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.

We've reached item 29 in 'a history of Watford in 50 objects' and it is a sign for a cocoa drink that was produced in the town.

Sarah said: "It sounds like the plot of a Roald Dahl story – a chocolate factory in Watford called ‘Delectaland’ owned by a man called Dr Tibbles.

"William Tibbles was actually a real man from Leicester, although not officially a doctor. He adopted the title due to his work in herbalism and eclectic botanics, which included the selling of cocaine! He invented a cocoa drink with what was considered at the time this miracle ingredient – Vi Cocoa.

"Land was purchased in North Watford to expand Vi-Cocoa production in 1899. A fire devastated the factory in 1903 but the site was rebuilt and became an important local employer making cocoa and chocolates. Sadly Delectaland was taken over and eventually closed by 1930 but what an amazing chapter in Watford’s industrial 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