In March of this year, the Watford Observer along with other Newsquest titles officially launched its There with Ukraine fundraising campaign.

It was to show solidarity with the people impacted by the Russian invasion which has likely resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and Europe’s biggest refugee crisis.

In the March 18 edition, the Watford Observer ran a cover page of the Ukrainian flag and offering a link to a Just Giving page launched by Newsquest, which has raised more than £30,000.

Watford Observer: Watford Observer March 18 edition in support of UkraineWatford Observer March 18 edition in support of Ukraine (Image: Newsquest)

March also saw the Watford Observer exclusively reveal that the incredibly popular Pryzm nightclub is being forced out of its home in Watford town centre.

With a history dating back decades – some readers may fondly recall it as Kudos or Destiny – the loss of the club looked set to be a real blow to Watford’s night-time economy as well as to clubbers.

Watford Observer: Pryzm nightclub in The ParadePryzm nightclub in The Parade (Image: Stephen Danzig)

But the owners of the building saw their plans to redevelop Pryzm and surrounding businesses into 146 homes refused by Watford Borough Council.

The future of the club has since been secured for another five years.

Read more: 'Frustration' as Pryzm still faces eviction in early 2023

Watford Observer: How the Pryzm building is proposed to be redevelopedHow the Pryzm building is proposed to be redeveloped (Image: Dwyer Asset Management Ltd)

There was also news that month about the closure of another popular venue – Bovingdon Market.

With the former airfield being used for new filming studios, operator Wendy Fair Markets announced the August bank holiday would be the last day of trading, prompting a huge outpouring of sadness because the market is visited by thousands every week.

To this day, Wendy Fair is not believed to have found a new permanent site for its traders.

Watford Observer: Entrance to Bovingdon Market, which has now closedEntrance to Bovingdon Market, which has now closed (Image: Google Street View)

Planning permission had already been awarded to rebuild Watford General Hospital but some doubts began to creep in about how realistic the plans are after estimated costs were announced to be exceeding £1 billion.

The government has committed to investing in hospitals in West Hertfordshire as part of the New Hospital Programme – but the financial situation is very different to when that programme was launched by then Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2019.

In recent weeks, the government has been unable to give firm reassurances of the amount of investment West Herts NHS Trust will receive when probed by politicians including St Albans MP Daisy Cooper.

Watford Observer: Approved scheme to rebuild Watford General Hospital (shown in grey buildings)Approved scheme to rebuild Watford General Hospital (shown in grey buildings) (Image: BDP/West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust)

A prominent new development was given the green light by Watford Borough Council at a planning committee meeting in March.

The former RBS bank on the corner of Clarendon Road and the ring road will be demolished and replaced by a 12-storey building of 65 flats.

Previous plans for a building of up to 22 floors were withdrawn after the council indicated it would not be willing to support a building of that height.

Read more: 12 storey flats in Watford town centre approved

Watford Observer: The approved development for the former RBS siteThe approved development for the former RBS site (Image: Iceni Projects/IDA London Holdings)

And a teenager was found guilty in March of a stabbing outside shops in The Brow in Watford.

The attack happened on April 27 2021 and saw a man in his 20s stabbed by 19-year-old Freddy Gathithi.

The victim, who was stabbed in the upper back and was known to Gathithi, did not suffer life-threatening or life-changing injuries.

After being found guilty of grievous bodily harm, Gathithi would be sentenced later in the year.  

Watford Observer: Freddy GathtihiFreddy Gathtihi (Image: Hertfordshire Constabulary)