A speed camera near Watford which brought in more than £500,000 over 12 months, plans for a new primary school and a stolen parrot were among the stories making the headlines in the Watford Observer five and ten years ago this week.


Guess which speed camera near Watford is the UK's third 'highest earning'

A speed camera near Watford has been revealed as one of the country’s “highest earning”.

Carole Nash insurance consultants submitted freedom of information requests to the UK’s largest county police constabularies.

Watford Observer:

The results revealed which speed cameras have caught the highest number of motorists breaking the speed limit in a year, and highlight the dangerous areas of the UK’s roads where motorists are advised to take extra care.

The speed camera on the M25 London Orbital between junctions 17 and 18 brought in £538,500 in a year-long period over 2015-16, the third highest in the country.

Watford Observer:

An artist's impression of the new school

New primary school in central Watford given green light

Permission to build a new primary school in Clarendon Road has been granted by Watford Borough Council.

The school will cater for students from Reception to Year 6, and will accommodate up to 420 pupils when it reaches capacity in 2022.

It will be occupied by St John’s Church of England Primary School – a free school established in 2016. The school currently runs Reception classes for 30 pupils at St John’s Church Hall in Estcourt Road.

The plans were approved at a meeting of the council’s development management committee, despite a report to the committee stating the building “does not really meet the council’s design aspirations for high quality design for all buildings in the borough”.

Watford Observer:

The pitch was officially opened with a match between the school’s current first XI side and a collection of veterans drawn from Parmiter’s Old Boys

New FIFA standard football pitch opens at Watford school

A new FIFA standard football pitch has been officially opened at a school in Watford.

The artificial 3G pitch at Parmiter’s School in High Elms Lane was christened on Saturday with a match between the school’s current first 11 side and a collection of veterans drawn from Parmiter’s Old Boys, when it was based in Bethnal Green, who battled for the coveted Thomas Parmiter Cup.

Among the older players were Ground Force presenter Tommy Walsh, who played in goal for the visitors.

The school has produced a number of professional footballers over the years, including Swansea City midfielder Tom Carroll and Nathan Byrne of Wolverhampton Wanderers.


Work on Watford Health Campus could start this year

Watford mayor Dorothy Thornhill said work on the Watford Health Campus could start before the end of the year.

The Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership has awarded £6 million to the project, which will involve completely redeveloping Watford General Hospital with housing, businesses, and facilities built in.

Mayor Thornhill said the money would be used to build a link road from the M1 motorway to the hospital site.

She added: “This news is a huge vote of confidence for the Health Campus. It demonstrates the government and Hertfordshire’s commitment to the scheme.

“The main thing is to get the new road built right up to the hospital, after choosing our developer in June, we could see spades in the ground by the end of the year.

“We all know the campus will deliver significant benefits to the town and give a huge boost to our local economy – let’s now get on with getting it built.”

Watford Observer:

Francis McLennen with a picture of stolen parrot Oscar

Thieves run off with much-loved Bushey parrot

Visitors to Farmyard Funworld at the Lincolnsfield Centre in Bushey will no longer see the impressive green and yellow plumage of Amazon Green parrot Oscar, after he was spectacularly birdnapped.

According to centre owner Francis McLennen, Oscar, a visitor favourite because of his extensive vocabulary, had been sitting in his cage when he was taken.

Mr McLennen, 64, said: "My son Andrew called me to say Oscar had been stolen by two men.

"They came into the centre and were seen looking at our birds Oscar, Rocky and Crystal.

"At one point, our centre receptionist went over to the men to tell them to stop opening the cages.

"Next thing my son knew, one of the men opened Oscar’s cage and stuffed him in his jacket. They then ran off."

Watford Observer:

Teenager builds dream house for mum

Teenager builds dream house for mum

A teenager from Watford has spent the last three months working solidly to build his mother her dream doll’s house.

In his first solo scale model project, Will Brown has put together an extremely detailed three-storey Tudor style building, made up of two houses and a castle.

The model, which was made without the use of any kits or guidelines, includes bedrooms, kitchens, a chapel, a food market and a graveyard.

The 18-year-old said: "It was very rewarding to see it - I’m very happy with how it turned out.

"My mum was definitely pleased with it.

"She was as impatient as I was - she was so eager to get it done.

"She was filling the rooms before it was even finished."