Resuming our weekly look back through the archives, here are some of the stories that were making our headlines five and ten years ago this week.


Former St Clement Danes School pupil tops BBC list of exciting new music artists

A former pupil from St Clement Danes School topped a list which highlights future music stars.

Jack Garratt, who went to the Chenies Road school between 2003 and 2010, topped the BBC’s Sound of 2016 list.

The experimental songwriter follows in the footsteps of music stars Adele, Sam Smith and Ellie Goulding who have also topped the list.

Teachers at St Clement Danes School paid tribute to his successes, saying he was always “incredibly talented”.

Huge plans for more than 500 new homes in South Oxhey submitted to Three Rivers District Council

Watford Observer: South Oxhey initiativeSouth Oxhey initiative

Plans for more than 500 new homes have been submitted to the council.

The South Oxhey Initiative proposals have been submitted to Three Rivers District Council, and if approved, 514 new homes, new shops and cafes will be created.

A seven-storey building – with shops on the first floor and then six levels of flats on top – will be built on the corner of the existing precinct near Fairfield Avenue.

Station Approach will be redeveloped and developers want coffee shops, restaurants and a pub built there, describing it as the “gateway to the town centre”.

'We are determined to campaign to save these routes from closure': One thousand signatures against bus cuts

More than 700 people signed a petition over 24 hours to save two Watford bus routes.

Services 142, Watford Junction to Brent Cross, and 258, Watford Junction to South Harrow, are under threat if Hertfordshire County Council cuts its funding for the routes as planned in its proposed budget for 2016.

The route was used by 2060340 passengers during the 2014/15 financial year.

Currently, the authority shares funding of the services with Transport for London (TFL).


'Unprecedented' number of swine flu cases fill hospital beds

Hospital services in Watford are under “significant pressure” as doctors treat an “unprecedented” number of suspected cases of swine flu in west Hertfordshire.

Beds across the country are filling up with victims of the H1N1 virus, while official figures show more than 39 people have died from the illness since October.

Watford General Hospital, in Vicarage Road, currently has 19 patients on its wards with confirmed or suspected swine flu, with seven in intensive care.

Watford tell Burnley approach will be rejected

Watford Observer: Malky MackayMalky Mackay

Watford have told Burnley any approach for manager Malky Mackay will be rejected.

It was reported that Burnley had asked the Hornets if they could speak to Mackay about replacing Brian Laws.

But Watford chief executive Julian Winter has stated: “We have had no formal approach and if we did, we would reject it.”

Campaigners remain concerned over park future

Watford Observer: Aldenham Country ParkAldenham Country Park

Campaigners looking to save Aldenham Country Park from closure say they remain concerned a private bid for the site could be accepted by Hertfordshire County Council.

Residents and members of Hertsmere Borough Council are looking to mount their own bid to take over the running of the park – a move they say would be in the best interest of the county council and the wider public.

And despite the county council admitting it had been approached by a number of private firms about developing the 175-acre site, members of the Save Aldenham Country Park Group remain confident they can compete.