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.

The 11th part of '50 events and dates that shaped Watford’ takes us back more than 200 years to an event that had a major economic impact on the town - the opening of what became the Grand Union Canal.

The museum's volunteer archivist Christine Orchard said: "Unlike the later railway line of the 1840s, the Earl of Essex and Earl of Clarendon permitted the Grand Junction Canal (later the Grand Union Canal) to pass through their estates.

"Construction had begun in London in 1793 and the stretch near Watford was completed in 1797; by 1805 it was possible to reach Birmingham.

"This 'M1' of its day will have had a big impact on trade as it was the first new transport route through the region for centuries.

"This postcard was produced about 100 years after the canal's opening and it seems likely that the view was little changed."

Watford Museum is due to reopen on Saturday after being closed for essential electrical works.