Here is our weekly look through the Watford Observer's online archive and these stories were making our headlines five and ten years ago this week.


Budget supermarket Lidl wants to buy Rickmansworth Fire Station site to boost chances of store opening in town

A budget supermarket wants to buy the fire station site in Rickmansworth.

Lidl remains “fully committed” to building a new store in Rickmansworth after plans to build a store on the former Rickmansworth Police Station site were thrown out by Three Rivers District Council.

The Watford Observer understands the budget retailer wants to buy the fire station site to boost their chances of getting a store in the town.

As part of the scheme, accommodation could be built alongside the discount food store.

Vicarage Road one-way trial to finish early

Watford Observer:

The one-way trial in Vicarage Road is to finish three months early after mass criticism from Watford councillors and residents.

The scheme, which has been in place in Vicarage Road since Monday, October 5, caused traffic chaos in its opening week with West Watford schools, GP surgeries and commuters severely affected.

Hertfordshire County Council will now end the trial on Monday, November 16 - instead of its original end point of February 2016.

Work to start on £100m redevelopment of Charter Place on Monday

Watford Observer:

Work is due to start on the long awaited £100 million redevelopment of Charter Place on Monday.

After more than a decade of false starts, visitors to the town centre will finally see intu Watford's plans to completely rebuild the site into a modern shopping and leisure hub - including nine-screen IMAX cinema - take shape.

The process of demolishing the old shopping centre in High Street is expected to last for up to four months, with the first stage next week to remove all benches, litter bins, paving slabs and cycle racks from the area and send them to be used elsewhere.

The new building will house up to 16 shops, 10 restaurants and a nine-screen IMAX cinema.


'An honour to participate in this game'

Watford Observer:

One of the most famous teams in American sport have arrived at The Grove ahead of their big showdown at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

The San Francisco 49ers are based at the Chandler’s Cross hotel and golf complex for the NFL International Series clash with the Denver Broncos when they will be bidding to bounce back from yesterday’s last-gasp 23-20 defeat to the Carolina Panthers.

Despite flying across the Atlantic straight after the game and arriving earlier this morning, head coach Mike Singletary, pictured above, and key players Patrick Willis and Vernon Davis faced the media at lunchtime and all stressed how much they were looking forward to their stay in the UK and Sunday’s game.

The 49ers are bottom of the NFC West table after just one win from their first seven games, but Singletary believes the trip overseas has come at the right time for his struggling outfit.

Hundreds of screaming fans gather to meet boy band

Watford Observer:

Hundreds of screaming girls descended upon a Watford supermarket this afternoon as latest pop sensation The Wanted dropped in for a signing session.

A queue stretched hundreds of yards from the entrance to Tesco Extra, in Lower High Street, hours before the boy band even took their seats.

Currently on a tour promoting their self-titled debut album, the five heart throbs signed autographs and chatted with hundreds of eager fans at the Watford store.

Moments before the mob was released upon the group, Nathan Sykes, the group's youngest member aged 17, said: “I can't wait - it is the same at all the signings and it's nice to see new faces.

“I don't think we will ever get used to this – it's a surreal experience. Just last year I was still in school and now this is happening. We've had some strange requests in the past at these things – I think 'sign my face' is probably the weirdest.”

Sarries complete Henson signing

Watford Observer:

Saracens have signed Wales star Gavin Henson until the end of this season after the Ospreys agreed to release him.

The Strictly Come Dancing competitor has not played rugby for 20 months but will end his spell on the sidelines by joining the Men in Black.

The British and Irish Lion said: “I am genuinely delighted to get this opportunity to play for Saracens.

“They have created a special vibe at the club and, to be honest, just being around them has rekindled my enthusiasm for the sport. They’re bold and innovative, and they’re positive and ambitious.