It looks like a scene out of a country village but this picture was taken in the centre of Watford more than a century ago.

The Watford Observer has again teamed up with Watford Museum and is delighted to showcase some pictures from its archive.

This week’s image is of a small part of Watford that has now vanished named Meeting Alley.

The museum’s volunteer archivist Christine Orchard said: “This narrow little lane ran from the High Street (almost opposite Market Street) through to Estcourt Road – roughly where the pedestrian crossing is at the back of Beechen Grove Church.

“The scene seems so rural but was right in the middle of the town. Despite its central position many houses in this alley had little front gardens.

The sign for W Chance - Chimney Sweep

The sign for 'W Chance - Chimney Sweep'

“In the centre of the picture, to right of the gentleman, is a little clue to help with a rough date. This is a sign saying "W Chance - Chimney Sweep", who we know, from street directories, was living in Meeting Alley in 1907.”

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