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.

Part 47 of '50 events and dates that shaped Watford' looks back to when a new leisure centre opened in the town.

The museum's volunteer archivist Christine Orchard said: "A new leisure centre at Woodside was official opened in July 1976 and opened to the public in October (the adjacent sports arena had been in place since 1955).

Watford Observer:

An aerial view of the sports arena that opened in 1955

"Like today's centre, the original building included a sports hall, squash courts, small halls, meeting rooms, and cafeteria - I believe it also had an outdoor climbing wall.

Watford Observer:

The leisure centre opened in 1976

"Since then new facilities have been added, I'm not sure when the all weather pitches were set up but the main and children's swimming pool was constructed around 2007/8.

Watford Observer:

The centre in 2020. Picture: Google Street View

"The centre was temporarily closed during this building period and many events transferred to the Bill Everett Centre in Leggatts Way."

Watford Museum is open Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.