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.


Mayor disputes need to abandon one-way trial

Calls have been made to stop a one-way trial that last week brought much of west Watford to a standstill.

Holywell councillor Nigel Bell asked for all councillors’ support to abandon the one-way trial in Vicarage Road immediately at a full council meeting of Watford Borough this week.

He said: “It would be ideal if this council could send a united message to Terry Douris and the county council, as with the Highways Liaison Meeting last week, when all parties unanimously called for the trial to be abandoned immediately, that the whole chamber united for the sake not just of West Watford but the whole of Watford.”

But Elected Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said the chaos had calmed.

She said it was only because of Cllr Douris that Hertfordshire County Council was running a trial instead of permanently implementing the one-way scheme.

She said: “I have spoken to Terry Douris several times. It was Terry who suggested it was going to be a trial – he knows Watford well. Officers wanted to just go ahead and do it.

“They are collecting data which they need for the Croxley Rail Link and the new station.

"It’s quite clear it is not a permanent solution.

"I suspect to it will go on a little longer, but it certainly won’t be going on to February.”

(Not) revealed: the 'bomb' that shut down Watford town centre

Watford Observer:

Police say a suspicious package that led them to close Watford town centre was actually just a “homemade domestic device”.

Cars and buses were left abandoned as police cleared the town centre on Thursday, June 18 after a call reporting the suspicious package.

The bomb squad deployed a robot to detonate the object outside Travelodge in Market Street.

The two men arrested in connection with the incident have been released and officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary today confirmed that the investigation is closed.

The man carrying the "suspect device" - which police would not identify but said it looked like a bomb - was released without charge after police were satisfied the item was not a bomb.

Young poet reaches high in society

Watford Observer:

Influenced by the work of Sylvia Plath, John Cooper Clarke and Emily Dickinson, a 17-year-old Croxley Green poet has been inspired to write a poem that led to a prestigious, world-renowned award.

Kajol Marathe is one of the top 15 winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2015. She received her accolade on National Poetry Day, October 8, at the Festival Hall where she read her thought-provoking poem to an appreciative audience.

Her achievement is truly outstanding as she was competing against over 5,000 young poets, aged between 11 and 17, from 69 countries.


England stars in hospital visit

Four England football stars delighted sick children as they visited Watford General Hospital.

Team captain Steven Gerrard, Joleon Lescott, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Ashley Young took a break from training at Watford’s Grove Hotel to chat with young fans, pose for photographs, hand out gifts and play computer games.

Gerrard said: “It's a real pleasure to give something back whenever you get the opportunity.

"Football sometimes seems like the most important thing in the world, but when you see children like this in the hospital it puts everything in perspective.”

Schoolboy crowned young photographer of the year

Watford Observer:

Sam Kaye's picture

A Radlett schoolboy has been crowned young photographer of the year in an international competition with a picture of a hoverfly.

Sam Kaye, 11, won the 11 to 18 category in the competition organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

He took the photograph of a hoverfly on a day out with his parents at the RHS gardens at Wisley in Surrey.

Sam, who is a pupil at Merchant Taylors’ School, in Northwood, said he was amazed to have won.

Protesters submit petition against rubbish dump closure

Watford Observer:

Protesters campaigning against the closure of a popular rubbish dump in Watford today handed in a petition to Hertfordshire County Council.

Helen Lynch, the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Watford Borough Council central ward by-election on Thursday, presented 2,661 signatures fighting to secure the future of the Wiggenhall Road Household Waste Recycling Centre to Derrick Ashley, the county's executive member for waste.

Mrs Lynch said the depot, which was saved from closure in 2008, was a “valuable and well used facility” that was an “integral part of the upkeep of our homes”.