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 14th part of '50 events and dates that shaped Watford' remembers the first home of local government in the town - Upton House.

The museum's volunteer archivist Christine Orchard said: "Upton House, previously the residence of Dr Hood, was put up for auction on June 23, 1891. Following 'brisk bidding' the house was purchased by Mr E. J. Slinn, the Chairman of Watford’s Local Board of Health for £2,650."

Watford Observer:

The sale notice for Upton House from the Watford Observer, June 1891

The Local Board of Health which was set up in 1850. Prior to this Watford did not have a true local government. The board was replaced by Watford Urban District Council in 1894 and later Watford Borough Council.

Watford Observer:

Upton House pictured in the programme for the opening of the Town Hall in 1940

Christine continued: "The Board held their first meeting at Upton House on October 1, 1891. Before this they used an upper room of the waterworks in Local Board Road. Upton House remained our town hall until they moved to the current Town Hall in 1940. Upton House was demolished in 1961."

Watford Museum is open Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. No booking is necessary but Covid prevention measures are still in place to keep visitors safe.