Do you have an old turnstile from Watford Football Club in your back garden? Or maybe a crush barrier? Or even part of a floodlight pylon? Or can you remember an unusual smell when you attended a match at the home of the Hornets?

These may seem unusual requests, but if you can satisfy any of them a group of fans are keen to hear from you.

Watford first asked supporters to get in touch with their memories and memorabilia in September when it revealed plans were being drawn up to celebrate the club’s centenary at Vicarage Road in 2022.

The 100 Years at the Vic project is being led by a steering group chaired by long-serving Watford fan Geoff Wicken and he is keen to build up as much material as possible.

He said: “What we’re particularly interested in isn’t so much people’s memories of individual games, as impressions, what the place means to them, even some senses, smells, things that evoke recollections in others of what the stadium used to be like.

“There will be people who have fond memories going way back and we’re briefing the interviewers to probe in a way that gets those out, more than ‘I was there the day we beat Southampton 7-1 or Kaiserslautern 3-0’ because one of themes of the project is Vicarage Road as a place of belonging.”

Watford Observer:

Floodlights were first installed at Vicarage Road in the 1950s

‘The Brewers’, as the Hornets were known then, played their first game at their current home ground on August 30, 1922 when they faced Millwall in a Division Three South match.

A number of events and activities are being discussed and planned to celebrate this milestone in conjunction with the club including a book, video material, an exhibition at Watford Museum, and potentially an event at the stadium and a centenary beer. There are also plans to spruce up some areas of stadium.

Geoff said: “People will be familiar if they go to the Graham Taylor Stand there are quite a lot of pictures of the 80s in particular, but the 90s too, and there’s plenty of pictures at the Rookery end, but some of the other concourses don’t have a lot of decorative material, so I think we’re looking to dress the stadium with some of the things that we create.”

The steering group is also aiming to develop various themes for the centenary, such as how the stadium fits within its immediate west Watford locality and the town in general, and the structural aspects of the stadium and how they’ve evolved since 1922.

Watford Observer:

A night match in the 1950s

Geoff said: ”When the stadium was first built they actually brought a couple of stands over from Cassio Road with them, so the old Shrodells stand that many people will remember that stood where the Graham Taylor Stand is now, that came from Cassio Road. When they moved in 1922, they brought that with them and it stood at Vicarage Road for another 64 years.

“There’s also quirks and amusing stories. On a number of occasions a hole has opened up in the pitch in front of the Rookery end goal and that actually happened during a match on one occasion in the 1960s. If people were there and can describe that, it would be very interesting to hear from them.”

The group are also seeking memories of non-football activities that have happened in the stadium. Perhaps you were at the first Elton John concert in 1974 or, further back, a boxing bout that happened in the 1950s?

Watford Observer:

The floodlights were upgraded in the 1960s

As well as recollections though, it is those physical artefacts that Geoff is keen to track down.

“I know they’re about because there are people who put images up on the Hornet History Facebook page, so people have got bits of the stadium,” he said. “Those would be fun to photograph and see whether we could borrow them for the museum exhibition.

“When they upgraded various bits of the stadium, bits of terracing were sold off or given away. I had a friend who had one of the old crush barriers from the Vicarage Road end in his back garden.

“People have things, some big, some small, we’d love to be able to photograph those, things that have survived through the years that you wouldn’t have expected.”

If you have any memories or memorabilia you’d like to share, email or contact the club by post.

It may then arrange an audio or video interview or ask to scan pictures and photograph objects.