The Watford Observer has teamed up with Watford Museum and its curator Sarah Priestley to take a journey back to the town’s past through items or places of historical significance.

The 20th item in ‘a history of Watford in 50 objects’ is a brochure from the first shop to open in the new Harlequin Centre more than 35 years ago.

Sarah said: "John Lewis was still known as Trewins when it became the first shop to open its doors in the new shopping centre on Wednesday, August 15, 1990. Trewins had been trading on Queens Road since the 1880s where it began business as a drapers.

"The name the Harlequin Centre was in fact chosen by a competition in the Watford Observer. It was won by Mrs Moira Castle of Bushey, who suggested it as it was the name of the trainline from Euston to Watford, with the name coming from stations on the line like Harlesden and Queens Park.

"The shopping centre transformed the High Street forever when it opened and has seen many changes itself over the years, most recently the new extension and the sad loss of John Lewis, but further back who remembers the Food Court?"

Watford Museum is currently closed under lockdown restrictions but you can still pay it a virtual visit at or find the museum on Facebook and Instagram @watfordmuseum