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 21st item in ‘a history of Watford in 50 objects’ is a clue to Watford's history Sarah rediscovered while taking a walk in some of the town's quieter parks. It is one of five sculptures located near the River Colne, each one themed around the natural history and heritage of the river which Watford Museum helped research.

Watford Observer: The inscription on the statueThe inscription on the statue

Sarah said: "The sculptures by Luke Perry were unveiled in 2014, and my favourite shows a gentleman in an old fashioned bathing costume preparing to dive. So what is this swimmer doing in Waterfields Park? The inscription on the base of the sculpture explains all. He was inspired by the open air lido that used to be the main swimming facility for Watfordians on the River Colne.

Watford Observer: Swimming in the River Colne at Five Arches c1910Swimming in the River Colne at Five Arches c1910

"The other sculptures include a land girl and one on Water Lane dedicated to the history of flooding in that area. So next time you take a walk look out for clues to Watford’s history."

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