The fight to save a historic pub, a brave rescue and the potential new owners plans for Watford FC feature in the selection of stories that were making our headlines five and ten years ago this week.


'It would be a big shame to lose a big part of Watford’s history': Town centre pub to close

Campaigners outside The One Bell

Campaigners outside The One Bell

Campaigners are battling to save one of the oldest pubs in Watford.

The One Bell in High Street will be closing its doors for the final time on Saturday, May 14.

The Watford Observer understands the pub will be converted into a restaurant if its owner, Optadrive, agrees a sale with a potential buyer.

But people are now trying to save the venue and dozens have signed petitions calling for it to stay open.

Regular Sara Maloney is leading the campaign to save the pub and submitted an application to Watford Borough Council to get the pub listed as an asset of community value.

Teenager rescues woman from burning house in Watford

Firefighters at the Colne Avenue address

Firefighters at the Colne Avenue address

A teenager dragged a woman out of a burning house after hearing her screaming.

Brandon Eldridge climbed into the back garden after a fire broke out inside the home in Colne Avenue, Watford.

The 18-year-old heard the sound of glass smashing as he ran through the smoke filled rooms.

He helped the woman out of the property but went back in to rescue her pets.

Four people, including a four-month-old baby, were treated for smoke inhalation at Watford General Hospital after the fire which started at just after 4pm on Monday, February 15.

Land has been set aside for a new primary school in Abbots Langley and will be used when demand is greater than supply

Councillors Stephen Giles-Medhurst and Sara Bedford

Councillors Stephen Giles-Medhurst and Sara Bedford

A new village primary school will only be built when demand for places is greater than the number of available places.

Hertfordshire County Council has agreed a deal with Taylor Wimpey so that a section of land off Woodside Road, Abbots Langley, can be used for a new primary school.

The authority has admitted the school will only be built if the demand for school places surges past the number of available places in the area.

Some Liberal Democrat councillors claim this position means the council has supported plans for houses to be built on Green Belt land.

Hertfordshire County Council told the inquiry into Three Rivers’ Local Plan the site of the development “is well located in relation to the forecast demand for school places.”

But it is now using money from a previous development to re-open a form of entry at Leavesden Green JMI School.


Reveley Lodge consultation sparks 'fury' among residents

Residents say they are "furious" about the planned sale of an historic area of land, widely recognised as the last piece of the original Bushey heath.

The site, which forms part of the Reveley Lodge Estate, in Elstree Road, Bushey Heath, will be sold to developers if planning permission for an elderly care home can be obtained from Hertsmere Borough Council.

In 2003, the land was left to the Bushey Museum by the late Eila Chewett, whose family had owned Reveley Lodge since 1921.

The Bushey Museum Property Trust, set up to oversee the running of the house, now says it is being forced to sell the land to raise cash for the upkeep of the Victorian building and its estate.

Bassini tells fans 'great things to come'

Fans told great things to come if takeover goes ahead

Fans told 'great things to come' if takeover goes ahead

Laurence Bassini has told fans if he completes a takeover of Watford “great things will come” and “you won't be disappointed”.

Bassini, who spoke exclusively to the Watford Observer, would not put a time frame on when a bid from himself and partner Panos Thomas would be made but did say should the takeover happen, then fans can look forward to a bright future.

Bassini said: “If an offer is forthcoming, there will be great things to come. Should an offer come in then there will be a plan.

“You won't be disappointed and you will like it. So let’s wait and see.”

Bovingdon mast decision is 'fundamentally wrong'

A petition of more than a thousand signatures against a 50 foot radar dome in the heart of Bovingdon was presented to Hertfordshire County Council today.

The document, which represented a quarter of the 4,000 residents in Bovingdon, was delivered to the executive member for environment, planning and waste, Derrick Ashley.

In December, the Watford Observer reported how the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) had started work on a 128 foot mast, with a 50 foot radar dome on top, in Long Lane.

Work started when the existing, decommissioned 213ft lattice mast, was taken down to make way for the new structure - situated 60 metres from the back doors of houses.

NATS bought the land, which overlooks both Shantock Lane and Shantock Hall Lane, two years ago from the Ministry of Defence for £55,000.

Under the Town and Country Planning General Permitted Development Order 1995, the aviation development is “generally granted” – NATS has planning consent by virtue of the Certificate of Lawful Development issued by Dacorum Borough Council.