in a few days ago. All it needs now is to dissuade the people who throw food to them (and therefore the pigeons) to be persuaded not to do so.
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: Oh yes. The ducks will definitely settle in a big, wide open area with a falcon circling overhead...[/p][/quote]JR wrote: The ducks moved in a few days ago. All it needs now is to dissuade the people who throw food to them (and therefore the pigeons) to be persuaded not to do so. jimeva
  • Score: 1

11:35am Wed 18 Jun 14

Johan_Cruyff says...

It is an incredible waste of money for something that serves only as a photo opportunity for a local politician. It really is the kings new clothes. Have a pretty pond and everything is all right in Watford?

People do urinate, dump stuff in the pond. That is the fault only of the late night revellers and people who run the surrounding bars and clubs. That is Watfords real blight, not a pond made dirty on the back of profits to nightclub and bar owners. Watford isn't know for its pond and never will be. Its known as a place to get drunk and little else beside.

Now that is something local poloticians could do something about.......
It is an incredible waste of money for something that serves only as a photo opportunity for a local politician. It really is the kings new clothes. Have a pretty pond and everything is all right in Watford? People do urinate, dump stuff in the pond. That is the fault only of the late night revellers and people who run the surrounding bars and clubs. That is Watfords real blight, not a pond made dirty on the back of profits to nightclub and bar owners. Watford isn't know for its pond and never will be. Its known as a place to get drunk and little else beside. Now that is something local poloticians could do something about....... Johan_Cruyff
  • Score: 3

6:13pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Plangston says...

Well done. Opens just in time for drunk football fans to fall into it! A disgraceful waste of money. I get angry every day when I cycle past it. The new look pond looks little different from the old one and the spending does not alter the reality that Watford has too much retail space. The money should have been invested in a solution to converting some of the top end to attractive mixed use, including residential. That’s what will happen in the end, no question and it is outrageous the spend and disruption that it has taken. Shoppers and users of the new improved charter place will not come up this end of the high street to watch street entertainment. It will be a white elephant, run down, get trashed by clubbers and then be drained when it is realised it is dangerous. I hope I am wrong.
Well done. Opens just in time for drunk football fans to fall into it! A disgraceful waste of money. I get angry every day when I cycle past it. The new look pond looks little different from the old one and the spending does not alter the reality that Watford has too much retail space. The money should have been invested in a solution to converting some of the top end to attractive mixed use, including residential. That’s what will happen in the end, no question and it is outrageous the spend and disruption that it has taken. Shoppers and users of the new improved charter place will not come up this end of the high street to watch street entertainment. It will be a white elephant, run down, get trashed by clubbers and then be drained when it is realised it is dangerous. I hope I am wrong. Plangston
  • Score: 3

8:15pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Thrower says...

OK I agree totally we should not spruce up our town and surrounding areas. the pond should have been concreted over and all of the shops should have metal shutters. Take away all the bench seating around the area and while we are at it don't put any rubbish bins out. we should accept that it is OK for the revellers in the town to urinate all over the place and drop litter and generally make the town look extremely scruffy.

While we are at it we could remove all the new equipment in the parks and anything else that has been introduced to make the borough a nice place to live in.
Right got that off my chest now to go into town and disrupt the preparations for the celebrations and street theatre, we cant have the night clubs and bars disrupted.
OK I agree totally we should not spruce up our town and surrounding areas. the pond should have been concreted over and all of the shops should have metal shutters. Take away all the bench seating around the area and while we are at it don't put any rubbish bins out. we should accept that it is OK for the revellers in the town to urinate all over the place and drop litter and generally make the town look extremely scruffy. While we are at it we could remove all the new equipment in the parks and anything else that has been introduced to make the borough a nice place to live in. Right got that off my chest now to go into town and disrupt the preparations for the celebrations and street theatre, we cant have the night clubs and bars disrupted. Thrower
  • Score: -1

8:29pm Wed 18 Jun 14

TRT says...

Thrower wrote:
OK I agree totally we should not spruce up our town and surrounding areas. the pond should have been concreted over and all of the shops should have metal shutters. Take away all the bench seating around the area and while we are at it don't put any rubbish bins out. we should accept that it is OK for the revellers in the town to urinate all over the place and drop litter and generally make the town look extremely scruffy.

While we are at it we could remove all the new equipment in the parks and anything else that has been introduced to make the borough a nice place to live in.
Right got that off my chest now to go into town and disrupt the preparations for the celebrations and street theatre, we cant have the night clubs and bars disrupted.
Don't be an ****. The people expect more from multimillion civic spending schemes than to redo it every 10 years whilst ignoring the less immediately adjacent to the town hall shopping areas which DO have metal shutters, no litter bins and are generally scruffy. I note you do say "and surrounding areas" but that's not happened for this splurge of cash.
[quote][p][bold]Thrower[/bold] wrote: OK I agree totally we should not spruce up our town and surrounding areas. the pond should have been concreted over and all of the shops should have metal shutters. Take away all the bench seating around the area and while we are at it don't put any rubbish bins out. we should accept that it is OK for the revellers in the town to urinate all over the place and drop litter and generally make the town look extremely scruffy. While we are at it we could remove all the new equipment in the parks and anything else that has been introduced to make the borough a nice place to live in. Right got that off my chest now to go into town and disrupt the preparations for the celebrations and street theatre, we cant have the night clubs and bars disrupted.[/p][/quote]Don't be an ****. The people expect more from multimillion civic spending schemes than to redo it every 10 years whilst ignoring the less immediately adjacent to the town hall shopping areas which DO have metal shutters, no litter bins and are generally scruffy. I note you do say "and surrounding areas" but that's not happened for this splurge of cash. TRT
  • Score: 1

6:15pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Watfordengineer says...

I look forward to walking past. the high street was getting tired. and yes it possibly was a couple of years before it needed such substantial work, but I don't think it is a waste of money. I'm sure the West Herts college students will enjoy the space.

I do wish people would stop blabbering on about the bridge. It is a few beams on large concrete blocks with some handrails. hardly a budget breaking cost from experience.

Like her or loath her (well on the WO website it seems there is only loath.) I think she gets s*** done, and that I respect. if the rest of Watford was falling apart as much as some of the posts suggest then she wouldn't have been voted in again.
I look forward to walking past. the high street was getting tired. and yes it possibly was a couple of years before it needed such substantial work, but I don't think it is a waste of money. I'm sure the West Herts college students will enjoy the space. I do wish people would stop blabbering on about the bridge. It is a few beams on large concrete blocks with some handrails. hardly a budget breaking cost from experience. Like her or loath her (well on the WO website it seems there is only loath.) I think she gets s*** done, and that I respect. if the rest of Watford was falling apart as much as some of the posts suggest then she wouldn't have been voted in again. Watfordengineer
  • Score: -1

10:34pm Thu 19 Jun 14

TRT says...

Stick a yellow rosette on a pig round here and they'd vote for it.
Stick a yellow rosette on a pig round here and they'd vote for it. TRT
  • Score: 0

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