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Posted on 11:57am Saturday 7th December 2013
Going back to Benevent L'Abbaye in The Creuse, Limousin, France, for a two-day visit, only confirmed that we were right to move on, down to the south and The Tarn .
Posted on 1:50pm Friday 6th December 2013
In politics, money matters. Elections are expensive affairs and the more cash politicians can spend, the better chance they have of winning.
Posted on 12:00pm Friday 6th December 2013
There is a rather clever way of comparing countries around the world called the Big Mac Index.
Posted on 11:20am Saturday 30th November 2013
I don't know who told you about the facts of life, but in our house, it was left entirely to our mother.
Posted on 12:40pm Friday 29th November 2013
Most football fans don’t take an interest in the balance sheets of their club until things have gone wrong.
Posted on 1:00pm Thursday 28th November 2013
Two games a golf per week did not make me fit only less unfit. I discovered that when I bought a Rubbermaid upon moving to France and pottering about The Folly.
Posted on 3:30pm Friday 22nd November 2013
I doubt there are many in the town who would argue against Charter Place being redeveloped.
Posted on 12:20pm Friday 22nd November 2013
A few years ago, I got a wonderful email. It came out of the blue just before Christmas, inviting me to a special screening of the Doctor Who Christmas special. And I could bring a guest.
Posted on 3:41pm Thursday 21st November 2013
Moving from The Limousin to The Tarn in France was a big wrench, particularly after I had invested so much time and energy into developing an acre plot we dubbed The Folly. But having sold, it, we had to return to clear out the outbuildings and garage.
Posted on 1:52pm Sunday 10th November 2013
So many in England without key literacy and numeracy skills and are judged behind their grandparents
Posted on 12:22pm Monday 18th November 2013
The footballer Tom Cleverley once spent a while on loan at Watford. Since then he’s become a familiar face for Manchester United and England, but he was back in the town a couple of months back and tweeted a photo that he said brought back the memories.
Posted on 1:46pm Monday 18th November 2013
I hope as you read this column, you aren’t nursing any injuries or carrying out repairs to damage to property sustained yesterday at Halloween and I trust too that no one you love gets hurt this Bonfire Night.
Posted on 12:10pm Friday 1st November 2013
I was milling around The Parade in Watford the other day looking for a venue to watch football in when I passed an elderly couple gazing at the newly-laid paving.
Posted on 10:33pm Thursday 31st October 2013
We can see advantages to the ex-pat lifestyle in Spain but ultimately we would not swap it for our lifestyle in The Tarn, France.
Posted on 12:20pm Friday 25th October 2013
Until now, there had only been a few skirmishes in the battle for Watford’s mayoralty – which is unsurprising given the election is not until May.
Posted on 5:21pm Thursday 24th October 2013
Looking at some of the problems thrown up during research into the Watford Observer's latest publication Watford and south West Herts in the 20th Century Part 3 - 60s and 70s.
Posted on 5:10pm Friday 18th October 2013
There have been mixed messages emanating from Three Rivers District Council since the second housing association in a year pulled out of its ambitious South Oxhey Initiative.
Posted on 1:00pm Friday 18th October 2013
Racism in Sw Herts in the 1960s was fairly muted because there was little opportunity to indulge in it if you were so inclined. Oliver Phillips had been schooled by a racist father but a night watching Tina Turner in 1963 confirmed what he already suspected: the colour of the skin did not matter.
Posted on 1:10pm Friday 11th October 2013
I never met my grandfather. John Wright died in what was then called the Peace Memorial Hospital in 1983, a year before I was born.
Posted on 1:00pm Friday 11th October 2013
With the publication of the new book -Watford in the 20th Century (Sw Herts in the 60s and 70s) - author Oliver Phillips found himself continually reminded of those bygone days and the characters who inhabited them.
Posted on 12:26pm Monday 18th November 2013
It’s a drizzly autumn day and some 200 11-year-olds are being kept waiting outside while the school hall is being prepared.
Posted on 1:10pm Friday 4th October 2013
One question has dominated politics in Watford for the last couple of years: What will Dorothy do next?
Posted on 8:00am Friday 4th October 2013
The new Watford Observer publication Watford and the 20th Century - Sw Herts in the 60s and 70s has been launched this week
Posted on 4:30pm Friday 27th September 2013
If there’s one thing Watford does well – and yes, I know there are lots of things Watford does with supreme skill – but if there's one thing we can all agree on, it’s surely car parks.
Posted on 12:00pm Friday 27th September 2013
Over the last half a decade, voters have been subjected to a dour monologue from our political classes about “austerity”.
Posted on 7:20am Friday 27th September 2013
Writing the book on Watford and Sw Herts in the 60s and 70s, characters from the High Street sprung to mind such as Alfie Walker, Dave 'Don' Donovan, Big Harry and de Gaulle.
Posted on 9:00am Saturday 21st September 2013
So many photographic records were lost as a result of corporate and corporation vandalism in Watford
Posted on 11:40am Friday 20th September 2013
Political parties in Watford should start announcing their candidates for next year’s mayoral elections in the coming weeks.
Posted on 1:45pm Monday 18th November 2013
Imagine a dreadful scenario. You upset your boss or your wealthy neighbour, someone with a bit of clout in other words, and he cooks up a terrible story about you. He’s articulate, with friends in high places, and manages to persuade the police you have committed a crime.
Do you remember the 1960s and '70s? Our new book will bring back many memories, some good and some regrettable.
Posted on 12:09pm Sunday 15th September 2013
Launched on October 3, the Watford Observer is publishing the third book in the series Watford and the 20th Century covering SW Herts during the dramatic, traumatic and life=changing 1960s and '70s.
Posted on 12:00pm Friday 13th September 2013
It feels like it’s turning into an annual fixture in Watford. Every year new crime stats are released that lift the town centre into a top five list of the most violent places in Britain.
Posted on 10:00am Friday 13th September 2013
I have horrible feet. There, it’s said, and we can move on together. Better to confront the fact right at the start, then work through the issues. It’s hard to imagine the concept of truly beautiful feet, but mine are at the other end of the scale.
Posted on 6:26am Saturday 7th September 2013
Ted Parrish had some 96 articles published in the old Post-Echo, looking at Watford, Bushey and Oxhey past. Now they are reproduced with original photographs of the town in a new book.
Posted on 12:00pm Friday 6th September 2013
The outgoing manager of intu Watford (née the Harlequin), Mike Stevens, is a rare animal in the commercial world: He speaks clear, engaging English.
Posted on 12:00pm Friday 30th August 2013
The interrogation of Watford housing bosses by councillors last week made for an uncomfortable spectacle.
Posted on 11:29am Friday 30th August 2013
My five hours in a French hospital for a local operation on my wrist, was briefly interrupted by an unwanted phone call.
Posted on 12:10pm Friday 23rd August 2013
So Transport for London listened – well, sort of listened – to the clamour in the town over the Vicarage Road station name.
Posted on 5:30pm Monday 19th August 2013
It’s hard to fathom what makes the key marginal parliamentary seat Watford, which sits just outside London, such an attractive destination for political photo-opportunities.
Posted on 10:39pm Friday 16th August 2013
The sun was out and not a cloud to spoil the view as someone from my past once sang. However, then I found my car surrounded by the police as I returned from walking the dogs.
Posted on 11:50am Monday 12th August 2013
South Oxhey is a community like no other in Three Rivers and that has in recent years proved to be the case in how it is represented politically.
Posted on 9:59pm Thursday 8th August 2013
Oli's better half takes over the blog this week as he is too busy being Man Friday, while Ellie recovers from as hip operation.
Posted on 3:39pm Monday 12th August 2013
When Nigel Farage voiced his ambition to build the UK Independence Party into a credible political force this week through annexing town halls he was unabashed about admitting he was hoping to ape the Liberal Democrats.
Posted on 5:09pm Thursday 1st August 2013
The last in a recent series reflecting on a trip down the American South-West. Phoenix and an old gold dust town proved interesting. The last leg of the trip - a tour of Indian country - will appear later in the year.
Posted on 12:40pm Friday 26th July 2013
It’s a rare occasion when we get the opportunity to name a landmark these days.
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 25th July 2013
Camp Verde celebrates the life of the cavalry back in the 19th Century but there is scant mention of the death march which they forced on the Apaches just two years after the peace agreement gave them the area "for as long as the grass grows".