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


'The flames were really close but we weren't scared' say fire-fighting teens

Five teenagers on the way home from school bravely stepped into a fire in Mill End, calling the fire brigade and helping to save pets and residents from the blaze.

Kimo Kirvy, 15 and Jack Miles, 16, were walking home with friends Shannon Wheatley, Michael O'Brien and Alfie Stringer when they saw the fire in a house in Clarkfield.

After alerting the emergency services, Kimo and Jack rushed to the burning house where the owner was screaming about her pet kitten and chinchilla which were still inside.

Firefighters raced to the kitchen fire, with crews from Watford arriving in Clarkfield first, followed by Garston, Bushey and Hitchin.

Kimo said: “We were coming home and we saw the smoke and the house on fire, so I told my friend to hurry up and we saw a lady come out screaming that her kittens were out the back.

“We went around the back and jumped over the fence and tried to get the chinchilla out. The flames and the smoke were really close but we weren't scared, we're from Mill End.”

Police station likely to close, sergeant reveals

Watford Observer: Bushey police stationBushey police station

The 126-year-old Bushey Police Station looks set to close as part of government spending cuts, the neighbourhood sergeant revealed this evening.

Sergeant Dave Simkin told residents at a Bushey Community Safety Partnership meeting that, although the neighbourhood team would still exist, it is unlikely to operate out of the Sparrows Hearne station for much longer.

High running costs at the station, built in 1884, mean the local policing team is likely to be moved as Hertfordshire Constabulary looks to slash £36million from its budget in the next four years.

Hertfordshire Constabulary has its budget set by the Police Authority and the force will be made to make the savings under government guidelines.

Palace Theatre hits fundraising target

Watford Observer: Nina WadiaNina Wadia

EastEnders star Nina Wadia visited the theatre to support the campaign

Watford Palace Theatre has reached its fundraising target after fans donated more than £10,000 towards the restoration of its historic facade.

The theatre, in Clarendon Road, was chosen to take part in the Big Arts Give.

Local businesses pledged £5,000 last month, before members of the public were invited to donate £10,000 this week.

The first £5,000 from the public “unlocked” the money put forward from businesses, and if a futher £5,000 could be raised, this would be matched by Arts and Business.

This means the theatre has now raised the maximum £20,000 through the scheme.


Young boy's dream come true during American summer trip

Watford Observer: Rio Woolf with dolphinRio Woolf with dolphin

A seven-year-old boy's dreams came true when he visited Clearwater Marine Aquarium last summer.

Rio Woolf, of Bushey Heath, was born without a tibia, knee or ankle joint because of a rare condition called tibial aplasia and had his leg amputated when he was 14-months-old.

Despite this, the Hartsbourne Primary School pupil has aspirations of becoming a Paralympic athlete and was the first child in the UK to receive a new type of running blade with a prosthetic foot.

Ever since Rio saw the films Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2, he has wanted to meet the star of the movies.

His dream came true after his family saved up for years to take him to America with a week at Camp No Limits in Maine - a children's amputee camp with activities and team games led by specialised professionals and mentors.

People living near hole told 'engineers do not work on weekends'

Watford Observer: Sinkhole in Croxley GreenSinkhole in Croxley Green

Contractors have been criticised for taking more than three days to begin filling in a large hole in the road.

A hole opened up in Links Way, Croxley Green, on Friday night and families were initially told they might be evacuated from their homes.

But residents were also told engineers from Ringway "do not work at weekends” and repair work would begin on Monday.

An engineer has now arrived, but people are frustrated it has taken so long.

Joshua knocks out Whyte to clinch vacant British heavyweight title

Watford Observer: Anthony Joshua. Photo: Action ImagesAnthony Joshua. Photo: Action Images

Photo: Action Images

Watford's Anthony Joshua produced a stunning seventh-round knockout of Dillian Whyte as he overcame his toughest challenge yet to seize the vacant British heavyweight title at the O2 Arena.

Joshua, who also retained his Commonwealth crown, ended a bad-tempered clash after one minute and 27 seconds, initially staggering his bitter rival with a straight right before finishing him off with a ferocious right uppercut.

In initially worrying scenes, Whyte lurched over having been knocked to the canvas and once the fight had been waved off medics rushed into the ring to adminster oxygen. Whyte was soon back on his feet, however.

The 15th victory of Joshua's unblemished professional career avenged his defeat to the same opponent when they clashed as amateurs in 2009 and will taste sweet after having been branded a "scumbag" and "fake" by Whyte in the build up to their rematch.