The Watford Observer is again delighted to be teaming up with its friends at Watford Museum to take another journey back to the past to recall the key events and dates that helped shape the town’s future.

Following the success of our ‘history of Watford in 50 objects’ series, the first part of '50 events and dates that shaped Watford’ takes us back 158 years to the day when this newspaper was first published.

The museum’s volunteer archivist Christine Orchard said: “The very first issue of the Watford Observer was published on Saturday, January 24, 1863. It had just four sides of print and was priced ‘three-half-pence’.

“It was common for small weekly papers to have the bulk of their paper printed at a London agency. This was the case with the Observer where just the front page was printed in Watford using a hand-operated Colombian Press. This press still exists and is on display at the museum.”

Watford Museum has reopened to the public. Admission is free but book first – call 01923 232297 or email For more information, visit