When the Liberal Democrats seized control of Watford in 2002 there was a modest but thriving retail sector in the Harlequin Centre and High Street.

Grandiose plans handed the market to Debenhams and provided the lynchpin of the Harlequin, John Lewis, with mammoth competition in its relatively niche market position. Intu grabbed Charter Place and put a roof on it.

Intu has now gone into administration, Debenhams too, John Lewis is reportedly closing its Watford store.

Sad times, I think I made my first John Lewis purchase in Trewins, Queens Road in about 1959.

His predecessor having grossly over-expanded Watford’s retail capacity and now snug in the House of Lords on £300+ a day, does Mr Taylor have a ‘Plan B’ or is Watford doomed to ghost town status?

I was reticent at the time but in retrospect I’m glad that I moved away - there must be at least half a dozen families living in tiny Kensworth who have forsaken the environs of Watford in recent years - it’s not difficult to work out why.

Ian Lowery

By email