We have been looking back through the Watford Observer archives and here are some of the stories that were making the headlines ten and five years ago this week.


Politicians call on county to abandon 'the most crazy, hare-brained scheme anyone has ever heard of'

Politicians from across Watford called for the county council to abandon immediately the most “crazy, hare-brained scheme anyone has ever heard of” at a meeting this evening.

The Watford Highways Liaison meeting, held at Town Hall, discussed the impact of the one-way trial in Vicarage Road.

Ian Thompson, an officer from Hertfordshire County Council, said the trial was to see if a one-way could be accommodated to allow the installation of a crossing outside Laurance Haines Primary School – something that has been discussed since a child was killed in a road traffic collision there in 2008.

He said the crossing could not be installed unless the road was one-way.

He added the scheme would also benefit plans for the forthcoming Croxley Rail Link station in Vicarage Road.

But councillors from all parties agreed Watford could not continue to cope with the trial as the traffic congestion was affecting residents, commuters, schools, emergency services, doctor’s surgeries and businesses and was causing knock on effects across the town and Hertfordshire-wide.

Cllr Karen Collett, Liberal Democrat, said everyone she had spoken to felt it was “one of the most crazy, hare-brained schemes they’d ever heard of”.

Plans to replace shop in Chorleywood could bring centre of village to a halt

Watford Observer:

Photo: Google Street View

The centre of Chorleywood could grind to a halt if plans to build nine flats above a new shop go ahead.

Budgens in Lower Road could be demolished to make way for a replacement shop and nine flats.

But furious residents have left streams of comments on Three Rivers District Council’s planning website objecting to the proposals.

Neighbours are concerned about increased traffic in the centre of Chorleywood and over-development in the area.

Some even fear residents could be forced to drive to Rickmansworth to do their weekly shopping if Budgens were to leave the village.

Science teacher to discover if he will win prestigious teaching award

Watford Observer:

A science teacher in Rickmansworth will be travelling to a glamorous ceremony in London next weekend to see if he will claim a prestigious teaching award.

Drew Thomson, who teaches science at Rickmansworth School, will be travelling to a ceremony at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden on Sunday, October 18.

The head of science at the Scots Hill school claimed a silver teaching award in June, winning his award in the category for the Science Teacher of the Year.

Hundreds of teachers were put forward for a number of different awards, but Mr Thompson and 63 other silver award winnings are now vying for one of 11 Gold Plato awards.


Mail centre 'to close'

A £2billion modernisation plan by Royal Mail will lead to the closure of the Watford mail centre.

Satellite delivery offices including Kings Langley will also shut, as part of proposals that will see about 300 jobs lost across Hertfordshire.

Although Royal Mail insists no final decision has been made about the future of the Watford centre, in Ascot Road, sources inside the depot said they were told last month the site had been sold.

Under a review of its operations in Watford, Hemel Hempstead and Stevenage, it is proposed that a new multi-million pound mail centre on the Maylands estate in Hemel Hempstead will adopt processing work from all three sites.

Voice of hospital radio football dies

Watford Observer:

For 50 years, patients listened intently to the voice of Lionel Wright as he commentated on Hornets matches for Watford Hospital Radio.

A keen cricketer, Mr Wright was also a founding member of the Old Centralians Cricket Club, a published science-fiction writer and a regular contributor to the Watford Observer's Nostalgia section.

Sadly he passed away suddenly, but peacefully, at home in Park Lane, Colney Heath, St Albans, last Friday, October 1. He was 87 and leaves his wife Betty.

John Lewis refurbishment begins

Work on a £700,000 refurbishment inside a Watford town centre department store has begun.

The new-look beauty hall inside John Lewis, in The Harlequinshopping centre, is due to be completed by Monday, October 25.